Derik Badman's Journal

2019-09-11 08:29

Started Ozu's Early Spring at the beach and finished it up yesterday. At first I didn't remember if I had seen it already, but a few of the scenes had stuck in my mind when I got to them. This is actually an unusual one for the later Ozu (I've watched almost none of the pre-war/50s Ozu so I can't comment on that) in that it has a young male protagonist and a tiny bit of sexuality in evidence. It also spends a lot more time outside the family boundaries. The protagonist's family, outside of his wife, is never seen or mentioned at all, but we do see a whole group of co-workers and friends that serve prominent parts. The young male has a flirtation and then a one night stand with one of the women in the group of friends. The scene where they are in a restaurant in a private room and she slides closer to him and they kiss is perhaps the only romantic kiss I can remember seeing in an Ozu movie (though my memory could be bad here), and then the next scene where they are clearly getting dressed in the morning is the only direct implication of sex in an Ozu movie that I can remember either.

I suspect these elements are perhaps more a cross-over from his earlier films than any kind of outlier, but it is unusual to have one of his films not primarily dealing with a parent-child relationship. For a man who never had children and lived with his mother for most of his life (until she died), it is interesting to note how much the later movies are all about parents and daughters and never, as far as I recall/have seen, about sons.

This one also was slightly unusual (again, maybe because of it's time in his oeuvre) for having numerous outdoor scenes with lots of people moving about, and for a couple scenes (two or three) where the camera dollies forward down a hallway. They show the hallway leading to the door of the office where the protagonist works, and act as a scene transition, but the way the camera dollies forward is unexpected in Ozu and also felt oddly a little menacing, like a strange invasion from a suspense thriller in the heart of this domestic drama.

In Schrader's book he talks a bit about the actors/acting in Ozu and how they don't really emote a lot, but that feels like another one of his misreadings (or me misreading him). You get a lot of emotion out of the acting, but it is mostly very restrained. But this one in particular, has at least one character (the woman the protagonist has an affair with) quite forthrightly crying and emoting. And even later during the restrained reconcilitation of the husband and wife, you can read a lot out of their faces and tiny movements. And thus again I reiterator to myself how much I enjoy Ozu's films.

Also started a new video game yesterday called Greedfall. As I said to ███ in a text, it's not a AAA game, more like calling a tow truck for yourself... Coming out of Assassin's Creed Odyssey which was AAA and spectacular visually and very smooth in gameplay, this game is a step down in both, but I'm also intrigued in what it is trying to do, setting up a world and various factions you must interact with. I read an interview with the game's main... director? producer? not totally sure what you call it, and she (yes, a woman even!) was talking about the influence of Dragon Age on the game, which is what really sold me on trying it out. I'm hoping it pays off in the end, but I did play a few hours yesterday and enjoy myself and I still really only in the prologue.

I've been setting up more days of posts in the site today and thinking a lot about what I am sharing and how. I've set up this system for redacting content so I can: a. not have it on the website b. still have it on my original markdown files. I think the division is coming down to things I share about myself versus things that are really about other people. But I find that now that I am actually sharing the entries, it's hard not to think about that as I write: what will I have to redact, how do I change what I don't redact so I feel ok sharing it.