Machiko Kyo

Machiko Kyo

Machiko Kyo Quick Links

Film RSS

The Teahouse Of The August Moon Review


Good
When Marlon Brando is first encountered in The Teahouse of the August Moon, Daniel Mann's 1956 film version on John Patrick's Pulitzer Prize winning comedy of 1953, you want to fight back. Here is Brando in comic Asian stereotype mode, playing Okinawan interpreter Sakini -- Brando hunched over obsequiously, his eyes jury-rigged Oriental style and speaking in an Okinawan accent, and you think, "Brando, you should be ashamed of yourself." But then movie memory kicks in and you recall nasty and virulent racial debauches like Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Brando's downplaying doesn't look so bad after all. Although watching a tall American white guy play a short translator from Okinawa is still discomforting, at least you don't feel compelled to rise up and heave your boots through the TV.

Sakini is the audience's guide and master of ceremonies (he beckons the audience into the film by way of a direct address to the camera) in this sharp and funny comedy about American imperialism after the end of World War II. Sakini is the interpreter for the pompous American commander Colonel Purdy (played by Paul Ford, recreating his Broadway performance, a role he would later hone to perfection as the iconic Colonel Hall in Sgt. Bilko), a windbag idiot who makes declarations like, "I'm going to teach these natives the meaning of democracy if I have to shoot every one of them" (Donald Rumsfeld couldn't have said it better). Purdy orders the bumbling Captain Fisby (Glenn Ford, in a fine comic turn, channeling Charlie Ruggles) to lord it over a small Okinawan village and give the villagers a taste of benevolent American democratic dictatorship by making the villagers build a school and organize a "Ladies League For Democratic Action." Sakini goes along with him.

Continue reading: The Teahouse Of The August Moon Review

Ugetsu Review


Extraordinary
Kenji Mizoguchi's mist-shrouded masterpiece Ugetsu is a morality tale that is ever mindful of the frail humanity of its characters. Set in Japan during the tumultuous sixteenth century - when the country was torn apart by civil wars - the film follows what happens to two couples, living the simple life in a small village, who get swept up in the insanity and lose their moorings to reality.

Genjuro (Masayuki Mori) is a farmer and part-time potter who's sick of being poor and is delighted when he finds that a trip with his wares to a nearby town earns him a pretty penny. Quickly getting greedy, he works night and day to make more product to sell, although his wife Miyagi (Kinuyo Tanaka) urges caution. Genjuro's brother-in-law Tobei (Eitaro Ozawa) is also sick of the simple life, but his way out is the dream of a little kid: He wants to be a samurai. His first attempt to run away and join one of the roving armies doesn't work out so well, though, with the samurai kicking him away, laughing and saying to come back when he has armor and a spear. After the village is ransacked by soldiers, Genjuro's kiln and wares somehow survive, so all four of them head to town to sell everything they can to rebuild their lives. All that comes before this point - pillaging, poverty, hopelessness - is just precursor, though, as the men are each presented with the ability to live out their dreams, opportunities they quickly snatch, leaving their loved ones to fend for themselves in a lawless and ghost-plagued land.

Continue reading: Ugetsu Review

Machiko Kyo

Machiko Kyo Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Paloma Faith - Better Than This Video

Paloma Faith - Better Than This Video

With her fifth studio album 'Infinite Things' set to be released later this year, Paloma Faith unveils a music video for her newest song 'Better Than...

Album of the Week: Blur's The Great Escape turns 25

Album of the Week: Blur's The Great Escape turns 25

'The Great Escape' was released on this day (September 11th) in 1995.

Stormzy - Superheroes Video

Stormzy - Superheroes Video

With his forthcoming album 'Heavy is the Head' set for release this December, Stormzy has dropped an animated video for a new single entitled...

Machiko Kyo Movies

Ugetsu Movie Review

Ugetsu Movie Review

Kenji Mizoguchi's mist-shrouded masterpiece Ugetsu is a morality tale that is ever mindful of the...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews