The Exhausted Soldier

Propaganda films are, in principle, very clear about what message it should convey. One of the most notable example, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL is very efficient in transmitting its message. Images are designed to portray Nazi regime to be the liberator of German race, the symbol of national rebirth. Absurd, sure, but in 1934 Germany, an average citizen never knew the horrors to come. TRIUMPH is a very unique material. It is a rather dull document of the Nazi party political rally, propaganda to every frame. In Japan during WWII, any media, newspaper, literature, art, theater, film was heavily censored …

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 the previous year and died in China in September of 1938. Yasujiro Ozu was also drafted. Mikio Naruse and Kenji Mizoguchi were struggling with minor works. But Japanese movie-going public at the time saw the most phenomenal film of the prewar era this year. In terms of popularity, no prewar …

Kochiyama Soshun

Kochiyama Soshun, Setsuko Hara When I finished watching it, I didn’t want to see it again. It gradually descended into depressing finale, killing off every lovable character one by one. The survivor is the reckless kid who started all. No, it’s not fun. Then, after a day or two, it started to crawl back on me. That scene. The duel between Kochiyama and Kaneko. They were determined to have it. Kochiyama, a local gambler and a bookie, and Kaneko, a Yojimbo for the local gang leader, were destined to have it. But when they are on the verge of bursting …