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A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
A French woman and a Japanese man have an affair while she is in Japan making a film about peace and the impact of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, The man, an architect, lost his family in the bombing. She recalls her lover during the war, a 23 year-old German soldier who later died. Despite the time they spend together, her attachment appears minimal and they go forward into the future. Written by
Eiji Okada (playing Lui) did not know any French and was coached in pronouncing each syllable and memorized that order. See more »
After they leave the teahouse, a shot from the side shows Lui standing behind Elle to her left with a gap of about a foot and a half. The next frontal shot shows him standing directly behind her with only a small gap between them. See more »
All these years I've been looking for an impossible love.
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I saw this thirty or so years ago. I don't remember it moving me profoundly, but then so many things at that age routinely inject you with massive change without you knowing. Seeing it now gives me great, great appreciation for what it is. And though I have been previously exposed, it washed over me all over again.
It has a laconic pace. Usually, one leverages this for relaxation into nature. Robert Redord. Here it relaxes into a tension of a different order, a quiet insistent striving for connection, like "In the Mood for Love." In this case though, the filmmaker has turned that yearning sideways so you have three dimensions of pull.
You have the desire for romance, here presented in a way that is more engaging than usual because of its folding into the other dimensions. You have the desire to comprehend war, war defined here as the sacrifice of innocents and war as a sort of incomprehensible desire running in parallel to all the other incomprehensible desires we see, every one.
And you have the desire of a film to reach into the inner world of ourselves. Film itself is a character here, with its own desires and doubts. The three of these fold in such a way that as we spend time with them we have to fill it by pouring ourselves into the film because it pulls story from us rather than serving it in timely patter.
Its an open world, made open by providing an amazing skeleton, on which we are surprised to find our own flesh and our own wondering about next actions.
He, an architect, she an actress, both highly cinematic beings. Both in Hiroshima with folded cranes over dying souls in beds. Both, this is us now, wondering, shall we do it? Shall she stay? What will it mean? Surely that the world will not be saved, not even a little, not even that they may try. Or will they? Should they?
This is such an open framework that not only do you pour yourself into it, but other filmmakers can and do. You owe it to yourself to see "H Story." after this. Or better, before. Hah!
Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.
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