5 Japanese Movies Filmed in the Spirit of Junichirō Tanizaki’s Beautiful Essay “In Praise of Shadows”

In a 1951 letter to his editor, while explaining his Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien writes: “As far as all this has symbolical or allegorical significance, Light is such a primeval symbol in the nature of the Universe, that it can hardly be analysed. The Light of Valinor (derived from light before any fall) is the light … Continue reading 5 Japanese Movies Filmed in the Spirit of Junichirō Tanizaki’s Beautiful Essay “In Praise of Shadows”

In Akira Kurosawa’s Words: “Film Director As A Military Commander”

A film director has to convince a great number of people to follow him and work with him. I often say, although I am certainly not a militarist, that if you compare the production unit to an army, the script is the battle flag and the director is the commander in the front line. From … Continue reading In Akira Kurosawa’s Words: “Film Director As A Military Commander”

Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. Ralph Waldo Emerson We might add that this applies to the filmmakers like Paolo Sorrentino as well. Sorrentino portrays the holiness of days passing and the divine in men with particular … Continue reading Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

Beauty Amidst Decay in Luchino Visconti’s “Death in Venice”

Luchino Visconti’s Death In Venice is an adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novel; it follows Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde), a composer who, due to ill health, comes to Venice. The film explores the encounter of true beauty amidst the decay – Venice is struck down by a plague toward the end of the film. The … Continue reading Beauty Amidst Decay in Luchino Visconti’s “Death in Venice”

In the Eye of the Beholder – Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors”

In its quaint particularity, Holy Motors approaches themes like sexuality, modern life, libertinism and aesthetics. It opens wih a shot of people in the theater watching a film, suggesting that film-watching experience is a dreamlike state. The film follows a day in the life of Monsieur Oscar who is, as we can tell, a businessman … Continue reading In the Eye of the Beholder – Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors”