Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (7)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (4)
Director Masahiro Shinoda takes lots of chances, using close-ups and off-kilter edits to deepen his characters. A jazzy, avant-garde score throws things even more off balance.
Pale Flower sits comfortably as one of the darker noir films ever made
They get no kicks from champagne.
a lost yakuza classic, part Bob Le Flambeur, part Rebel Without a Cause, but with an ecstatic blankness all its own.
One of the best and most powerful yakuza films ever made.
A masterful, meticulously crafted, wry meditation on fate and love that any cinema fan will appreciate.
a fresh, unique take on the yakuza films of that time. the characters are not atypical, but the focus of this story really is. clan rivalry and looming violence permeates the story but the heart of it is about a romanticism that never quite finds its expression. the film is about the romantic timidity of otherwise confident and assertive people. the climax is so effective as we never really find out what we thought we wanted to know about "the pale flower" of the gangster world, but we're somehow ok with that because our main character is ok with that. a great film.
*sigh* '64 not '74. in a lonely place as directed by melville and set in tokyo
While the French were creating the new wave movement of the 50s-60s, Japanese studios were turning out bold, fresh, new films. The yakuza drama is as old as Japanese cinema itself, but director Masahiro Shinoda joins it with expressionism and shadowy western noir themes that lean more towards fate and love than your average gangster flick.
Pale Flower is a nicely written 1960s Japanese Yakuza gangster flick, which covers gambling, love, and murder. Everything a growing person needs.
While this is a Yakuza film involving 3 gangs, the action is non-existent. This is a slow burn of a story that follows Muraki and his chance meeting with Saeko. While it is the Muraki character that is the main focus of the film, it is Saeko that will catch most people's attention. It is her lust for intense pleasures that will freak you out. Her wicked laugh during and after each intense situation will prove that you.
Pale Flower is shot entirely in black and white and it fits right in with the story. The only flaw is that there are a few dark scenes, which can be tough to make out. The plethora of gambling scenes are addictive in the way that it makes you want to participate. All those Hanafuda cards just pull you in. "Place your bets, place your bets, place your bets ..." There is also a car race scene that shows up out of nowhere and it is quite entertaining.
The acting is calm and subtle, but it works. Ryo Ikebe and Mariko Kaga carry this one to the very end. Speaking of the very end, it is brilliantly written.
This film uses good cinematography and writing to tell a decent story about living dangerously to feel something in life. If you get the chance to see this, give it a try.
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