Friday, June 5, 2009

Return of Three Films Make A Post

Erotic Diary Of An Office Lady (1977): Excellent Nikkatsu Roman Porn by Masaru Konuma. Asami (Asami Ogawa) works as a typical (which in case of women also means lowly) office drone in a Japanese company. A loveless affair with one of her bosses doesn't change that fact that her life is already at a dead end although she's just in her mid-twenties. Ogawa's performance and Konuma's direction make this an effective, sometimes moving piece about the coldness and alienation of office life and the terrors of being treated as a commodity instead of a person.


Jason and the Argonauts (1964): It's always a risk to revisit childhood darlings, because sense of wonder is a fleeting thing. Fortunately, I'm not too old to marvel at the wonders of Ray Harryhausen's effects. True, the acting is stiff, Hercules whack (the Italians did him better) and the script's interpretation of Greek myth dubious (as if I'd care), but at the film's heart lies enough childlike wonder to protect me from growing up for a few more hundred years.


Shadow of the Raven (1988): The little boy Trausti from The Raven Flies has grown up into a man (Reine Brynolfsson). As a freshly ordained priest, Trausti returns to his native Iceland only to get sucked into another round of blood feuds. He and his theoretical enemy Isold (Tinna Gunnlaugsdottir) decide to "ensure peace through love", but the sad fact that everyone else on the island is a homicidal maniac lays their plans and their lives to waste. Less of a Spaghetti Western and even more of a saga than its predecessor, the film is as unrelentingly bleak and beautiful in its bleakness as the landscape it takes place in. Unfortunately it's also a film I haven't got much to say about.


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