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Miyagawa at MoMa – A Cinematographer for Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Ozu, Kon Ichikawa etc.

April 15th, 2018
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    Yojimbo -( Kurosawa, cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa )

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    Sansho Dayu (Kenji Mizoguchi, cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa)

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    Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa)

    At MoMa calendar
    Kazuo Miyagawa: Japan’s
    Greatest Cinematographer
    Through April 29
    The Museum of Modern Art

    Kazuo Miyagawa (Japan Society)

    Born in Kyoto on 25 February 1908, he was introduced at the age of 12 to the art of Sumi-e, a style of ink wash painting in which the dilution of the ink and the mastery of the brush allows the artist to obtain every possible shade of grey. Miyagawa would later state that “it was my training in ink wash painting that really taught me how to see.”

    See more AFCinema

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    Kenji Mizoguchi (on the chair), Miyagawa (behind) and actresses on the set of his film “Street of Shame (Akasen Chitai)

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    with Michio Kogure..from Sisters of Gion.

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    (Directed by Yasuzo Masumura)
    Miyagawa filmed Ayako Wakao in Ozu’s Floating Weed, Gion’s Sisters.

  • Floating Weeds Floating Weeds Yasujiro Ozu

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    Ozu Yasujiro and Kazuo Miyagawa

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    Another of Miyagawa’s masterful achievements was on Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad (1965), where he supervised 164 cameramen, who used 234 different lenses to capture the dramatic intensity of competition in extreme close-up.

    Tokyo Olympiad - Kon Ichikawa

    George Clooney Customized by Yayoi Kusama + Foto of Yayoi & Joseph Cornell

    March 22nd, 2018
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    Yayoi Kusama with one of her Infinity Net paintings in New York, c. 1961 (repost)

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    (via)
    George Clooney was customized by Yayoi Kusama

    Photographed by Emma Summerton, Clooney is decked out in a Giorgio Armani suit, shirt, bow tie, and shoes that are all customized by the artist Yayoi Kusama. According to the accompanying W article, the Japanese artist admitted to not being familiar with who the Hollywood star was.. (2013 – old news)

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    Kusama and Joseph Cornell New York 1971

    In 1972, American assemblage and collage artist Joseph Cornell died. Twenty-six years her senior, Cornell had been Kusama’s closest friend. New York was by this time home to a community of Japanese artists, but Kusama had avoided the associations many of her compatriots formed with groups such as the anti-art happening bunch in the neo-Dada group Fluxus.
    “I had gone to New York to be independent,” she says, “Not to join a group.”
    Cornell’s death left Kusama dangerously isolated, and her mental condition began to deteriorate. She experienced frequent hallucinations and bouts of severe depression and developed heart problems. Heeding her parents entreatments, Kusama returned to Japan. Her father died two years later, and despite out-patient psychiatric treatment, Kusama’s anxiety neurosis was now unmanageable. In 1977 she entered the psychiatric institution.
    Kusama has lived in the same hospital for over 20 years. There is no furniture, save a bed. Her 12 square-meter room has a big, French-style bay window that looks out onto a small garden. Kusama sometimes watches people playing tennis in a court that lies behind the garden.
    Every morning after breakfast, Kusama walks five minutes up Gaien Higashi street to her studio to paint. She walks back to the room for lunch, then returns to her studio and works through the afternoon. Kusama takes her dinner at the hospital before retiring each evening.
    “It’s very comfortable, very private” says Kusama, “And very simple, I like it.”

    Yayoi Kusama loves pumpkins and polka dots

    Takuma Nakahiro, Critic/Photographer, Collaboration with Daido, Shuji Terayama, Shomei

    December 10th, 2017
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    Takuma Nakahira – Okinawa (Japan Times)

    This solitary figure was the late Takuma Nakahira, then at the height of his influence as both a photographer and radical cultural critic, and now revered together with Daido Moriyama as an originator of the are-bure-boke (rough, blurry, out-of-focus) style of black-and-white photography associated with the turbulent urbanization and political activism of late 1960s Japan.

    For a Language to come (MoMa – Takuma’s photos for the 1971 Paris Biennial)

    Takuma Nakahiro (Pinterest)

    Aperture

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    Daido Moriyama

  • Artforum

    Nakahira started out as an editor for a left-wing journal in the mid-’60s, but left this post to help organize a major historical survey of Japanese photography at the invitation of photographer Shōmei Tōmatsu. As he transitioned into being a full-time photographer in the late ’60s, often collaborating with Daidō Moriyama and the poet-playwright Shuji Terayama, Nakahira sought to test photography’s capacity to engage with and incite critical thought.

