Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ivan's Childhood handout

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Ivan’s Childhood (1962) 95min.
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer: Mikhail Papava, Vladimir Bogomolov (based on his novella)
Music: Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov
Editor: G. Natanson
Cinematography: Vadim Yusov

Nikolay Burlyaev ... Ivan
Valentin Zubkov ... Capt. Kholin
Yevgeni Zharikov ... Lt. Galtsev
Stepan Krylov ... Cpl. Katasonov
Nikolai Grinko ... Lt. Col. Gryaznov
Dmitri Milyutenko ... Old Man
Valentina Malyavina ... Masha
Irma Raush ... Ivan's Mother

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Last Spring Handout

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Late Spring (1949) 108min.

Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Writer: Kôgo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu from the novel Chichi by Kazuo Hirotsu
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Music: Senji Itô
Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura
Cinematography: Yuuharu Atsuta


Chishû Ryû ... Shukichi Somiya
Setsuko Hara ... Noriko Somiya
Yumeji Tsukioka ... Aya Kitagawa
Haruko Sugimura ... Masa Taguchi
Hohi Aoki ... Katsuyoshi

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The 1st and Last Tell Us All...

An important and useful way of deciphering the meaning of a good film is to notice and analyze the first and last shots of the film. A visually proficient director can embed the entire film into the two images he chooses to begin and end it. (Think about La Dolce Vita with the flying Christus and the monster from the sea.)
With this in mind, what is shown at the beginning and end of Ozu’s Floating Weeds?
The film centers around the master of a traveling, Old Japan style, theater troupe, Komajuro. He is a strong and stubborn man, set in his ways and very unwilling to change. We see the evidence of this being his story in the very first shot, which is of an old lighthouse, a symbol of constancy, duty and immovability. As the characters are introduced, the past and the old war are repeatedly referenced, solidifying the idea of generational conflict. Komajuro is a man who lives in the old ways; he is domineering, controlling of women even to the point of beating them and exists in a world of tradition – he will not give up the dated style of theater despite it being unprofitable and out-of-fashion in modern Japan. Throughout the film, Komajuro is dragged into the present, fighting it the entire way. And it seems that in the end he may be a lost cause, unable to move forward into the new world that he despises but ultimately cannot escape. However, in the end, we see the confirmation of his change. The last shot is of a train, rolling forward, ever moving. Komajuro has found a way to move on, away from the past, and into the new world.
We would love to hear thoughts and insight into this great work from anyone who watched the film or saw it previously!~? Tell us what you thought!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Download here:

Major Figures in Cinema: Tarkovsky, Haneke, Tarr
Spring 2010 W 8:00- 11:00

Films of Andrei Tarkovsky

Jan. 13 The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) 43min.
Ivan’s Childhood (1962) 95min.
Jan. 20 Andrei Rublev (1966) 205min.
Jan. 27 Solaris (1972) 169min.
Feb. 3 Stalker (1979) 163min.
Feb. 10 Nostalghia (1983) 120min.
Feb. 17 Sacrifice (1986) 246min.
Films of Michael Haneke
Feb. 24 Time of the Wolf (2003) 109min.
Mar. 3 Midterm The Castle (1997) 123min.
Mar. 10 Funny Games (1998) & U.S. Version (2007) 215min.
Mar. 17 Cache (2005) 118min.
Mar. 24 The White Ribbon (2009) 144min.
Films of Bela Tarr
Mar. 31 Werckmeister Harmonies (2001) 145min.
Apr. 8 Damnation (1988) 116min.
Apr. 15 Family Nest (1979) 100min.
Apr. 22 3:00-5:00 Final Almanac of Fall (1985) 120min.

And if you have the time and stamina, Satantango (1994) 435min.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heads UP

Just a heads up:
In the Tarkovsky, Hankeke, Tarr Class we will be starting with 5 Tarkovsky films, beginning with The Steamroller and the Violin and Ivan's Childhood. The first one is only about 40 minutes, so I thought we could start with two.

Floating Weeds Articles

Article by Donald Richie

Article by David Ehrenstein

Floating Weeds Handout

Floating Weeds (1959) 119min.
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Writer: Kôgo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu (based on the 1934 Ikeda script)
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Music: Kojun Saitô
Editor: Toyo Suzuki
Cinematography: Kazuo Miyagawa
(Kurosawa’s Rashomon, Mizogichi’s Ugetsu)

Komajuro … Ganjiro Nakamura
Sumiko … Machiko Kyo
Kayo … Ayako Wakao
Kiyoshi … Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Oyoshi … Haruko Sugimura
Aiko … Hitomi Nozoe

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why I'm Doing This and How I'd Like It To Work

Every time I go to watch something, I feel anxious, indecisive and don't know what to watch. There are so many films I haven't seen and directors I haven't really studied. I long to be back in the classroom, with a purpose in watching certain films. A classroom provides focus and expectation. But what if I could do it on my own!? I worked with a professor where I planned classes, made handouts and helped choose which films to watch, so why not create classes for myself? A focused study of films I've been wanting to watch for a long time.
So here it is, a class on Ozu, the great Japanese dramatist and three European art-film directors, all of whom I really should know well if I want to consider myself versed in cinema.
And hey, if I'm doing all this work, might as well let others join in, right?
How it's going to work: on the day scheduled for the film, I will post a handout and supplemental materials. Hopefully everyone will be able to watch the film on that day or close to it, take a couple days to let it settle in the mind, re-watch or read articles and then post thoughts and comment on what others posted.
Don't be shy, we're all friends here. And I trust we will all keep our personal pretension in check.
I look forward to hearing from everyone. Email if you have any questions or suggestions.
Most of all, enjoy the films.
Link to Download doc.:

Yasujirō Ozu 小津 安二郎
1930 I Was Born, But...
1932 Where Are the Dreams of Youth?
1934 A Story of Floating Weeds
1949 Late Spring
1951 Early Summer
1953 Tokyo Story
1956 Early Spring
1957 Tokyo Twilight
1958 Equinox Flower
1959 Floating Weeds
1959 Good Morning
1960 Late Autumn
1961 The End of Summer
1962 An Autumn Afternoon,

Syllabus for Ozu Class

Link to download word.doc:

Major Figures in Cinema: Films of Yasujirō Ozu
Spring 2010 M 8:00- 11:00

Jan. 11 Floating Weeds (1959) 119min.
Jan. 18 Late Spring (1949) 108min.
Jan. 25 Early Summer (1951) 125min.

Feb. 1 I Was Born But… (1930) 100min.

Feb. 8 Good Morning (1959) 93min.

Feb. 15 Tokyo Story (1953) 136min.

Feb. 22 Sadao Yamanaka:
Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937) 86min.

Mar. 1 Midterm Wim Wenders: Tokyo-Ga (1985) 92min.

Mar. 8 Early Spring (1956) 125min.

Mar. 15 Tokyo Twilight (1957) 141min.

Mar. 22 Equinox Flower (1958) 118min.

Mar. 29 Hsiao-hsien Hou: Café Lumière (2003) 103min.

Apr. 6 Late Autumn (1960) 128min.

Apr. 13 An Autumn Afternoon (1962) 113min.

Apr. 20 3:00-5:00 Final
Yôjirô Takita: Departures (2009) 130min.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tarkovsky, Haneke, Tarr

...and the progression of contemporary Art-film in Eastern Europe.

Syllabus coming soon.

The Films of Yasujirō Ozu

Syllabus coming soon.