Cinema

KINOSLANG presents WOMAN OF TOKYO and NIGHT AT THE CROSSROADS

Friday, November 8 at 8 PM

Doors 7:30 pm; $5 admission

WOMAN OF TOKYO (女の京東, TOKYO NO ONNA. Ozu Yasujiro, 1933. Japan. 47 minutes)

“Talking pictures began in 1931 in Japan, and viewers welcomed this new medium. However, Ozu-san was against it and persisted in making silent films…. He would not jump on the bandwagon. (“I know Japanese films will become all talkies one day, but before they do I think we should create a new silent form,” Ozu said 1933). He released the silent film WOMAN OF TOKYO in 1933. The film strongly reflects the anxiety and crises caused by the Great Depression and tells the dark and tragic story of a poor brother and his older sister living in Tokyo. She works at a bar at night and sells her body in order to earn money for her brother’s school tuition. He learns of what she does and (takes irreversible action). Even though this film was completely different from the previous slapstick comedies directed by Ozu-san, he did not give up on imitating American films. In the film, Ozu-san boldly included part of a film by Ernst Lubitsch that he loved. (…) As a result of this audacious insertion of another filmmaker’s work, viewers come to realize what it is like to be under the Depression in America. The Japanese social conditions in which the brother and his girlfriend live come to overlap with the American situation.”  (Kiju Yoshida, “The All-Important Archeo-Cinematic Scene”, 1988)

WOMAN OF TOKYO will be presented silent, without musical accompaniment. 

NIGHT AT THE CROSSROADS  (LA NUIT DU CARREFOUR. Jean Renoir, 1932. France. 75 minutes) 

“I tried to give the impression that the mud sticks when you walk in the mud and that the fog blocks your view when you walk in the fog.” (Jean Renoir) 

A film so thick with sound and atmosphere that it irrevocably stamped three of the most radical practitioners of modern film sound invention — Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, who together hailed it the greatest of all thrillers and one of the most beautiful films in existence — and moved critic Jonathan Rosenbaum to write “the voluptuous use of direct sound in Renoir’s LA NUIT DU CARREFOUR (…) has moral and political consequences by proposing that we live in much richer, more symbiotic places than the insulated box frames conjured by most movies.” An oblique adaptation of a popular Georges Simenon mystery novel of the same name and the first film to put Simenon’s famous Inspector Maigret to work in cinema (here played by Renoir’s brother Pierre), LA NUIT DU CARREFOUR takes place at a quite real crossroads between industrial and agricultural France called Bouffémont, 19 miles north of Paris, where a Jewish diamond dealer, Goldberg, has been murdered. Inspector Maigret is called in to investigate, but as the “obscure network of nocturnal grapplings and multiple character reversals” (Rosenbaum) begin to mount, and the overwhelming sensuousness of the locale and people predominate, any clear solution to the mystery is overtaken. “LA NUIT DU CARREFOUR’s internal, psychic elements are the eerie continuity between sleep, drugs, delirium and dying; and the contrast between a diffuse yet pervasive ignorance, and the passive, roving acuity of Maigret. The events seem not so much committed by the characters as exuded by them, like sweat, or by the atmosphere, like rain.” 

preceded by

“The Peddler” sequence from HISTOIRE(S) DU CINÉMA (Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-98. 4 minutes) 

“There was a novel by Ramuz that told, that one day a peddler arrived in a village by the Rhone river and that he became friends with everyone because he could tell a thousand and one stories, but then a storm came and lasted for days and days and so the peddler told them it is the end of the world, it is the end of the world, but the sun finally came back, and the villagers chased the poor peddler away, this peddler was cinema, it was the cinema, it was the cinema, it was.” (JLG)

Program total running time: 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Kino Slang Presents” is a series of repertory cinema screenings programmed by Andy Rector at the EPFC. It continues the cinematographic and historical excavation, proceedings by montage and combination, silent alarms and naked dawns of the thirteen-year-old blog, Kino Slang.

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