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    Shuji Terayama (born on Dec 10) – he was Pencil Dracula

    Klaus Kinski was directed by Terayama see more photos and video here)

  • Master Photographer Shomei Tomatsu

  • His Final Performance, the Suicide of Yukio Mishima on Nov 25, 1970

    November 25th, 2017
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    Patriotism written, directed and acted by Yukio Mishima

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    Kishi Keiko on the left and Jean Cocteau on the right

  • John Nathan and Donald Richie on Yukio Mishima (Youtube)

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    Mishima – A Vision of the Void - by Marguerite Yourcenar.. (Photo of Mishima by Hosoe).
    Hijikata, Mishima, Hosoe, Tomatsu Donald Richie (see more photos here)

  • R.I.P Yukio Mishima Nov 25, 1970.

  • Going to school Yukio_Mishima_1931
    Japan Studies – Chozick

    But by age nine, Mishima abandoned transvestitism, noting that: ‘it was tacitly required that I act like a boy. The reluctant masquerade had begun’ (Confessions, 27)

    The Tragic Life and Death of Yukio Mishima

    Yukio Mishima had a darker side: tormented in his youth by a disturbed grandmother with aristocratic pretensions, shamed by his overbearing father into hiding his early work..

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    Paul Schrader directing Mishima, A Life in 4 Chapters, his sister in law acted as his interpreter with Japanese crew and actors.
    His brother Leonard knew Mishima.

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    Akutagawa Hiroshi, Mishima and Donald Keene
    (via)

  • Two Photos of Yayoi Kusama, One from New York, Another from Tokyo Bay

    August 29th, 2017
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    Yayoi Kusama with one of her Infinity Net paintings in New York, c. 1961

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    Yayoi Kusama at Tokyo Bay 1993

    Both photos (via Red List)

  • Yayoi Kusama banned journalists from her studio.

  • Happy Girls Day in Japan – March 3 is Hinamatsuri Day – 2017

    March 3rd, 2017
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    Dolls trailer (Directed by Takeshi Kitano, Poland gave this the best film award – costume design by Yoji Yamamoto)

    Name these girls – Happy Hinamatsuri album

    Google Hinamatsuri

    The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Hinamatsuri traces its origins to an ancient Japanese custom called hina-nagashi (雛流し, lit. “doll floating”), in which straw hina dolls are set afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles or bad spirits with them.(via wiki)

  • Meet Jesse jesse

    Captive Girls (previous post)

  • More delicous performances at the museum..

    Action, Arnachy, Audacity-Seijun Suzuki B Film Visionary Dies at 93

    February 22nd, 2017
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    Yumeji (Kenji Sawada as Yumeji, artist/illustrator)

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    Branded to Kill (Shishido Joe tried plastic surgery on his cheeks to get more work as an actor)
    See the trailer (Branded to Kill – youtube)

  • Youth of the Beast review

  • Seijun Suzuki dies aged 93 -
    Seijun Suzuki who inspired Tarantino and Jarmusch dies at 93

    Film-maker who paired pop art visuals and yakuza hitmen in Tokyo Drifter leaves behind a singular, surreal body of work that gained international acclaim

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    Kawase, Koreeda & Clara Law + Looking back on Kiki & Nagase’s Off Beat Films

    September 16th, 2016
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    Naomi Kawase

    Sweet Bean (Nytimes) - A delicacy unites a vendor and an old woman.

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    Cannes festival.

    Kiki, for whom After the Storm is her fifth Koreeda film, described the director as among one of the most observant she has seen in her 55-year career.

    Koreeda’s new film, After the Storm.

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    Still Walking – Hirokazu Kore eda (previous post)

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    Autumn Moon directed by Clara Law

    Full film ofAutumn Moon by Clara Law here (Youtube)

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    Clara Law

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    Mystery Train - Jim Jarmusch

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    Nagase in Cold Fever.

    Cold Fever (Icelandic film) ..

