Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ace no Joe is Style!

There is something about the style of Japanese acting that still keeps it different and fresher than so many other cultures years later. The style can often be over-the-top and beyond real, but this isn't to say that the characters become caricatures. Especially in genre cinema, they often push the boundaries of what's emotion with sharp delivery, quickly changing moods and actions, imposing gestures and by having slightly self-conscious personas without ever being narcissistic or self-absorbed. Just see the performance of men like Bunta Sugawara, Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kei Sato, Tatsuya Fuji and you'll see a certain type of acting method that spills out over all sides of the frame.

In an era of post-Actor's Studio Hollywood where method acting existed for the idea of achieving higher realism and emotion from the scrip the actor was given often at the cost of their performances teetering on the border of become over-blown and pompous, the Japanese actors achieve reality with their comic book style. By being a film, it no longer belong to reality and people already assume their disbelief and extend to their imaginations what the director wants to show them. It seems to be a continuation of kyōgen or kabuki theater where style is used as a way to connect to the audience and understands that theater (and in this case cinema) is not real life.

Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell, Bastards! (Tantei jimusho 2-3: Kutabare akutodomo) (1963) Dir. Seijun Suzuki

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nikkatsu Movie Music - Joe Shishido

Nikkatsu Eiga Ongakushu Star Series Joe Shishido

In 2008, Nikkatsu released compilation albums based either on their famous directors (Seijun Suzuki, Kon Ichikawa), actors (Yujiro Ishihara, Akira Kobayashi) or other themes (Nikkatsu New Akushon, Stray Cat Rock series) and I've been doing my best to get my hands on them, but I could just never find the one on Joe Shishido. While preparing my first real article for this site that's all about Mr. Joe Shishido, I finally did it and found the album. I had to do some deep scouring in the nether regions of the internet to find this album, but now it's mine to listen to anytime! It can be yours too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Blog? And Why About Japanese Cinema?

My recent downtrodden adventures to find a place of steady employment with decent pay in one of the worst economic seasons in decades has recently left me with a lot of free time. Instead of sulking while watching daytime television while eating pizza flavored Dorito's in a pair of underwear with rips and holes, I decided to start applying my free time to talking about something I'm passionate about: cinema!