On Dangerous Ground

Film

Film noir

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Time Out says

A superb noir thriller with a difference. Ray's second film with producer John Houseman (the first being They Live By Night) starts off in the sinister urban jungle, with Ryan's cop increasingly brutalised by the 'garbage' he is forced to deal with. Finally, his methods become so violent that he is sent to cool off in snowy upstate New York, where his search for a sex killer brings him into contact with Lupino's blind woman and her mentally retarded brother (Williams). It's a film about the violence within us all, about the effects of environment and family upon character (Lupino, peaceful and a healing force, even has a tree in her living room), and about the spiritual redemption of a fallen man. If it sometimes seems a little schematic, there is no denying the power of the performances (Ryan in particular is ferociously effective, a true precursor to Siegel's Dirty Harry), nor the eloquence of Ray's poetic but tough direction. Aided enormously by George Diskant's high contrast camerawork and by Bernard Herrmann's stunning score, which emphasises the hunt motif in Ryan's quest, it's a film of frequent brilliance.
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Release details

UK release:

1951

Duration:

80 mins

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Technoguy

Tokyo Story is a poignant film by Ozu on the passing of time, the inevitability of loss,the rift between the generations in terms of expectations,the anxiety about change and mortality, the continual motion of life, the resignation to disappointment.The basic story is of the elderly couple, the Hirayamas, from the provinces visit to their grown-up married children in a busy Tokyo. Koichi, a paediatrician and Shige,a beautician, cannot find time out of their busy schedules, despite promising a trip to the theatre and a day out in Tokyo.Only their widowed daughter-in-law Noriko(Hara) has genuine feelings for them and time to share with them, despite working.Her husband died 8 years before in the war. Their blood children pack them off to Atami, a crowded,noisy spa. Shukishi(Ryu) and Tomi are cool with each other but affectionate.They realize they’d rather go home. Tomi’s morbid musings on mortality come out as she watches her grandson pluck grass blades.She visits Noriko for a night stop -over and is overwhelmed by her generosity urging her to forget her son and move on and remarry. Shukishi decides to look up old drinking buddies and proceeds to get drunk saying how disappointed he is with his children’s lives. Shige is very rude when he returns home drunk with his friend. Shige has got a tongue sharper than a serpents tooth reminding her father of his past drinking habits,her mother of her ‘fatness’,she even begrudges the cakes her husband has bought for her parents. The parents return home but Tomi falls sick and dies.The children now race to be by her sick bed and bicker about who gets her things before racing back to their own self-absorbed lives. The film is a study of the erosion of a family unit and ties with the march of modernity and the pace of the building up of post-war industrial Japan.Although nothing seems to happen there are deep complex emotions beneath the small-talk ,daily rituals,social etiquette. Deep feelings ride on a look,a smile, a sigh,a gulp,a change of tone. Ozu captures perfectly life’s stillness especially between Shukichi and Noriko, their grace, selflessness, acceptance and lack of self pity. Ozu’s shooting style is for tatami camera- positioning,little camera movement bringing out the details of physical spaces.The box shaped rooms are filmed allowing people to enter and exit,there is 180 degree cross-cutting between faces, involving spectators.There are many establishing shots of steam tugs,trains,clotheslines,industrial backdrops. I’m glad I saw the previous films of this trilogy, Late Spring, Early Summer to appreciate what a great screen chemistry developed between Ryu and Hara and how their roles and relationship varies from film to film. And ends this one.Unforgettable.

Technoguy

Tokyo Story is a poignant film by Ozu on the passing of time, the inevitability of loss,the rift between the generations in terms of expectations,the anxiety about change and mortality, the continual motion of life, the resignation to disappointment.The basic story is of the elderly couple, the Hirayamas, from the provinces visit to their grown-up married children in a busy Tokyo. Koichi, a paediatrician and Shige,a beautician, cannot find time out of their busy schedules, despite promising a trip to the theatre and a day out in Tokyo.Only their widowed daughter-in-law Noriko(Hara) has genuine feelings for them and time to share with them, despite working.Her husband died 8 years before in the war. Their blood children pack them off to Atami, a crowded,noisy spa. Shukishi(Ryu) and Tomi are cool with each other but affectionate.They realize they’d rather go home. Tomi’s morbid musings on mortality come out as she watches her grandson pluck grass blades.She visits Noriko for a night stop -over and is overwhelmed by her generosity urging her to forget her son and move on and remarry. Shukishi decides to look up old drinking buddies and proceeds to get drunk saying how disappointed he is with his children’s lives. Shige is very rude when he returns home drunk with his friend. Shige has got a tongue sharper than a serpents tooth reminding her father of his past drinking habits,her mother of her ‘fatness’,she even begrudges the cakes her husband has bought for her parents. The parents return home but Tomi falls sick and dies.The children now race to be by her sick bed and bicker about who gets her things before racing back to their own self-absorbed lives. The film is a study of the erosion of a family unit and ties with the march of modernity and the pace of the building up of post-war industrial Japan.Although nothing seems to happen there are deep complex emotions beneath the small-talk ,daily rituals,social etiquette. Deep feelings ride on a look,a smile, a sigh,a gulp,a change of tone. Ozu captures perfectly life’s stillness especially between Shukichi and Noriko, their grace, selflessness, acceptance and lack of self pity. Ozu’s shooting style is for tatami camera- positioning,little camera movement bringing out the details of physical spaces.The box shaped rooms are filmed allowing people to enter and exit,there is 180 degree cross-cutting between faces, involving spectators.There are many establishing shots of steam tugs,trains,clotheslines,industrial backdrops. I’m glad I saw the previous films of this trilogy, Late Spring, Early Summer to appreciate what a great screen chemistry developed between Ryu and Hara and how their roles and relationship varies from film to film. And ends this one.Unforgettable.