February 20, 2008
Ichikawa obituary: The obituary of film director Kon Ichikawa in Monday's California section referred to Japanese director, Keisuke Miyashita. His correct name is Keisuke Kinoshita.
May 19, 1996 |
This 1956 picture is one of the great anti-war films--and one of the few to evoke a genuine sense of spiritual awakening--it was directed by Kon Ichikawa, who recently remade it. It is set in the final days of World War II in Burma, where a young Japanese soldier (Shoji Yasui, pictured) has embraced Buddhism and become dedicated to burying the dead instead of returning home. A haunting, elegaic reverie of a movie; its opening battle scenes recalling John Ford's cavalry westerns.
February 28, 1991 |
"The Makioka Sisters" is a splendid, thoughtful movie of a Japan only three years away from Pearl Harbor and the devastation of war with the United States. World War II ended the type of society portrayed so clearly here, although the war did not erase the attitudes and some of the behavior depicted. The barons, counts and others in the nobility were stripped of their titles after the war, and the sharp line between the moneyed few and the scraping-to-get-by many became blurred.
May 23, 1990 |
With "Tora-san, My Uncle" (at the Little Tokyo Cinemas), writer-director Yoji Yamada makes something of a departure in No. 42 in the world's longest-running film series. Usually, Tora (Kiyoshi Atsumi), that short-tempered but kindly and lovable itinerant peddler, plays Mary Worth to an individual or a couple he meets on the road.
July 27, 1986
AMERICAN FILMS (in alphabetical order) Atlantic City (Louis Malle) Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen) Choose Me (Alan Rudolph) Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman) Diner (Barry Levinson) Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen) The Killing Fields (Roland Joffe) Once Upon a Time in America (uncut version) (Sergio Leone) Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders) Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese) Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch) Tootsie (Sydney Pollack) HONORABLE MENTION The
March 16, 1985 |
How gratifying it is to be able to say that Kon Ichikawa's "Ohan" (at the Kokusai) is one of the finest films of his distinguished but often difficult career. In recent years his darkly comic sensibility had been restricted to witty Gothic horror and detective pictures, but then the director of "The Burmese Harp" (which he is to remake), "Conflagration" and "An Actor's Revenge" made a triumphant return to major films with "The Makioka Sisters."