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#635: Burying the Lead

October 20, 2011

Notes from the Manager

We’re finally about to start filming, but we won’t see any “footage” for another week (just in time for Halloween). I like slow pacing. What can I say?

Yasujiro Ozu is one of my favorite directors. He’s one of Japan’s most revered filmmakers, with a career spanning from 1927 to 1962. While many of his early films have been lost, I believe all many of his sound films are available in Criterion Collection DVDs or Blu-Rays, and almost all of them are beautiful, understated (“boring,” to many people) films. Unfortunately, none are available on streaming at Netflix, but they're all up on Hulu Plus.

I have a few reviews of Ozu’s films up at the Deleted Scenes blog (originally published at Gapers Block, back in the day). His best-known film is Toyko Story, and that’s as good a place to start as any.

As Jason says, Ozu’s trademark style involved low camera angles (really, a low camera height, not low camera angles, but it’s described that way all the time), an almost motionless camera, and relatively little cutting. It’s a beautifully poetic style, and I would shamelessly rip it off if I ever made a film.

Do we have any Ozu fans out there?


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“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

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