Tuesday, March 01, 1983

Cosmos

Episode 1: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean
Original Air Date—28 September 1980
Episode 2: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue
Original Air Date—5 October 1980
Episode 3: Harmony of the Worlds
Original Air Date—12 October 1980
Episode 4: Heaven and Hell
Original Air Date—19 October 1980
Episode 5: Blues for a Red Planet
Original Air Date—26 October 1980
Episode 6: Travelers' Tales
Original Air Date—2 November 1980
Episode 7: The Backbone of Night
Original Air Date—9 November 1980
Episode 8: Journeys in Space and Time
Original Air Date—16 November 1980
Episode 9: The Lives of the Stars
Original Air Date—23 November 1980
Episode 10: The Edge of Forever
Original Air Date—30 November 1980
Episode 11: The Persistence of Memory
Original Air Date—7 December 1980
Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica
Original Air Date—14 December 1980
Episode 13: Who Speaks for Earth?
Original Air Date—21 December 1980
Carl Sagan

MARCH 1983, STOCKHOLM

Muriel / Muriel ou Le Temps d'un retour. FR/IT 1963. D: Alain Resnais. Jean Cayrol. Fkl / Fh. Belongs to a small elite group of cinema: a film which creates its own unique way of expression. Uneasy relationships. Traumatic impact of the Algerian war. Bold experimentation which is not an end in itself.
Gion bayashi / Les Musiciens de Gion / Gion Festival Music. JP 1953. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. Piercing, sensitive, glorious, ethnographically genuine account of the Gion geisha life: the tea ceremony, the music, the dance, the financial and property relationships. One of M's top achievements.
Nahapet / Naapet - en kärna av liv. AM-SU 1977. D: Henrik Malian. tv. A draggingly monotonous account of an Armenian farmer who loses all in the 1915 genocide and dies inside but recovers finally gradually.
6.3.1983 TV: Jean Sibelius II. FI. Fine.
Shoulder Arms / Kivääri olalle vie! US 1918. Charles Chaplin. VHS. Filling the blanks among C's First National masterpieces. I had probably never seen this one either in its entirety before.
Tauno Palo. FI 1981. D: Peter von Bagh. VHS. A good portrait. Drawback: a part of Palo's address is in the form of an answer in such a way that one would expect to hear the question as well. Less intensive than B's best.
Moi, un noir. FR 1958. D: Jean Rouch. VHS. Ethnofiction of a young black man in Treichville, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in the last days of the colonial era, first person monologue covering all aspects of life from finding a woman to melancholy drinking. My knowledge of French was not good enough to understand all.
Mizoguchi Kenji no keroku / Kenji Mizoguchi, the Life of a Film Director. JP 1975. Orig. 150 min, this was 135 min. Fkl / Fst. A thorough interview-based documentary with screenwriter Yoshikata Yoda, actress Kinuyo Tanaka, etc. Perfectionism: during shooting, KM never left even for a leak, instead he had a special bottle. His Platonic love to Kinuyo Tanaka.
Musashino fujin / The Lady of Musashino. JP 1951. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. Fkl / Fh. For the Lady (Kinuyo Tanaka), Musashino is a garden that needs cultivation. For the young man, it is a dream of fertility. After-war intrigues and confused relationships. Tokyo spreads like an amoeba and destroys nature. Sumptuous, painterly sense of nature. Splendid.
Inter Rail. SE 1981. D: Birgitta Svensson. tv. I saw the conclusion only.
Air Force / Ilma on kohtalomme. US 1943. D: Howard Hawks. Fkl / Fst. A great epic on the experiences of the crew of an American bomber plane in the aerial warfare in the Pacific . No taste of paper this time from a script by Dudley Nichols. The action of the Hawksian group has now been transferred from a self-sufficient micro-world to a large context. As a result, Air Force has become quite a Fordian movie.
18.3.1983 TV: That's Hollywood 10: Saturday Matinee Heroes. US 1977. Fox TV. P: Jack Haley. Batman, Captain Marvel, Popeye, Captain America, Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Red Ryder, Dagwood and Blondie / Helmi ja Heikki, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, Star Wars.
19.3.1983 TV: Fönster mot TV-världen: Kina. A Chinese melodrama which brings to mind the archaic era of the cinema, the 1910s. A young girl's way into crime, prison, repentance and atonement.
19.3.1983 TV: Nadine Gordimer: Kärlek förbjuden. One episode from a series based on G's tales. The forbidden love affair between a white man and a black woman in South Africa.
Uwasa no onna / A Woman of Rumour. JP 1954. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. 16mm. Fkl / Fh. The triangel of enslavement in a house of paid love. A young doctor functions as the mother's pimp and the daughter's "protector". The daugher hates her mother's fate, but her anger turns into revenge. She becomes the bordello madam, who turns her bitterness into ripping off men.
