Mikio Naruse

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kuzine
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:37 am

Re: Mikio Naruse

#576 Post by kuzine » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:18 pm

In the end made it to four films during the Naruse series at Cinematek, all were at least very good to excellent (so thanks for the suggestions again!) so am glad I did the effort (and a bit sad on missing out on the others but that's life). Prints looked good for the most part and good turnout for all of these.

Travelling actors was a great one to see with a crowd I thought due to the comedy. Brisk runtime but could have easily watched another hour of their antics. As others have noted above, the focus on children protagonists in Autumn Has Already Started makes it a bit of an outlier in Naruse's oeuvre, but I liked this as much as let's say Ozu's similar themed films.

Was wondering were the last sequence in Yearning takes place (looked like a mountain village)? I don't think it was mentioned in the film itself.
Last one I caught was Two in the shadow. I missed some of the subtitles because I was entranced by the images too much at times but somehow I totally missed wat
SpoilerShow
happened with the pregnancy/baby
, which I found strange for such a seemingly major plot point in the beginning. If someone could enlighten me? Travelled around the Akita-Aomori area last year so it was nice to see those areas again in the past.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#577 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:45 pm

The finale of Yearning (apparently the word translates more as something like "feeling anguished confusion") takes place at a mountain onsen village, but I have never found out where precisely.

As to Scattered Clouds ...
SpoilerShow
Are we told that our heroine is _definitely_ pregnant? Or is this just a possibility that needs to be checked at the clinic? If she _was_ pregnant, one can safely assume she lost the baby, due to shock and subsequent illness following the death of her husband. Given the love she had for her husband, it is unlikely she would have had an abortion -- and his family would have had some right to object to any such plan.

artfilmfan
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#578 Post by artfilmfan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:46 pm

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The scene in which she was in the clinic/hospital made me think that she had an abortion.
The images in Two in the Shadow do look very beautiful ( ... as beautiful as those in Maborosi)

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#579 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:49 am

The location for the finale of Midareru might be Ginzan Onsen near Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture. See:
https://togetter.com/li/612915" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(info relayed by another member of the KineJapan mailing list)

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hearthesilence
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#580 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:13 pm

A 35mm print of Floating Clouds (courtesy of the Japan Foundation) is actually screening at Lincoln Center on January 2 at 8:30pm. (There was apparently a screening of the same print this afternoon.) Sorry that I'm missing these as I've yet to see this film. Does the streaming version on Filmstruck look fine, or is it worth tracking down the BFI DVD?

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Big Ben
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#581 Post by Big Ben » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:45 pm

hearthesilence wrote:A 35mm print of Floating Clouds (courtesy of the Japan Foundation) is actually screening at Lincoln Center on January 2 at 8:30pm. (There was apparently a screening of the same print this afternoon.) Sorry that I'm missing these as I've yet to see this film. Does the streaming version on Filmstruck look fine, or is it worth tracking down the BFI DVD?
It depends on what your standards are. The Filmstruck version has your standard pops, hisses and scratches (Although it's certainly not what I would personally consider egregious) so it's certainly not a mind-blowing version that's streaming but I wouldn't consider it an agonizing experience. I'd say serviceable is most accurate description in my mind.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#582 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:09 am

Floating Clouds pretty much knocked me out for the first third of the film. As Michael mentioned:
it really captures changes in Japan's economy and culture in the post-war years.
Furthermore the editing is incredible, a precursor to Resnais's own innovations in his first narrative films. This is filmmaking of the highest order, anchored by an actress whose face is a gift to cinema in how much it expresses with the subtlest movement.

While the film never loses its way (or diminishes the stakes), it did settle into something a bit more conventional in style and form, so the rest felt a little disappointing coming on the heels of a brilliant opening flourish.

