Light

The Limits

Then in the darknesss
The horizontal becomes vertical
Wrapped in engineered textile products
The feet find the risers as the first
Motion of the day begins
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Then & Now

Ballad of Narayama

Keisuke Kinoshita was already an established and respected film director when he decided to make this heartwarming and, at times, bittersweet tale about love, loss and traditions.  It is impossible to overstate the importance of traditions in Japanese culture. They act as a sort of signpost, providing guidance and moral direction in a world seemingly devoid of those qualities.  Kinoshita was highly prolific, turning out some 42 films in the first 23 years of his extraordinary career.  Although lesser known than some of his contemporaries, such as Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu, he was nonetheless a household figure in his home country, beloved by both critics and audiences from the 1940s through the 1960s.  His unique style and willingness to look at different sides of any given issue captured the fundamental essence of Japanese culture.  His most successful and best-known film was “Nijushi No Hitomi” (Twenty-Four Eyes), which won the Kinema Jumpo Award, one of Japan’s top film prizes, as the best movie of 1954.  What sets the story apart from conventional melodrama is the way in which it follows the relationship between a female teacher and her 12 pupils over the course of three decades, including the heartbreak and devastation of World War II.
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Adaptation

Woman in the Dunes

Easily one of the most captivating and puzzling tales of the twentieth century, Kobo Abe’s Woman in the Dunes conveys both existential angst and a very layered formal structure that suggests the price society pays for categorizing some people as worthy while others are regarded as only a few rungs above the lowest genus in the animal kingdom.  As directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara, this timeless tale of lost individuals seeking solace and comfort through deception and abandonment is at one puzzling and profoundly human.
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Fantasy

The Day of The Locust

Nathanael West was an author of extraordinary vision and ruthless imagination.  His novel, The Day of The Locust,  first appeared in 1939, nineteen months before its author’s premature death.  The story was seen as an extremely contemporary book with a thesis rooted in the social and political anxieties of its time.  The book has stuck around – as one of its Hollywood low-lifes might have put it, to become a standard representing the most sustained and complex vision, as well as the valedictory creation of an important American novelist.  Seen from the vantage point of almost eighty years down the road, The Day of The Locust now seems, as certain works will, both necessary and inevitable.
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