The weekly film meeting saw:

* Shukujo to Hige /The lady and the beard – Japan 1930 Ozu

For a long time Tokyo monogatari was the only film by Ozu I had ever seen, and I thought it was going to stay so, since he’s films were never around. Gradually I could add more titles through festival screenings, and the final breakthrough was of course when films started to be availbale on DVD.
This film is one of four on BFI:s The student comedies. The others are Days of youth, I flunked, but… and Where now are the dreams of youth (all early ‘30s). Their newest release is Three melodramas: Early Spring (1956), Tokyo Twilight (1957) and Woman of Tokyo (1933).
There are lots of complete Ozus on You Tube: Days of Youth, I graduated, but…, A straightforward boy, Tokyo Chorus, Where now are the Dreams of Youth?, Woman of Tokyo, Dragnet Girl, Passing Fancy?, A Mother should be loved, Story of Floating Weeds, An Inn in Tokyo, What did the lady forget?, Late Spring and Good.
So there is no reason why the Ozu viewing shouldn’t be completed in the near future.

* Zánik domu Usheru /The Fall of the House of Usher – Czech 1980 Jan Svankmajer

* Mary – England 1930 Alfred Hitchcock #18

For a couple of years after the arrival of sound the film producers were trying to find a solution to the language problem. The silent films were easy to distribute all over the world, just switch the intertitles to another language. The earliest solution to the problem was to shoot the film in several languages
Mary is the German version of Murder, which Hitchcock made in the same sets with German actors. Of the last reel there is a third alternative. In the American print they put a couple of extra scenes to make it easier for the Yanks to understand it.
This was the only feature film by Hitchcock I hadn’t seen.
The whole film (in German with no subtitles)

Watched Today:

* Die Fälscher – Austria/Germany 2007 Stefan Ruzowitzky
Toward the end of the WWII the Germans were using Jews with counterfeit skills to make false pound and dollar notes to destroy the world economy. It was Austria’s contender to the Best Foreign Oscar. Didn’t win. Not surprised. Honest concentration camp films tend to be overrated.

* MM: “The mouse on 57th street” USA 1961 Jones

Started Reading:

* Från Aniara till Abba. Glimtar från GöteborgsOperans första tio år.
* Om och till Povel

Watched Today:

* MM: Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog: “Ready woolen and able” USA 1960 Jones

The first weekly film meeting of the year took place yesterday. A few friends have met once a week for several years to watch films. Usually we do shorts, but for the first time we have a series dedicated to feature films: all of Hitchcock’s films, some of Ozu’s, most of Powell & Pressburger’s and all of Jacques Demy’s. We do them in chronological order, so Ozu just joined the series, the first P & P will come in April and Demy sometime in the future.

Other main series at the moment: Jan Svankmajer, Fatty Arbuckle, Early French comedians, Jean Painlevé, Vitaphone shorts and Screening the Poor 1888-1914. Most of the films are on DVD, a few on VHS and some from You Tube.

This week’s programme:

* The Skin Game (Hitch 1931)
* Les oursins (Painlevé 1958)
* Otrantský zámek /The Castle of Otranto (Svankmajer 1979)
* Une vie gaspillée (Denmark 1910)
* A excerpt about Ozu from The Story of Film: An Odyssey
* Olive’s sweepstakes ticket (Popeye 1941)
* Trixie Friganza (Vitaphone)

§ There’s an excellent site on Hitchcock, giving information onDVD availability.

§ 23 films by Jean Painlevé are collected on a DVD

Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painleve
§ All the Svankmajer shorts and a couple of films about him are in a 3-disc box from the BFI.

§ The 2-disc box Lichtspiele und Soziale Frage/Screening the Poor 1888-1914 is from Edition Filmmuseum in München. This is a collection of early films and magic lantern shows on the life of the poor, arranged according to subject matter: Slumming, Children in misery, Child labour, Charity and social care, Drink and temperance movement, Perils of wage labour and Escape showing.
The Filmmuseum have an excellent DVD release. Other boxes from them in my collection: Dziga Vertov, Walther Ruttmann and Hal Roach: Female comedy teams

Screening the Poor 1888-1914
§ The Ozu excerpt can be found on You Tube
The complete series is possible the best that has been made on the history of film. I caught most of it on Norwegian television last year

§ The complete (restored) Popeye by Fleischer is available in three boxes. The present film is from the third.

§ The Vitaphone shorts we watch are from the 3-disc edition of The jazz singer.

Finished Reading:

* Leonardo Konstnären
The first of a three volume set commenting on the note books by Leonardo da Vinci found in Madrid 1965, Codex Madrid I and II. It’s a translation from Italian of three authors covering different aspects: Målaren, by Anna Maria Brizio; Skulptören, by Maria Vittoria Brugnoli; and Läraren, by André Chastel. The following volumes, Vetenskapsmannen and Uppfinnaren
Considering how little has survived of paintings and sculptures it is amazing how much has been written about Leonardo. And how difficult it is to get a clear overview of his life and work. I suppose it is all these notebooks being presented in bits and pieces here and there. I have tried. And these are some of my tries: Field: Leonardo da Vinci; Landrus: LdV. En mästares liv och verk (this is one those with inserted facsimiles); Cremante: LdV. The complete works; Suh: LdV. Anteckningsböcker (this looked promising with lots of big pictures and translations of the texts, but there is no information at all about the images or the quotations, nothing about the source, nothing about the time when they were made, what’s the point?)

And then there is Gelb: How to think like LdV (a self-inprovement book)

Started Reading:

* Leonardo Vetenskapsmannen
* Falstaff Fakirs vitterlek