Joseph made a post titled Dizzy With Nostalgia on his blog and commented on the failure of people in the (forgive me for any inaccurate description; it was never my scene) communist/socialist/anarchist/environmentalist/? underground scene to fully reflect on their past efforts. This isn't really a comment on that, but some reflections it engendered on the … Continue reading Hipsters and Prodigal Sons
In perfect honesty, this mid-war film does not show Ozu at his very best. The heavy hand of national propaganda can be clearly felt overpowering his characteristic light touch at several points in the film. Regardless, Ozu is always a cut above the madding crowd and this turn by Ryu is particularly impressive since he manages to convey a man who ages 30ish years over the course of the film with very little in the way of makeup.
Robert Duvall is a great actor. No one would probably argue that point. Turns out he can direct pretty well too, but what really sets this movie apart is the writing. I'm sure I won't do this one justice, but there's no way I could leave it off this list. I myself am not a part of the Pentecostal/Holiness church tradition, but I am familiar with small-town, Southern Christianity in a general way since one side of my family comes out of that. This is the most honest film portrayal I've ever seen of how that aspect of Southern life functions.
I'll put this right up front: this movie has more nudity and sexual content than any other film on the list I've put together for these posts this year. The topic does figure into the plot and thus isn't wholly gratuitous, but it would perhaps have been possible to include by indirect means the plot critical elements... If you're still here, then lets talk about the rest of movie.