Decoupage has written 13 reviews for films during 2018.

  • Dragnet Girl

    Dragnet Girl

    ★★★★

    Exquisite parody or at least somewhat self-conscious noir. Excepting for some uneconomical scenes with Kazuko and her brother, if you don't take the film too seriously it's really a blast.

    Kinuyo Tanaka was brilliant, and her character Tokiko's psychotic nature are really the key to unlocking the film.

  • Woman of Tokyo

    Woman of Tokyo

    Supposedly formally accomplished, but I remember very little visually about this film. Yoshiko Okada was great, there's a nice little scene of her in front of a mirror after she's just been assaulted by her brother.

    Other than that, I found Kinuyo Tanaka's performance average and the Ureo Egawa just as unlikeable as in Where Now Are The Dreams of Youth? To be fair to him, his character here was written so terribly and isn't fleshed out.

  • Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?

    Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?

    Love Ozu but I hated this film. The lead character starts out as an unlikeable frat boy and ends up even more unlikeable, repeatedly hitting his friend-turned-employee in the face.

    But there's no anti-hero here. Let's all hold hands and walk off happily ever after at the end.

  • I Was Born, But...

    I Was Born, But...

    ★★★★½

    Genuinely funny and memorable film. The child actors, Hideo Sugawara and Tokkankozô, are absolute deadpans and nail their parts. This was also Tatsuo Saito's best role.

    The little mock death and resurrection ritual makes me smile or laugh every time.

    Probably the one thing I should talk about most is the emergence of Ozu's spacial style and patterning with this film. There's but a glimmer of it present in Tokyo Chorus, but here the patterning really emerges in full form.…

  • Tokyo Chorus

    Tokyo Chorus

    ★★★★

    Great silent film from Yasujiro Ozu, pretty much the first "Ozu pic".

    The director and actors perfectly capture family domestic life in both comedic and dramatic ways. The father-son relationship with Tokihiko Okada and Hideo Sugawara previews some elements of Ozu's subsequent masterpiece, I Was Born, But ...

    Without question, Okada was a better dramatic actor than Ozu's other leading man, Tatsuo Saito, but you can see how Okada was a perfect fit for this film, while Saito was better…

  • The Lady and the Beard

    The Lady and the Beard

    ★★

    Probably more funny to contemporary Japanese audiences. Upon further research I can see how much of the comedy can be lost on modern viewers, and reminds me how practically all comedy fades over time.

    That said, I thought the genre blending was a horrible misfire, compared to the same successful approach Ozu applied in Walk Cheerfully.

    The film just gets too busy at the end.

  • That Night's Wife

    That Night's Wife

    ★★★

    Good silent film with influences from German expressionism, until the ending at least. The ending just repeated over and over again. Ozu didn't know how to finish it. He dragged out the emotions several times. Each time you see the ending get repeated, you're tempted to roll your eyes.

    (see what I did there?)

    Emiko Yagumo really delivered a great performance. She was the star of the film.

  • I Flunked, But...

    I Flunked, But...

    ★★

    Some of the visual cheating gags were pretty good, but otherwise this felt more like a bland sitcom and was boring to watch.

  • Walk Cheerfully

    Walk Cheerfully

    ★★★★

    One of my favorite early Ozu films, with its kindhearted, stylish, genre blending approach.

    Yes it's nominally a crime film, but there are no real gangsters here. It's just cinematic pastiche, a small-time gang of hoodlums whose leader has a crisis of conscience. Kenji falls for the good girl Yasue. You get the feeling that Ozu finds the flashy Westernized characterizations attractive, but he's really an old-fashioned sentimentalist at heart. The final clothesline shots are as Ozu as they come.

  • A Straightforward Boy

    A Straightforward Boy

    Love Ozu, but this was terrible and poorly set up. Somehow became a viral sensation and the little kid actor, Tomio Aoki, even changed his name to the title of the movie, Tokkankozô, to capitalize on its popularity.

    Black comedy can be funny and ok, but it's especially important to frame the scenario correctly. I just felt like that wasn't the case here.

  • I Graduated, But...

    I Graduated, But...

    Impossible to rate since it's but a fragment of an otherwise lost film. Boring to watch, but the composition looks attractive and good.

  • Fighting Friends

    Fighting Friends

    It's not fair to assign a star rating, since this is but a fragment of an otherwise lost film. That said, the fragment was borderline unwatchable. Standard early Ozu plot of two young men competing for a girl, but excessively melodramatic, poorly acted, and then what do you know except the girl rides off with someone else and the two friends reunite and wish her well. Couldn't be less realistic.