“The least of Naruse beats the least of Welles…the best of each would prove the same result. Naruse is the greatest of Japanese masters.”
For me, none of those three statements are true. But still,
Othello 0 – When A Woman Ascends the Stairs 1
well i don’t agree with JJ either but i find such statements interesting and it says something about the great strength of both directors that anyone could think those films their least. It’s a shame one has to go out at this early stage. I’m also surprised Den rates Immortal Story so highly
Othello — 0 vs. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs — 1
I really hate having to vote against one of my favorite directors but I think Othello may be the weakest of the Welles films I have seen. Othello has some great images in it such as the opening funeral sequence, the ending, the montage of trumpets by the sea shore. Compared with Naruse’s film, there are a lot more memorable images in Othello. However, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is so perfect in its understated style and the film as a whole is better than Othello. Although Naruse’s doesn’t have very memorable images the way Othello does, there is one that is absolutely perfect:
It was nice because I got to see When a Woman Ascends the Stairs at my local cinema. As much as I hate to vote against Welles, I look forward to seeing more Naruse.
Kenji: I agree with that sentiment.
Welles is fascinating to me, because he could produce interesting [if not always perfect] work from within and outside the studio system. As well, I was thinking several days ago that I think his work somewhat reflects his career and progressing age, in terms of subject matter and the characters he portrayed.
Yes that’s a beautiful shot, Amos. At his best it’s hard to find fault with Naruse, sometimes i find him maybe a bit cramped, he was at ease with alleys and narrow views as with open ones like above. His temperament was very different from Welles, he dealt in small details and practicalities, an accepting pessimism, quiet mastery, getting on with making the best he could within studio constraints (without stirring up trouble or putting his foot down apparently), Welles the great ambitious Mr Big with a vast romantic soul, too big for the studios
Orson Welles (Othello) —1 vs Mikio Naruse (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) —0
I respected the Naruse more than I liked it. Some Japanese social dramas really get me, but this one never did. I should probably give it another shot sometime but now it’s time to vote.
I found the Welles film to be my favorite adaptation of the material, and to hear his voice doing the Bard’s work is just fantastic. I ate it all up. And I was completely surprised to hear about how low-budget it actually was and all the turmoil Welles went through to complete it.
I thought Othello was a bold and interesting choice (I’m so happy Citizen Kane wasn’t thrown out there, and it would be great to see Welles go far in the competition without this film).
Kudos to both managers.
13 – 5 Naruse
I think the play Othello is one of Shakespeare’s best, which is saying a lot (if not an original view); i find it heart-rending, how a fault is played on, leading to tragedy. Iago’s scheming is a sickener. And Welles is well suited to playing larger than life tragic figures- Kane, Othello, Falstaff. His acting credits tend to get overlooked v his reputation as director. Personally i tend to prefer his acting, screen personas to Brando!
Othello 1- when a woman ascends the stairs 0
Den likes Immortal Story because its only 60 minutes long ;)
I wonder if F For Fake would be used if Josh makes it through, that film I could see splitting voters the most.
+ it has nudity
“Naruse is the greatest of Japanese masters.”
ONE of the greatest Jerry, don’t overreact too much…there’s not just 1 best…
Personally i tend to prefer his acting, screen personas to Brando!
he’s certainly my favourite attempt at mr rochester.
Sekzee: Nah, I think there are a few that’d split people more. F for Fake is at least enjoyable, not to mention an interesting reflection on art and the validity of expertise. :)
Orson Welles (Othello) —0 vs Mikio Naruse (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) —1
Jerry has the right to post his opinion without a qualifier. Please try to refrain from unnecessary counter-commentary in future Directors’ Cup threads that don’t actually add value to the conversation. Thanks.
Othello – 1
When A Woman Ascends The Stairs – 0
I loved the camerawork of Othello, and I found the Naruse film quite boring.
Sekzee, F For Fake is the best Welles I’ve seen!
Burchett: BTW, how many more of his films have you got left?
It’s been a while since I’ve seen these films, and while I liked both, I was truly struck by the sensitivity and insight with which Naruse depicted the plight of a woman whose youth and beauty are slowly but sure slipping away in an unapologetically patriarchal society.
“Please try to refrain from unnecessary counter-commentary in future Directors’ Cup threads that don’t actually add value to the conversation.”
otherwise? will you eliminate my participation? i have the right to counter-argue absolutist comments!
The least of Naruse beats the least of Welles…
Another typical hyperbolic sweeping generalization, Jerry. The least of Naruse? You’ve seen everything by Naruse? Do you actually know how many of his films are available for viewing? And this is the worst film of his? PLEASE.
it’s funny because Jerry is also saying that Othello is the weakest of Welles…has he actually seen The Trial???
(maybe he’s Kafkaesque, ha ha ha)
ironically, i also like The Trial…
^ As do I. :)
dim if u gonna hijack the thread at least vote
The Trial is far from the weakest Welles, Dim. The Stranger is by far the weakest of his films I’ve seen.
Othello_, Orson Welles (0) — *_When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Mikio Naruse (1)*
Never particularly liked Othello as a story, but the film’s strongest aspect is undoubtedly its cinematography. One could argue that the shadows are the actual star of the show in the way they shape and set the tone of each scene. There’s a lot of style present, but don’t think this will be memorable as a Shakespearean adaptation, but rather its aforementioned camerawork.
In contrast, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is the kind of understated melodrama that the Japanese continue to perfect over the last century. I know there are a lot of Ozu fans who swear by Setsuko Hara, but I’ll take Hideko Takamine anyday. There’s something about how she carries herself that breaks my heart. Blessed with such beauty and elegance, she carries the film through her subtle facial movements. An absolute joy to watch.
Ari: If I had a gun pointed to my head, I’d have to agree. It’s still very interesting though.
I just noticed that Jose gave his vote to Othello, but has Naruse’s film bolded. So taking that into consideration:
16 – 8 Naruse