Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kenji Mizoguchi's "Sansho dayu" (1954)

English titles: Legend of Bailiff Sansho, Sansho the Bailiff, The Bailiff





Nature, diagonals, water... Everything is expressive. One of the most beautiful dialogues in all cinema:
– It's my mother's voice.
– No, it's the sound of the waves.

Symmetries constantly broken, there is almost always an angle to the shots, it's very rarely head-on. There's perspective. There's distance. "It's a cold world indeed" says someone in Sancho Dayu, "Isn't life torture?" sings another, "A man is not a human being without mercy. Even if you're hard on yourself, be merciful to others." teaches someone.

Through Mizoguchi, we learn to seek something extraordinary...



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