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Ichikawa Kon Flamboyant Stylist. Ichikawa Kon Ichikawa made 80 feature films between 1946 and 2006 “I don’t have any unifying theme. I just make pictures.

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Presentation on theme: "Ichikawa Kon Flamboyant Stylist. Ichikawa Kon Ichikawa made 80 feature films between 1946 and 2006 “I don’t have any unifying theme. I just make pictures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ichikawa Kon Flamboyant Stylist

2 Ichikawa Kon Ichikawa made 80 feature films between 1946 and 2006 “I don’t have any unifying theme. I just make pictures I like …”

3 Ichikawa Kon Born in 1915 Entered Kyoto JO Studio as an animator in 1933. When JO was merged with PCL in 1937 and became Toho, he became an assistant director.

4 Ichikawa belongs to the generation of the directors who started career during WWII. He became a prominent post-war film director along with Kurosawa Akira and Kinoshita Keisuke.

5 Ichikawa Kon His childhood love of drawing and his dream of being an painter. His fascination with chambara and samurai films His love of the Disney animations ‘I am a cartoonist and I think that the greatest influence on my films (besides Chaplin)is probably Disney”.

6 Ichikawa Kon Met Yumiko Nogi (later Wada Natto), a translator, at Toho Studios. Wada Natto became a screenwriter for most of Ichikawa’s films. She agreed to marry him after the completion of his first film.

7 Debuted as director with Musume Dojoji (A Girl at Dojoji Temple) in 1945 Mainly worked on screwball comedies and satires in his early career

8 Mr. Pu (1953) is about a school teacher who goes paralyzed with the fear of A-bomb and The Millionaire (1954) is an absurd comedy on a man who is determined to avoid to be a nuclear target and moves to a derelict house only to find his neighbour making an A-bomb.

9 Cold War - fear of the outbreak of a nuclear war Daigo Fukuryu Maru, exposed and contaminated by nuclear fallout near Bikini Atoll, 1st March, 1954 Godzilla (1954)

10 Ichikawa from metteur en scène to auteur. 19515 films 19525 films 19534 films 19544 films 19552 films 19563 films 19573 films 19581 film 19593 films 19603 films 19611 film

11 Ichikawa’s Films In the later part of the 50s Ichikawa turned to more serious subjects. The Burmese Harp (1956) a lyrical epic about a Japanese soldier who became a Buddhist monk from the guilt of his complicity with killing.

12 Ichikawa’s Films Enjo (1958) is about a novice monk who sets fire on Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavillion) as he does not want to watch its purity and beauty being tainted by human corruption and greed.

13 Ichikawa’s Films Fires on the Plain (1959) is about a soldier in the retreating army in the Philippines who refuses to eat human flesh despite the desperate shortage of food.

14 Punishment Room (1956) is about a college student who has no respect for his hard-working parents. He rapes one of his classmates and provoke the gang of the youth to criminal actions.

15 Ichikawa’s Films Odd Obsession (1959) is about a man getting on in years who sets out to find a way to resurrect his flagging virility and sexual passion by deliberately making his own wife flirting with a young, handsom doctor.

16 Ichikawa as Auteur Do Ichikawa’s films have any consistent themes and styles which qualify him as auteur? Eclectic motifs, social and personal concerns, themes and styles

17 Ichikawa as Auteur ‘Mere illustrator’ - Oshima Nagisa Elements which may make Ichikawa an auteur: the total control of filmmaking (he “designed sets, adjusted the lighting, touched up actresses' make-up [and] went to music school so he could write scores”

18 Ichikawa as Auteur James Quandt (ed.), Kon Ichikawa, Cinémathèque Ontario, Toronto, 2001 His abiding concern is with the recent history of his country; his background and experiences still demonstrably shape the abiding concerns of his films. A native of the Kansai region, he set many films in its major cities of Osaka and Kyoto Alexander Jacoby

19 Ichikawa as Auteur Working in every available genre and turning out several films for every major company and claiming that he makes the films that he likes, he has been the most successful in adapting literary works into films.

