Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Friends Fighting Japanese-Style

Really, It's a Couple Seconds of Slapping

Perhaps even more Dalí-esque, cracked-egg and all, than A Straightforward Brat [Tokkan kozô, Yasujirô Ozu, 1929], Ozu's similarly truncated 1929 work Friends Fighting Japanese-Style [Wasei kenka tomodachi] is no more 'realist' than the dream of a mudfish when it finds the time and the haven for sleep. Two day-laborers split a cigarette; a jalopy careens; a lady gets smashed by the vessel and nursed back to health like the storied fox by callow offenders who sleep cushioned encircled, domestically craven, within a tire-rubber like an inner-tube or something that prefigures the geometries of The Whole Town's Talking [John Ford, 1935]. The vehicle-grease transfers totally upon the victim girl's face, she's like the Al Jolson of Yokosuka more or less, — you know the movie-routine of breakfast-making and a shine-up, where next thing she's a sterling beauty and now the roommates are all WHAT.

Wasei kenka tomodachi [Friends Fighting Japanese-Style] by Yasujirô Ozu, 1929:

There's an incredible shot where a chicken gets dragged toward-out-of-frame via the string tied round its upper-quarters, so as to create foreground motion in the tableau.

Wasei kenka tomodachi [Friends Fighting Japanese-Style] by Yasujirô Ozu, 1929:

In Friends Fighting Japanese-Style we witness one of the first compositions of the sort that will exemplify the Ozu "pillow-shot" (yet the girl and her lover precedent a human intercession), followed by a shot that precursors Tôkyô monogatari [A Tale of Tokyo, Yasujirô Ozu, 1953] at last succeeded by the roommates holding hands in echo of the domestic conspirators from A Straightforward Brat. As such, if Lou Christie and The Tammys had produced one last semi-hit for soundtrack, it might have been titled "The Ambivalence Chakra".

Wasei kenka tomodachi [Friends Fighting Japanese-Style] by Yasujirô Ozu, 1929:

If you're able to get a hold of this Silent Film, you should watch it silent with volume off or accompanied by the end-credits cue from Tanner '88 on loop.


1 comment:

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