Sweet Bean (An, Japan-France-Germany 2015)

For reasons I don’t fully understand, the Japanese director Naomi Kawase divides film critics and audiences. A regular presence at Cannes, her films have until recently been seen only at festivals in much of the English-speaking world. It wasn’t until Still the Water from 2014 that she achieved a UK release. Despite all her international… Read More Sweet Bean (An, Japan-France-Germany 2015)

A Hen in the Wind (Kaze no naka no mendori, Japan 1948)

This is the ‘makeweight’ title in the BFI’s double package of Blu-ray/DVD versions of An Autumn Afternoon, the last film by Ozu Yasujiro in 1962. Jonathan Rosenbaum’s essay included in the package makes clear that A Hen in the Wind has been neglected by many critics and considered one of Ozu’s minor works. Ozu himself is… Read More A Hen in the Wind (Kaze no naka no mendori, Japan 1948)

Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru, Japan 2013)

(These notes were written for an Evening Class titled ‘All in the Family’ and covering ‘family dramas’ of different kinds, held at the National Media Museum in 2013) Like Father, Like Son won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and on its release in Japan became an instant hit with Japanese audiences, opening at No… Read More Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru, Japan 2013)