Friday, 20 July 2012

Yasujiro Ozu's Floating Weeds gets a new release by Masters of Cinema

Film post time and I'm sharing the news of an upcoming release by The Masters of Cinema label - Yasujiro Ozu's Floating Weeds or Ukigusa. It's remake of his own silent film The Story of Floating Weeds and this was my first Ozu film - predictably it might be my favourite. It's typical post-war Ozu of course but so perfectly executed. For me, it's his most complete and impressive film. Ok - it doesn't quite hit the emotional stride of Tokyo Story or the simple but perfect accessibility of Good Morning  - it sits more in between these. The film's intertwining stories and array characters set to backdrop of a small coastal town as a travelling kabuki troupe arrives to perform, showcases his masterful ability to completely control the emotional level of his actors and camera but also the audience too. Providing the new transfer comes off smoothly (as is not always the case of old films sadly), in crisp HD the colour cinematography from Kazuo Migawa should look absolutely stunning.

This release should  also coincide (hopefully) with the BFI's release of a set of Ozu's silent gangster films, and along with the rest of the BFI's Ozu Collection it means that the films of one of Japan's most consistently perfect filmmakers has never been so well represented in this country - in lovely HD at that.

Oh - and Teinosuke Kinugasa's long unreleased Palme D'or winning film The Gates of Hell or Jigokumon>will finally be released by MOC.  The jury's out on that one though.   I've been wanting to see this film for a very long time but in this day but being so used to seeing sumptous jidaigeki from Kurosawa and Mizoguchi etc that a film that has never seen a western release when almost every 'major' Japanese film has in some form or another, makes me somewhat skeptical of it's quality. We'll see though, and regardless of anything it will be an interesting historical piece. Roll on December!