23.3.1983 VHS: That's Hollywood 9: Marilyn Monroe. US 1978. Fox TV. EX: Audrey Solomon. P: Jack Haley. SC: Jack Havenick. Rare early footage, PR footage (Monkey Business, Some Like It Hot), MM in a TV commercial, the Korean tour. Film clips: The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Genlemen Prefer Blondes, Love Happy, All About Eve, Clash By Night, We're Not Married!, Don't Bother to Knock, Niagara, There's No Business Like Show Business, How to Marry a Millionaire, Some Like It Hot. And footage from Something's Got to Give (including a small clip of previously unseen footage). Chaff put together in a hurry, but interesting.
23.3.1983 VHS: Carl Sagan: Cosmos 1: Den kosmiska oceanens stränder. US 1980. The start is somewhat heavy going, I feel S's approach of a Homeric odyssey alienating. The concept is an imaginative space odyssey, a quest reaching to the end of time and space. Science fiction with the stress on the word science.
Hangmen Also Die! / Myöskin pyövelit kuolevat. US 1943. D: Fritz Lang. VHS. The atmosphere of fear and terror in Prague under the rule of Heydrich. The pressure of the assassination and the concomitant retribution: will the chain of confidence break? Pared down and impressive. Unaffected nobility and dignity.
La Pyramide humaine / Ihmispyramidi. FR 1958. D: Jean Rouch. b&w. VHS. On the friendship of white and black young people, Frenchmen and Africans on an intimate level. Takes place in Abidjan, where ?some young Frenchmen spend their holiday? What is the difference between reality and play-acting? ?A central location is a shipwrecked vessel? I made no notes immediately.
Det stora äventyret / Suuri seikkailu / The Big Adventure. SE 1953. D: Arne Sucksdorff. VHS. A feature film by the documentarist and nature-lover. The adventures of two children in the nature during the four seasons. The two main plots: the fate of the fox family; the otter saved from the hunter's bullet secretly fostered by the children. Exquisite.
Akasen chitai / Street of Shame / [the literal translation would be Red Light District]. JP 1956. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. Announced 94 min, actually 85 min. M's last movie is a richly realistic contemporary account of the Dreamland house of paid love in Yoshiwara. In this film as in Uwasa na onna the claim about M's Balzacian aspect proves well-founded. Each character is grippingly portrayed, the vicious circle of each is made clear. The background to all is the debate on prostitution in the Japanese parliament. There is an intention to fix the worst problems, but nothing happens. Dreamland is a favourite location for company parties. The hard-boiled, inhibited bosses buy entertainment for themselves. (The geisha system in Gion bayashi was different: the geisha did not need to sleep with the customer unless she wanted to.)
Red River / Punainen virta. US 1948. D: Howard Hawks. A worn 16mm print. Duration announced 125 min, actually 110 min. This is the regular "voice version" with a spoken commentary by Walter Brennan. The original "book version", the definitive version, has written intertitles instead of spoken commentary, and the final showdown is reportedly more stylishly shot and edited. Fkl / Fst. I saw the film for the first time in its entirety. In summer 1973 at the army I had watch and was able to sneak to see a part only. - A magnificent epic western. Air Force and Red River make me rethink the difference between Ford and Hawks. Would there have been any essential difference if Ford had directed this? The un-idealized account of the ruthless Texan cattle baron, who does not flinch from robbery. A brilliant tribute to work and co-operation. The cattle stampede has apparently been as dangerous on location as it is made to look on screen.
Giulietta degli spiriti / Giulietta ja viettelykset. IT 1965. D: Federico Fellini. Fkl / Fh. Gleefully inventive and embarrassingly candid. My first impression was that I prefer this to 8½. (Having seen 8½ on tv only, and I would not want to see Giulietta degli spiriti on tv.) The Fellinian spectacle is meant for the screen, not tv. I enjoy the fantastic jokes and marvellous colours. F's guilty confession. The ruthlessly treacherous male is a Fellini imitation. Stranger still, Sandra Milo seems to have been F's lover in reality, too.
En sommarsaga / A Summer Saga. SE 1943. D: Arne Sucksdorff. VHS. +
Människor i stad / People in the City. SE 1948. D: Arne Sucksdorff. VHS. +
Trut! / The Seagull. SE 1944. D: Arne Sucksdorff. VHS. Enchantingly lyrical short documentaries.
29.3.1983 VHS: Carl Sagan: Cosmos 2: En stämma i den kosmiska fugan. It picks up.
Come and Get It / Tukkikuningas. US 1936. D: Howard Hawks & William Wyler. VHS. The first part, the original accumulation of capital, is directed by Hawks. The second part, the manners and mores in society circles, by Wyler. Frances Farmer in a dual role. The mother whom the lumber king, class-conscious and in search of a wealthy marriage, discards. And the daughter with whom the lumber king's son falls in love with. There is a strong drive in the first part, and the picture is an interesting sketch for Red River. The basic story is according to Hawks "the story of my grandfather". Walter Brennan has the same role in Come and Get It and Red River.