Monday, April 09, 2007

Watched April 2-8, 2007

Biruma no tategoto / The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa, 1956)

I've seen a number of Kon Ichikawa films to date, and liked all but one -- but I like this best of all. A young Japanese soldier, injured when attempting to convince a group of fellow soldiers to surrender (the war having ended), is nursed back to health by a Burmese Buddhist monk. Initially determined to re-join his own regiment, he feels the call to minister to the unburied Japanese war dead. Visually beautiful, wonderful music, good performances and a moving message. It made a perfect Good Friday film (especially as it actually used a Passion week hymn "O Sacred Head Surrounded" in its soundtrack). Highly recommended. More screen shots:

The Wild Blue Yonder (Werner Herzog, 2005)

Not sure what to make of this. Some of the (found) images are lovely -- and the score was quite nice. The "story line" (about alien settlers) was simply bizarre. I'll re-assess the experience after listening to the commentary (which I hope will be more enjoyable than the films itself).

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