Cold Day in the Park

Lovely images from the end of THE SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN, directed by Mikio Naruse, written by top screenwriter Yôko Mizuki, photographed by Masao Tamai — who had just come off GODZILLA.

Since the film is mostly interiors and streets, this sudden expansiveness imparts a refreshing liberation — which the characters feel along with the audience. They don’t run around to the tune of Can’t Buy Me Love or anything like that, but they get the benefit.

The actors are Setsuko Hara of TOKYO STORY fame, Japanese cinema’s good daughter, and Sô Yamamura, who also worked for Ozu as well as appearing in a dizzying array of more commercial stuff, from LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN PERIL to TORA TORA TORA to GUNG HO.

My first Naruse! I shall see more.

Typically by now I would have announced The Late Show: The Late Movies Blogathon, but I have left it… rather late. I shall let you guide me: if anyone comments below with an idea for a piece they could write about any filmmaker’s late work, then we shall declare ALL SYSTEMS GO.

11 Responses to “Cold Day in the Park”

  1. I could write something about Karel Reisz’s last feature Everybody Wins (1990) also Arthur Miller’s final screenplay.

    It’s a deeply strange neo-noir with Nick Nolte as the detective, Debra Winger as the femme fatale & Will Patton as a biker/cult leader forming a religion around a Civil War colonel.

    There’s probably a few hundred words in that…

  2. bensondonald Says:

    “Clash of the Titans”? It was Ray Harryhausen’s final film (excepting some onscreen cameos), but his first big studio film — previously he and his producer essentially got financing and went off on their own to make the movie. Maybe working within the studio system sealed his resolve to retire.

    Local footnote: Daughter Vanessa Harryhausen is active in the Scottish Castles Association.

  3. The Harryhausen Archive is in Edinburgh, close to my place of work, but I haven’t been in yet.

    YES to both of those, thanks! Two guests = a blogathon!

  4. I’ve been wanting to kick off a new blog project, and the blogathon would be a great kick in the pants to do it… I’ve been wanting, not very originally perhaps, to do The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse…

  5. Excellent! Hopefully including the mystery monkey…

  6. bensondonald Says:

    Unfortunately, all I can really do is pitch random notions and bloviate abstract guesses based on the more substantial work of others. You may have noticed.

  7. Well, let’s have a whole post of that! It’s an undervalued approach.

  8. I’d like to write something about Ozu’s Late Autumn, if that’s okay.

  9. More than OK! Excellent!

    The blogathon runs from Dec 1-7, which is rather soon. I better start watching things myself!

  10. I was lucky to attend a Naruse series years ago. Marvelous filmmaking. A good start would be Late Chrysanthemums (1954), Floating Clouds (1955), and When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960).

  11. We’ll definitely see more! Next up will probably be Tadashi Imai, who sounds really interesting too. Both worked with screenwriter Yoko Mizuki.

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