THE BURMESE HARP (Kon Ichikawa, 1956)

About the effect of war’s horror on a sensitive combatant in the Second World War, The Burmese Harp (Biruma no tategoto) is universally regarded as Kon Ichikawa’s masterpiece. It’s perhaps the most humane of all Japanese war films—indeed, of all war films whatever their country of origin. Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu monogatari (1953) may be a […]

MOUCHETTE (Robert Bresson, 1966)

From the 1937 novel Nouvelle histoire de Mouchette by Georges Bernanos, Robert Bresson’s austere, elliptical Mouchette begins with a woman seated alone in a spare church who wonders aloud how her family will manage after her impending death. We hear her footsteps trailing as she exits the shot in which she had occupied the foreground. […]

OUI NON (Jon Jost, 2002)

“But yes, the end is always death, no?” “As life, the spectacle of shadows of the cinema dissolves before our eyes.” — Jon Jost’s Oui non “The targeted numerals of the ACADEMY LEADER were hypnogogic sigils preceding the dreamstate of film.” — William Gibson, science-fiction author, coiner of the term cyberspace The visual countdown prior […]