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Yesterday I was looking for a topic to praise the awesomeness of The Human Condition, the epic 9.5 hour trilogy by Kobayashi (all 3 films are in my top 100 of all time now), and I couldn't find a topic.
Today I saw that Raul Ruiz died and I wanted to say RIP Raul and state that I really wanna see Mistérios De Lisboa, and again I had no place for that.
So here's a topic for all our film discussion that doesn't belong to the current year or the year we're polling this particular moment.
I haven't seen Human Condition but it's definitely somewhere on my list.
Ruiz's death is really a shame. I've seen a bunch of his films. Sometimes they can be a little overly intellectual (And that's coming from me), but when he strikes a chord he really strikes it. Hypothesis of a Stolen Painting and Suspended Vocation are great experiments. Three Crowns of a Sailor is more accessible, and also very good. I haven't seen Mysteries of Lisbon.
Suspended Vocation is interesting. Basically, the premise is that there's this film about a priest. They started to film it in 1940 as pro-Catholic propaganda, then the project was cancelled, and somebody else tried to finish the film in 1960 as anti-Catholic propaganda. Then later, a third group came along and spliced the two together. Really, Ruiz shot all of it himself, so we get one continuous plot constantly shifting between the two versions, one of which is in Bressonian style black and white, and the other of which is in more New Wave-ish style in color. What the film is really is a study of propaganda and how slight shifts in tone make us see the same story differently.
That's the sort of thing Ruiz was interested in, and one of the cases where it really worked.
Ruiz also came in second in Mubi's 'Director's Cup' last year. That's how I came to see many of his films.
I've only seen parts one and two of the The Human Condition trilogy. I liked the first part, but I thought a bit less of the second. That's the reason why I haven't seen the last part yet. Well, that and the fact the the films are pretty long (all over three hours).
Speaking of Masaki Kobayahsi, I prefer Seppuku (Harakiri).
I would rank the films I've seen by him as follows (all-time rankings between brackets):
1. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (#37)
2. Harakiri (#40)
3. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (#81)
4. The Human Condition II: Road To Eternity (#100)
5. Samurai Rebellion (~#300)
watch kwaidan if you haven't, if only to see what miyajima can do w/ color. it's highly expressionist however, if that kind of thing turns you off