Maborosi

Discussion in 'Movies' started by john davies, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. john davies

    john davies Stunt Coordinator

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    MABOROSI (1995)

    The debut feature of Hirokazu Kore-eda (director of the widely admired "After Life") is one of a small, precious number of films for which i have felt lovesick.

    "Maborosi"'s story is superficially simple: affected by the death of her grandmother and her husband's unexplained suicide, a young Tokyo woman starts new married life, along with her son, in a remote seaside fishing village, but finds the past continues to trouble her .Eschewing close-ups,the narrative draws the viewer in gradually, so that, as Tony Rayns says,intimacy is earned, not frivolously given. It is haunted throughout by a dark, almost overwhelming sense of mystery. The film's masterfully controlled mise-en-scene, contemplative pacing, "off-screen space" and quiet investment of objects (a bike, a teapot, a wisp of steam...) with both beauty and meaning, all recall Yasujiro Ozu and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Its lighting is refined, at times, to the point of abstraction, while Masao Nakabori's photography is utterly, immeasurably exquisite. It is another treasure from the land of Mizoguchi, the isles of cinematic wonders.

    But "Maborosi" is not best served by hyperbole. It is an unassertive film, too shy, too pure and concentrated to seek the limelight. While compelled to tell of its elusive magic, i protectively fear its over-exposure. In publicising, am i breaking faith? It connects in secret. With the heart that is ready.
     
  2. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    It's a great movie, but I think Koreeda san's next film (After Life) was even better.
     
  3. john davies

    john davies Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree After Life is excellent- and it has an appearance by my favourite actress Kyoko Kagawa, best-known for roles with Mizoguchi (Sansho the Bailiff, Chikamatsu Monogatari), Ozu (Tokyo Story) and Kurosawa (High and Low..) in the 50's and early 60's.

    But Maborosi came as a major surprise to me- like a hidden rare dark pearl- and is a film of amazing mastery and maturity (even allowing that Kore-eda had already made TV documentaries) for a debut.
     
  4. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    I need to see Maborosi again, as I liked it but having seen After Life and loving it so much that I saw it three times in the cinema over three consecutive weeks, Maborosi seemed less interesting and creative. I should watch it again without the same post-After Life expectations.
     
  5. john davies

    john davies Stunt Coordinator

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    And i should watch After Life again without the same post-Maborosi expectations!
     
  6. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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  7. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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  8. DavidAls

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    I need to go region-free first; I am eager to see Kore'eda's latest, Distance, which hasn't gotten a US release yet. I'm no fan of New Yorker's shoddy releases either...
     

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