Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tree Without Leaves - SHINDO Kaneto (1986)
Tree Without Leaves - It may be impossible to render a more affectionate expression of love for one's mother. The only other works of art I've come across that approaches this are the initial pages of the "Combray" section in Swann's Way, and well.... Mother by Naruse. It is very convincing and makes me assume that Shindo added autobiographical elements. The starring family and their status as the village's patricians give it a more classic feel, as the old stories were always about the king and his kin. In addition to the expression of love for the mother, played by Shindo's wife OTOWA Nobuko (in one of the greatest roles ever), a large part of the drama deals with the families declining fortune (very old school, huh?). It may not be a film about people we can all identify with, but the technical perfection is unavoidable. Shot in such a crisp, clean black-and-white, I greatly wish that I can one day see this on 35. It's sort of strange that the movie won no awards because it's basically perfect. Maybe Shindo had lost friends that year.