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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Yasujirō Shimazu: Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934)

Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934)
movie poster
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... a portrayal of everyday people in which a girl falls in love with the boy next door ... an unexpected complication arises when her married sister returns home and also sets her eyes on the neighbor; bittersweet, charming and rather lovely ... (Trolley Freak)

... a great example of "the poetry of everyday life" and a presentation of the moments in life that seem to be mundane, but affect us heavily ... (InsertOzuReferencehere)

... poetic, beautiful, ethereal like an countryside aquarelle ... (namnhan2003)

... nostalgic, beautiful, cute ... (筐桜)

It seemed at the beginning a bit boring, or a bit dry, but after five minutes I started to enjoy it enormously, to be totally interested and totally amused by what was going there. A movie made in 1934, taking place in a suburb of Tokyo, and I felt connected to them, to the youngsters and to their parents, falling in love together with them, smoking and drinking together with the young ones, just to make impression, like them, and getting after that a headache, like them again, doing smalltalk and getting drunk with sake, together with the grown ups, observing each bit of distance between them and us, in time and in space, accepting these distances and going on with my enjoyment among them, immersed in their mundane world of small miracles. Making fun of them while betting on what'll follow in the next scene, keeping fingers crossed. It's the Japan of the thirties, with all its problems (German influence, Korea, and so on - all this comes casually now and then in the movie - together with their passion for baseball), all this, while youngsters are the same everywhere and in any epoch, grown ups the same. Any distance, any difference between then and now, between here and there, between us and them, all this doesn't matter any more, because their universe is surreal and ethereal, and it's for all seasons. It's a flurry of fresh air this movie. Why the end is inconclusive? Or better said, why this movie doesn't have a proper end, an outcome so to speak? I think it's better this way, because we know that life will solve anyway all their problems of love and jealousy, we have just met them in the movie, these young guys, and will keep in touch.

And speaking now strictly about the cinematic qualities? At least this one: what a great framing for each image!If not for other obvious qualities (lively plot, and so on), I would love to watch this movie anytime I need to rest my soul and my taste with perfect image framing. It cannot be more, it's the absolute. I have to watch one more movie by Shimazu, as soon as it gets.

(Yasujirō Shimazu)



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