Avalanche is a study of a one-year marriage that begins to crumble. A married man is torn between the love of his wife, and the attraction to a cousin of his wife.Avalanche is a study of a one-year marriage that begins to crumble. A married man is torn between the love of his wife, and the attraction to a cousin of his wife.Avalanche is a study of a one-year marriage that begins to crumble. A married man is torn between the love of his wife, and the attraction to a cousin of his wife.
A Great Director
Mikio Naruse is one of cinema's greatest directors, and for those who have never heard of him I would strongly suggest starting with, 'Nadare' or 'Avalanche' as it is known in English. Do not expect an outer disaster but find out how inner disaster feels as the inner-self threatens to smother and destroy you. A man no longer loves his wife, who adores him, but believes he loves a less dependant woman (dependant as in mutual loving) and very nearly destroys his wife's life and his. And yet despite this sombre theme, which Naruse amazingly shows us in just under one hour, I felt at the end that I knew these characters better than any other film I have seen recently. Why? The 'plot' sounds familiar, or does it? Not as Naruse portrays it, with seamless scenes dissolving into each other, and with the use of interior monologues that we too enter in to the heart of this emotional catastrophe. I thought of Eugene O'Neill and his play 'Strange Interlude' and its world of outer and inner dialogue. I will give no more spoilers, but I must mention how fluid the film is, and the quietness of the film despite its subject matter, and the discussions, and the natural talking make our current way of film dialogue (even among the best directors) look contrived. But this is not all; the film presents a Japan in transition, opening up to the West, and the slow discarding of old values. It is subtle, and I can evoke this in one scene. A husband and wife talking, in a house filled with traditional Japanese furniture and up to date (1937) western furniture; a weird combination of an English country house, but with these two stark contrasts. Plus the clothes; the man dressed as any westerner would, and in front of him, his wife in full traditional garb When you look closely you see an old order, centuries old, folding seamlessly together as Naruse uses his fraction of a second dissolves. This short masterpiece tells you more about what it means to love, and also what it means for a whole country changing its centuries-old ways. Basically it asks, do we just love ourselves or do we love others, and how do we perceive the concept of loving anyway? Quite a feat in just under an hour. It is available to see on YouTube and I urge all who are truly interested in the complexities of life, and the need to see a reality beyond the many films with actors behaving like the robots we may all become in the future.
- Mar 29, 2021
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