The retrospective of Kiju Yoshida, the Japanese New Wave director (listed at the IMDB as Yoshishige Yoshida) has been going on at the Centre Pompidou since the time of my arrival here in March, but it is only a few days ago that I attended the screening of The Affair (Joen, 1970), a film closely related to Antonioni and Bergman’s aesthetics and themes of the same period.
The film was introduced by the director and his muse/wife, famous actress Mariko Okada, who are both 75 this year. While Yoshida spoke of his memories from the shoot, Okada referred to the beauty of the kimonos. Both clad in Yohji Yamamoto-style deep black loose clothes, the venerable couple possessed this uniquely exclusive air of intellectual superiority, finesse, poise and elegance that places the Japanese beyond compare.
Carlotta films, who have organized the retrospective, have released ten Yoshida films in two DVD packs, Coffret Kiju Yoshida, vol. 1: une vague nouvelle 60-64, which includes Good for Nothing, Akitsu Springs, Bitter End of a Sweet Night, Blood is Dry and Escape from Japan and Coffret Kiju Yoshida, vol. 2: contre le melodrame containing Flame and Women, A Story Written with Water, The Affair, Affair in the Snow and Woman of the Lake, as well as a separate DVDs of his famed Eros + massacre (a film which even has a book (Desser) and a blog named after it). As it is usually the case with DVDs released in France, they are only available with French subtitling.
Yoshida worked with Ozu and made documentaries about him. His book Ozu’s Anti-Cinema is translated into English and available from Amazon.
© Dina Iordanova
11 May 2008