Incomplete Mediocrity

The year was 1938. For film lovers, it is the year of BRINGING UP BABY, ALEXANDER NEVSKY and THE LADY VANISHES. At the same time, it was anticipating the great year of 1939. In Japan, however, it was the year with few notable works. Sadao Yamanaka was drafted to military …

Ryo Ikebe (1918 – 2010)

Ryo Ikebe, a popular Japanese actor from forties through seventies, passed away last week. He was 92. Internationally, he is probably best known for the lead character in Ozu’s EARLY SPRING (1956). In Japan, he was considered to be a very versatile actor, from melodrama (AOI SANMYAKU (1949)) to Yakuza …

Then And Now, Again

In Ozu’s “There Was A Father”, the pivotal moment early in the film was the school trip to Hakone. Below is the Ashinoko, the Lake in Hakone area. Hakone has been one of the most popular resorts in Japan, being close to Tokyo metropolis. This is 1942, almost 70 years …