OK, two box sets to go… this is the first film on the Silent Naruse set. And it is, indeed, silent. (Well, except for the soundtrack.)
The cinematography and editing on this is insane for a movie from 1931. Each shot lasts, like, two seconds, and most are much shorter. And whenever there’s something longer, the camera is always either being driven into somebody’s face or past some piece of furniture.
It’s like an acid house music video from 1991.
Naruse did 24 movies in 1930-34, but of these, 19 have been lost. So this box set (with five movies) has all of his surviving movies from this period.
This is a pretty charming movie. The camera antics were a lot of fun sto start with, but the constant zooming got to be pretty annoying as time went by. (The focus puller sure got a work out.) And while the storyline is pretty good, it seems to need something… more…
But it’s interesting, and it’s got some good gags. So:
No Blood Relation. Mikio Naruse. 1931.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.