20 The Burmese Harp  Takeyama Michio’s Biruma no Tategoto Enjo  Mishima Yukio’s Kinkakuji

21 Odd Obsession, Makioka Sisters  Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s Kagi and Sasameyuki Kokoro, I Am a Cat  Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro and Wagahai wa Neko de aru

22 Fires on the Plain ← O’oka Shohei’s Nobi Punishment Room ← Shintaro Ishihara’s Shokei no Heya

23 Bridge of Japan ← Izumi Kyoka’s Nihonbashi Hakai ← Shimazaki Toson’s Hakai

24 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation Retelling literary stories in effective and entertaining ways Require the power to interpret the literary text accurately (and originally) and the skill to visualize it – with Wada Natto

25 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation Wada Natto - Ichikawa’s scriptwriter since Human Patterns (1949) and wife - she provided 34 scripts, most of which were the adaptations of literary works Special talent for adapting non-cinematic sources.

26 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation Ichikawa’s talent to adapting into the film the text whose visualization is considered almost impossible or extremely difficult, contextually and technically He adapt not only literary works but also the most well- known and the best loved works. Takeyama’s The Burmese Harp (the best seller) Misima’s The Temple of Golden Pavilion (based on a real and controversial event) Tanizaki’s Makioka Sisters (epic length psychological novel) Soseki’s I am a cat and Kokoro (literary classics) Ishihara’s Punishment Room (youth subjects)

27 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation He is able to etch complex characters The stuttering young monk who burns down Golden Pavillion in Enjo The elderly husband who resorts to injections and voyeurism in order to remain sexually active in Odd Obsession

28 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation The member of a pariah class who tries to deny his identity and to “pass” in regular society in Hakai The soldier who survived in a extreme and insane condition and kept his sanity in Fires on the Plain

29 Ichikawa’s Literary Adaptation Actions are seen and filmed from the view point of a black cat (I am a cat) or a two-years old boy (Being two isn’t easy) Exaggerated visual styles - stylization

30 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Flamboyant technical ‘tricks’ Direct address to the audience Stop motions Pale, subdued, sepia colours As seen in Odd Obsession

31 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style A cinema character directly speaks to the camera.

32 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Visual repetition: the same motif in reversed composition. Stop motion

33 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Female sexuality and eroticism Colours of skin like wet porcelain

34 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Frequent close-ups without expression on mask-like faces

35 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Deep-space photography

36 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Literary story retold in stylistic photography Miyagawa Kazuo’s cinematography Wide screen, low-key lighting, pictorial composition and deep space As seen in Enjo

37 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Exemplary wide-screen photography Expansive horizontal space A lone figure framed in the temple gate

38 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Psychological distance is represented visually by separating the two characters in low-key lighting.

39 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Deep space photography and low-key lighting A monk looking on his temple burning down to the ground.

40 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Occasional close-ups

41 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Pictorial Composition Decentred widescreen compositions Exaggerated raw colours, composition by colours Chiaro-scuro lighting and high-contrast photography As seen in Actor’s Revenge, 1963

42 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Exaggerated raw colour (blue), dramatic lighting, and deep space composition

43 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Frequent extreme close-ups and placing of figures to extreme corners in wide screen

44 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Female eroticism in close ups

45 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Dramatic lighting - a shaft of light going across the actor’s face

46 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Dramatic lighting - strong light flood the face of the actor

47 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Foreshortening technique creating a sense of depth

48 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style The style nurtured and developed in fiction films were applied for his documentary: visual tricks through pictorial composition, multiple cameras, telephoto lens, etc. Tokyo Olympiad (1965)

49 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Long telephoto lenses: loss of depth, sometimes blurred

50 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Telephoto lens can separate athletes from others and the setting surrounding them

51 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Blurred silhouette shot with splash reflecting light

52 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Close-up shot of the sun with colours reversed from those in the national flag

53 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style An gymnastic action divided into a sequence of motions

54 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Aerial shot directly looking down below

55 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Extreme close-up shots

56 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style Insertions of non-diegetic close up shots

57 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style The most stylistic documentary film since Leni Riefenstahl’s Fest der Volker and Fest der Schönheit (1938)

58 Ichikawa as Auteur: Style


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