Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Movie Review – Woman in the Dunes (1964) Dir. by Hiroshi Teshigahara, from the book by Kôbô Abe

Woman in the Dunes
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Writers: Kôbô Abe (novel and screenplay)
Tonight our local Arts Centre The Cut had its weekly cinema night. The movie was the Oscar Best Picture 1966 nominated Woman in the Dunes directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara with screenplay written by the author of the novel of the same title,  Kôbô Abe. I read the book several years ago see my blog post. At the time the book had quite an impact on me I borrowed it from our local library  @HalesworthLib – I gave it 4* , so when I saw the movie was to be shown I had to go. I was not disappointed. A fantastic arts cinema movie full of exacting cinematography, stunning close ups of sand grains, dunes, skin, facial pores, bodies, hands. Filmed in black and white, the movie is full of light and shade, shifting landscapes, contours, curves both of the sand dunes and people. The score is trident, sharp and cutting, never letting you as the audience settle. Very apt.  For a great review of the movie you can't beat Roger Ebert’s which I think is spot on. Not a full house but well done for whoever choses the movie selection at The Cut for this brave and beautiful choice. A great cinematographic experience.

@newcut.halesworth @CutHalesworth

Monday, 30 September 2019

Unconditional Love

In polished white Mary Jane kiddie chic
a chubby-cheeked study in happiness
looks off stage
Sat atop a table
waxed to glass for the occasion
of my christening aged 10 months
A smiling, bright eyed, hand clapping
reflection of the love behind the camera

© Sheila Ash, 2019

Poem Review – “Ame” / “Rain” by Junzaburo Nishiwaki

I just read, twice, for the first time the poem in ModPoPlus by Junzaburo Nishiwaki entitled "Ame" / Rain and wanted to share the effect this had on me.
The obvious striking use of "s"s throughout lending it a soft sound in English produces a sense of being lulled into a glorious oblivion, of being saturated by the sensual sounds of the words seeping deep into one's soul like the warmth of a long bath. I don't think I have been so moved physically by a poem as I was by this one. Languid, lushness, lying in a bed of feathers.
It reminded me of the movies of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and his use of dream sequences, his long takes, and his use of wind and water, the way he immerses his viewer. I thought Andrew Howen's translation was simply stunning and his explanation of how the Japanese language version works in construction and form most informative.
All in all it left me salivating quietly, secretively, like life hung suspended as its words steadily, insistently penetrated all of me, everything natural and manmade, around me and imaginary, past and present, in a hypnotic reassuring stealth of silence until all that could be heard was a gently murmuring purr of pleasure.

"Ame" ("Rain") Junzaburo Nishiwaki, translated by Andrew Houwen

The south wind brought soft goddesses.
Soaked the bronze statues, soaked the fountains,
soaked the sparrow's wings and golden feathers,
soaked the sea, soaked the sand, soaked the fish.
Quietly soaked the temples, the public baths, and the theatres,
this quiet, soft procession of goddesses
soaked my tongue.
Reproduced from
ModPo Video Discussion