  • Junichiro Tanizaki – In Praise of Shadow + The Tatoo on Ayako Wakao

    July 24th, 2016
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  • Irezumi 1aaIrezumiYasuzoMasumura
    (Directed by Yasuzo Masumura)

    “This painting shows your future,” Seikichi said, pointing to the woman under the cherry tree — the very image of the young girl, “All these men will ruin their lives for you.”— “The Tattooer” by Junichiro Tanizaki

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    (Ayako Wakao, Funakoshi, Kyoto Kishida)
    Manji directed by Masumura.

  • The Key to Junichiro Tanizaki
    (See a trailer of Berlin Affair, and Makioka Sisters and film still of the Key – previous post)

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    Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

  • Baron Raymund Von Stillfried – a Pioneer Photographer of Meiji Japan

    July 20th, 2016
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    Baron Raimund von Stillfried, also known as Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rathenitz, was an Austrian photographer.

    (See more photos )here.

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    Japan times book review of Baron Raimund von sillfried – a pioneer photographer.

    Baron Raimund von Stillfried, a 19th-century pioneer of photography in Yokohama, was the first in Japan to recognize the new medium’s potential as a global marketing tool. Adept at producing theatrical souvenir photos, Stillfried also took the first ever photograph of Emperor Meiji and shocked Vienna when he imported Japanese teenage girls to the city to work in a mock teahouse.

    Portrait of Emperor Meiji Emperor Meiji by Von Stillfried

    More about Enigmatic Emperor by Donald Keene here.

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    Baron Raimund von Stillfried, Furniture Shop, hand-coloured albumen silver photograph, c. 1875,

    Kenji Mizoguchi (May 16, 1898 – August 24, 1956) – & His Actresses

    May 16th, 2016
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    Kenji Mizoguchi and actresses on the set of his film “Street of Shame (Akasen Chitai)
    Kenji Mizoguchi (溝口 健二 Mizoguchi Kenji, May 16, 1898 – August 24, 1956)

    10 Essential Films- Kenji Mizoguchi

    Some must-see titles from the long career of one of the great masters of Japanese cinema, famed for his exquisite travelling shots and fierce critiques of his country’s patriarchal inequality.

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    Sansho Dayu

    Based on an ancient legend, as recounted by celebrated author Mori Ōgai (in his short story of the same name, written in 1915), and adapted by Mizoguchi, Sanshō Dayū [Sanshō the Steward, aka Sanshō the Bailiff] is both distinctively Japanese and as deeply affecting as a Greek tragedy. Described in its opening title as “one of the oldest and most tragic in Japan’s history”, Mizoguchi depicts an unforgettably sad story of social injustice, family love, and personal sacrifice – all conveyed with exquisite tone and purity of emotion. Master of Cinema

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    Tanak Kinuyo as Oharu.. she was his muse.

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    with Michio Kogure..from Sisters of Gion.

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    Yamada Isuzu in Sisters of gion, (Mizoguchi)
    Osaka elegy, (Mizoguchi)

  • Okada as Judge
    from Water Magician/Taki no Shiraito’

    Water magician

    Donald Richie writes that this was the first of Mizoguchi’s “woman’s pictures.” By this, he is referring to the many movies that Mizoguchi made which featured female lead roles and heroines.

    Mori Ogai (previous post)

    Tatsumi Hijikata – Butoh Founder with Mishima, Hosoe, Tomatsu & Donald Richie

    March 9th, 2016
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    Kamaitachi #40 (Hijikata Tatsumi), 1965 by Eikoh Hosoe
    Tatsumi Hijikata His wiki shows a photo of Hijikata and Sada Abe (In the Realm of Senses by Nagisa Oshima was loosely based on Sada Abe)

    Hijikata undertook his first Ankoku Butoh performance, Kinjiki, in 1959, using a novel by Yukio Mishima as the raw input material for an abrupt, sexually-inflected act of choreographic violence which stunned its audience. At around that time, Hijikata met three figures who would be crucial collaborators for his future work: Yukio Mishima, Eikoh Hosoe, and Donald Richie In 1962,

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    Yukio Mishima and Hijikata in Barakei – 1961 photographed by Eiko Hosoe.

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    Title: Shinjuku Turmoil
    Hijikata posed for Shomei Tomatsu 1970 (master photographer)

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    Keiya Ouchida, Hosotan, film de 1972. Chorégraphie de Tatsumi Hijikata.
    Courtesy Cinémathèque de la danse © Collection Cinémathèque de la danse

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    Eiko Hosoe photographed Kauzo Ohno
    Kazuo Ohno – previous post