Japan Cinematography – The Author’s Paths

By | January 16, 2022

According to Sportsqna, Japan lived with intransigence and with the gloomy awareness of the inevitability of loss, in an almost mythological feeling of nature. From the restless teenagers of Goddo supiido yu! Burakku empororu (1976, known as God speed you! Black emperor) to the Taiwanese itinerant healers of Tabi suru Pao janghu (1995, The itinerant Pao janghu), the characters live in the paradox of a constant but exhausting relationship with their own identity and the land of belonging, be it the city, the industrialized countryside, or the mountain, refuge and revelation of a state of misery. The animals killed by Ai ni tsuite, Tōkyō (1993, On love, Tokyo) or by Himatsuri (1985, The festival of fires), the thieves, the young thugs on motorcycles, the toxic farmer from Saraba itoshiki daichi (1982, Goodbye beloved homeland) are shadows fleeing in the face of death. And Yanagimachi’s cinema is made of death: of animals, women and children, all victims of the mechanism of a merciless sacrifice, not preordained but inevitable. elaborated by an exhausted staging within the code of genres, as in Saigo no doraibu (1992, The Last Journey), a dark noir in which references to Billy Wilder’s Double indem-nity (1944) translate into distance and in the flagrant gaze on death and the destructive voracity of the seduction of money. Sōmai with Gyoei no mure (1983, known as The catch) and Taifū kurabu (1984, known as Typhoon club) has reworked the tempo of the sequence shot marked by the fragility of the characters, who act in an existential void in which any separation between the different elements of the set (actors, lights, scenography, sound, etc.) is canceled.. Chosen as the best director of the decade by the magazine “Kinema junpō”, he then continued his journey with works of considerable complexity, based on a sensory schizophrenia for which what manifests itself in a situation always reappears in different guises. In this sense, his Kazahana (2000, Fiori di vento) is exemplary and impresses with its extreme essentiality. towards the madness of a couple, Oguri reveals a stylistic outfit that recalls the sober rigor of Robert Bresson; while Hayashi Kaizō, since his debut as Yume miru yō ni nemuritai (1986, Sleeping as a dream), has been appreciated by critics for the accurate cinephilia and the plasticity of the staging. A singular case is that of Tsukamoto, a filmmaker confident of his style, who exploded with the extreme and cultured experimentalism of Tetsuo (1989) and Tetsuo II – Body hammer (1992), who developed a highly inventive cinematic world, capable each time of deconstruct the stylistic features he himself created. The dissolution of sensoriality and the grafting of images into a delirious metamorphosis of bodies and identities represent the figure within which all of Tsukamoto’s cinema is played out. diaristic immediacy and documentary distance, which in Moe no Suzaku (1997; Suzaku, Caméra d’or prize at the Cannes Film Festival) and in Hotaru (2000, Lucciole) obsessively weaves the plots of a memory that appears to be projection and at the same time suspension of its own autobiographical experience. Even in Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s cinema there is a deterioration of memory as an evanescence of experience and an illusion of seeing. Eclectic author of a very thick filmography (like Miike Takashi, who however remains within the genre cinema even if with an ambiguous parody taste), among his works we must remember at least the series Katte ni shiyagare! (Arrange or shoot !, six films shot between 1996 and 1997); Cure – Kyua (1997), a metaphysical horror played on the dispersion of the narrative, dissolved in the tangle of images; which makes a universally shared vision of the world problematic, in fragility as in violence. This poetics of excess can be found in the grueling temporal excursions of Suwa Nobuhiro, Koreeda Hirokazu, Aoyama or Kurosawa Kiyo-shi, as well as in the agitated speed of the Tetsuo diptych and in the overloaded staging of Ishii Takashi or Ishii Sōgo. The sense of insecurity of the images thus pervaded the currents of the eighties and nineties and the beginning of the 21st century. (from Sōmai, Nagasaki and Tsukamoto, up to Kawase, Koreeda, Suwa), enclosed in the exploration of the existential void as in the alarming crumbling of bodies and identities.

Japan Cinematography - The Author's Paths