放浪記  A Wanderer’s Notebook

hourouki.jpg

成瀬巳喜男 1962 124分 東宝スコープ

原作:林芙美子
主演:高峰秀子、草笛光代、田中絹代、加藤大介、宝田明

林芙美子の原作にあったのだろうか、中盤、シーンの頭に芙美子(高峰)の日記(散文)が挿入される。物語に一定のリズムを導入し、それが映画的時間としてうねりを生んでいるということはできるかも知れないが、結果として、単調な一人称の日記へと映画を回収してしまうことになり、成瀬作品の中では叙事的で、平凡な一代記になってしまった、というのが大方の評価だ。
しかし、「田舎司祭の日記」の一定のリズムが生み出す豊かな映像時空を経験したものにとっては、「日記調」説話が必ずしも平坦さと同調しないことは知っているつもりだ。つまり、単調さと映画は必ずしも負の関係にはないということである。
原稿に向かう作家夫婦の鬱屈とした室内シーンは、照明と空間構成によるムードが秀逸だ。あの書く前のどよーんとした陰気さは、他人事ではない気がした。

Hourouki Naruse Mikio 1962 124 minutes Toho

I wonder if the original novel by Fumiko Hayashi had it, the middle part of Naruse’s 60’s work is punctuated by the Fumiko(Hideko Takamine)’s prose superimposed at the top of each scene. It gives a constant pacing to the story and the filmic temporal-space. Some critic said that made the film told by first-person’s POV, which is very monotonous and not interesting. he mentioned the diary-style is just descriptive and not emotional, so the film was just an ordinary, mediocre work among Naruse films.
Well, we know the “monotonous pacing” doesn’t necessarily mean “boredom” in cinema. How about Bresson’s “Diary of A Country Priest”? That film carried the monotonous structure thru the entire story, but it created rich and absorbing cinema experience. So the criticism above is not true I would say.
Also the depressing tone of the writer couple (Takamine and Takarada) was well depicted by lighting and set decoration. I personally sympathized with them, since I know that pressure!

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5 Responses to “放浪記  A Wanderer’s Notebook”

  1. Gloria Says:

    I saw that film time ago and I quite liked it! But then I have yet to see a film with Hideko Takamine which I don’t like: She’s one of the most grandiose actresses in the story of movies!

    It was fascinating to see Takamine age… In fact she actually looked more plump as the elderly Fumiko Hayashi: I wonder if she actually gained weight for the part, or just the make-up was that good.

  2. cowtown11211 Says:

    Hi Gloria,

    Thanks for your note again.
    Yes, it was quite amazing to see her aging in the film.
    The make up, wardrobe, and hair made the difference although I don’t think she actually gained weight. The trailer in 1962 was great to observe that transformation.

    Atsushi

  3. Gloria Says:

    My alternative thought was that, with Miss Takamine’s countenance having a nicely rounded shape, it might be easily modelled by the make-up experts.

    I admit I’m head-over-heels in love with her acting, which was a late discovery in my life as a film-goer: it was only a few years ago when I first saw her in Onna ga Kaidan wo Ageru Toki (which made me fall in love with Mikio Naruse, Too) and every film I’ve seen after has confirmed that positive first impression: Horouki is a testimonial to her skill as an actress… How different is her Droopy-eyed Fumiko from her radiant -if melancholic- Keiko in the other Naruse film! and she’s great as both!

    Now, if you would allow me a question: I’ve seen that Miss Takamine’s autobiographies are quite available at Amazon.jp, but not so much a 1991 book which seems to be about her career, and looks pretty interesting (the link is not Amazon’s, but from other online source):
    http://books.livedoor.com/item4582943225.html

    I’d like to get a copy of that book and I wonder if you know of any online vendors other than Amazon which don’t mind to sell to an European customer

  4. cowtown11211 Says:

    actually the link says it’s out of stock. Also I searched a couple of different Japanese online bookstores. They all say out of stock. I’m sorry 🙂

  5. Gloria Says:

    Hi Atsushi. Thanks for checking it for me 😉

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