Donald Richie shares his movie memories
February 1, 2006 12:13 PM   Subscribe

And suddenly, in my memory, everything turns real: the summer breeze of Izu, the lazy sun of an early afternoon, the stale smell of water standing in the rice fields. For a moment it is that day in 1956, 37 years ago, and I am standing there, 33 years old myself. See—just to the left of the camera, just out of range. Here comes Mifune running, and there stands my younger ghost, right of that pillar, just off screen... And the summer sun beats down and the fresh breeze of Izu bathes my face, and then the story continues and the film ends and the lights go up and the students open their notebooks and I stand up and began talking about the influence of the Noh.
Donald Richie (previous post), the worldwide authority on Japanese film, shares his movie memories.
posted by matteo (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Richie's papers are in Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, in good company.
posted by matteo at 12:18 PM on February 1, 2006

Kobayashi's Rebellion


posted by matteo at 12:25 PM on February 1, 2006

from the Ikiru link:
“Sometimes I think of my death,” Kurosawa has written: “I think of ceasing to be . . . and it is from these thoughts that Ikiru came.” The story of a man who knows he is going to die, the film is a search for affirmation. The affirmation is found in the moral message of the film, which, in turn, is contained in the title: Ikiru is the intransitive verb meaning “to live.” This is the affirmation: existence is enough. But the art of simple existence is one of the most difficult to master. When one lives, one must live entirely––and that is the lesson learned by Kanji Watanabe, the petty official whose life and death give the meaning to the film.
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on February 1, 2006

Oh, such good reading! Thank you!
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:34 PM on February 1, 2006

Great post, cheers.
posted by Rothko at 12:40 PM on February 1, 2006

I first met Richie's work reading his bracketing of Kawabata's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa--such an insightful guy, thanks for the links.
posted by hototogisu at 12:52 PM on February 1, 2006

I've met Richie twice, once in the NY Japan Society when he did a reading/signing of The Donald Richie Reader, and once in the elevator of the Kinokuniya in Times Square Tokyo. He's a genuinely nice guy, and his work is fascinating.
Thanks for the link, I look forward to buying this book, and he's got 3 more coming out this year. Japanese Portraits is one I am really looking forward to.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:06 PM on February 1, 2006

Domo, matteo.
posted by shoepal at 8:09 PM on February 1, 2006

Fantastic stuff, thanks matteo.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:16 AM on February 2, 2006

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