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whaleallright
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#583 Post by whaleallright » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:49 pm

The structure of that film strikes me as unconventional, since it largely refuses expected dramatic turning points. A lot of the later scenes play like variations on earlier ones, albeit more despairing and sordid as the woman's self-abnegation becomes almost total. For that reason it strikes me as one of the most genuinely depressing stories of all films I've seen (although the wonder of Naruse's filmmaking, his control of tone and pacing, is anything but depressing).

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#584 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:53 am

Floating Clouds is depressing on one level -- but on another it is about a woman who never gives up on seeking her goal (and gets it, albeit too late). The source novel by Hayashi (Dunlop translation) is also very much worth checking out.

Jack Phillips
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#585 Post by Jack Phillips » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:55 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Floating Clouds is depressing on one level -- but on another it is about a woman who never gives up on seeking her goal (and gets it, albeit too late).
Well, yeah, but it's questionable whether her goal was worth seeking. And I understand that in the novel Mr. Goal goes back to his old tricks in the end.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#586 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:43 pm

Carlotta have some Naruse slated for 2018. I'm hoping it involves 'Yearning' as that was one of the films touring during the retrospective last year.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#587 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm

Her goal was worth seeking -- to her. ;-)

It will be interesting to see what Carlotta comes up with (probably no English subs, right?)

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Re: Mikio Naruse

#588 Post by AisleSeat » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:35 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:Floating Clouds ... The source novel by Hayashi (Dunlop translation) is also very much worth checking out.
Definitely. It's been years since I read the book, but it still resonates, particularly the dialogue, which seemed true to life. Naruse's adaptation, which faithfully captured the novel's essence, fully showcased the nuances of his talent.
Michael Kerpan wrote:The location for the finale of Midareru might be Ginzan Onsen near Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture. See:
https://togetter.com/li/612915" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(info relayed by another member of the KineJapan mailing list)
Yes, it is indeed Ginzan Onsen.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#589 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:55 am

Mikio Naruse five film Blu-ray box set coming from Carlotta Films in France on November 21st, 2018

According to DVD.fr, it will contain:

Sound of the Mountain (1954)
Flowing (1956)
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)
Yearning (1964)
Two in the Shadow (1967)

This is huge, as I don't believe any of Naruse's films are on Blu-ray in Japan or anywhere else in the world. Hopefully, it also means that the same set will be coming from a UK label in the near future.

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whaleallright
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#590 Post by whaleallright » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:05 pm

Wasn't Masters of Cinema's Naruse set among the worst-selling releases in their catalogue to that point? And the BFI's set likewise? If my recollection is true, that wouldn't bode well for an English-subbed Blu-Ray release of those or other Naruse films, alas. Maybe the market has changed since then, or maybe Naruse's stock has risen. One can hope.

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domino harvey
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#591 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:10 pm

As I recall, that's actually why existent copies of the MoC box are so scarce, since the majority were sitting unsold in a warehouse when the London riots resulted in them being destroyed

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whaleallright
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#592 Post by whaleallright » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:14 pm

Yikes. Talk about adding injury to insult.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#593 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:52 pm

I imagine a UK label could easily shift a thousand or two copies of a Naruse set as long it was a limited edition and there was little intention of them ever releasing stand alone discs (as Arrow have said they won't in cases like their recent Suzuki films).

peerpee said recently, in response to this announcement, that the Naruse set sold briskly once it was declared as OOP.

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peerpee
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Re: Mikio Naruse

#594 Post by peerpee » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:08 pm

As far as I can remember, it wasn't a disastrous seller – it was just slow. So by the time it was in the final year of its licence (2011), we looked at whether to relicence the titles, or licence more, and it was clear it wasn't worth it. I would guess that 2,000 copies were sold over 5 years. I don't think that many were destroyed in the fire. Once it was announced as OOP (because the licence was about to run out and we weren't renewing) I remember Eureka selling the last 100 or so copies they had for £20 or £25 direct. Something like that anyway. Then, when nobody could get hold of it – everyone wanted it.

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