As a heavy locomotive enters a tunnel, smokes of soot fill the screen. The contrast between drab blackness of the engine and overexposed whiteness of snow creates an atmosphere of desolation and isolation. Just looking at this brutal contrast of the heavy machinery and the unforgiving nature, we know we are invited to the world of full of dead ends and boredom.
Tokyo University Press recently published “Propaganda Films in Colonial Taiwan: Research on Newly Discovered Films (植民地期台湾の映画)“. This is a book plus 2-DVD box set. Texts are academic research articles on propaganda films in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule (1895 – 1945), particularly during the fifteen year war (1930 – 1945). DVDs contain rare films found in Taiwan in 2005, including entertainment films, animations, and documentaries during this era. Some of them are, as I understand, only existing copies of the particular titles. “Maiden Bridge” is one of the entertainment films included in the DVD.
“The Snow Flurry (1959)” may be one of the lesser known works among Keisuke Kinoshita’s filmography, but gives its audience ultimately satisfying experience. It experiments with a bold and complex flashback structure, which is firmly rooted in the emotional journey of the protagonists. The audience is guided through sometimes parallel, sometimes intersecting psychological paths of the disintegrating members of the family as if the cinematic lens has become an entity of flow of consciousness.