Oshima Nagisa 2 Stylistic Self-negation
Changing Styles • A variety of visual and narrative styles. • Different visual and narrative styles employed in each film • Deliberate refusal of relying on a constant and enduring visual (narrative) styles.
Changing Styles • Referential and self-referential style - formal characteristics made of cinematic quotations • Reference to Brecht Theatre, films of French ‘nouvelle vague’ (Jean-Luc Goddard) and Alain Resnais, British social realist films, etc. • Self-referential: conscious about his own film styles
Experimental film making • Style is different in each film but is con-sistentelyexperimental. • New, unexpected, unpredictable and the most importantly challenging and subversive (aesthetically and politically) • Unconventional • On the verge of being vulgar and offensive
Mannerist Filmmaking • Mannerism: Artistic style after the end of High Renaissance • Reacting to the harmonious ideals and mimetic naturalism of High Renaissance, it sought after tension and instability rather than balance and clarity. • Mannerist visual style characterized by artificiality and artiness; elegance and technical virtuosity; sophisticated bizarreness • Baroque (> barocco) ‘rough or imperfect pearl’
Mannerism and Baroque: aesthetic attitudes which prefer inharmoniousness and imperfection to perfect harmony
Paintings of High Renaissance perfect harmony and naturalism Giovanni Bellini, Madonna of the Meadows (ca.1500) Parmigiano, Madonna with the Long Neck (1935-40)
Figures in Mannerist paintings have graceful but strangely elongated limbs, small heads, stylized facial features; Their poses are difficult; Deep, linear perspective of High Renaissance disappeared and is flattened so that figures appear decorative forms. Intense & unnatural colours; Sense of scale ignored; Inventive, grotesque pictorial fantasy.
RossoFiorentino, Dead Christ with Two Angels (1527) Filippino Lippi, Pieta (1500)
Mannerist Visual Styles • Throughout the film the camera are tilted – crooked, precarious imagery • Corresponding to the film’s subject – insecurity of a boy of a single parent • The Town of Love and HopeOshima’s first film.
Mannerist Visual Styles • Bold compositions making most of the wide screen format • Garish, raw and lurid colours in Oshima’s second film, Cruel Story of the Youth
Mannerist Visual Styles: Sun’s Burial • Sexual energy in utter hopelessness and poverty is expressed by the use of symbolic colour– lurid red in Sun’s Burial • Red of the national flag (sarcastic comment) • Red of blood (hemorrhage) • Red of hot desire • Widescreen and close ups
Mannerist Visual Styles: Night and Fog in Japan • 100 minutes discussion and debate about the Japanese politics and political betrayal in the setting of a wedding reception. • Brechtian chamber drama • Night and Fog in Japan, Alain Resnais’ Nuit et Brouillard(Night and Fog)
The film is made of only 43 shots (c.f. 2,000 in Violence at Noon) • Even more jagged camerawork with hand-held camera • Format of chamber drama, ‘discussion drama’ shot in sets - 1& 2/1 hour debate on the left-wing politics in 1960.
Mannerist Visual Styles: Violence at Noon • Unlike Night and Fog, Violence at Noon is frenetically edited with jagged jump cuts (an action is not shown to the end and an action begins in the middle) 2,000 shots • Complicated flashbacks • Overexposed and whitewashed grainy photography
Mannerist Visual Styles: Pleasure of the Flesh • Pleasure of the Flesh • Displays Oshima’sfavouritemise-en-scène – widescreen, lots of close-ups, sexual actions in which a body stretches horizontally and a face looks down on it virtically
Experimental Film Making • Reference to soft-porn film genre • Reference to gangster film genre • Avant-garde and surrealistic narrative and images • In Pleasure of the Flesh
Mannerist Visual Styles: Death by Hanging • Shifting styles - in the beginning the film is shot in somber instruction film - later, it adopts more self-reflexive avant-garde style (characters and Oshima speaking to the spectator). • Artificial compositions – symmetry, profile, straight-on, and framing