Wednesday, March 14, 2007

kon ichikawa's the burmese harp & fires on the plain

images from 2 films by kon ichikawa. the burmese harp 1956 & fires on the plain 1959.

the landscape photography and music in these 2 films is stunning. photography and music work together in both films to such a degree that the dialogue becomes almost unnecessary (especially in fires on the plain).
there obviously is much more going on in these 2 works than the visuals, but for me they are the most striking element.
the cinematography in these films bring to mind many contemporary photographers, mainly thomas joshua cooper, hans danuser, emmet gowin, edward burtynsky, helene binet, elger esser, michael kenna, david maisel, olafur eliasson, axel hutte, and hiroshi sugimoto.

the burmese harp: cinematography by minoru yokoyama, music by akira ifukube.
fires on the plain: cinematography by setsuo kobayashi, music by yasushi akutagawa.

the burmese harp 1956:

fires on the plain 1959:

related photographic work:

hans danuser: landschaften, 1993-96

edward burtynsky: nickel tailings No. 35, 1996

helen binet: paysages en poésie

thomas joshua cooper: boca chica (little mouth), 1996-97


shahn said...

that is some gorgeous cinematography.
are they mostly static shots or panoramic views?

the art of memory said...

both static and moving.
there is a sugimoto-like seascape as well in fires on the plain

dave said...

impressive images. I very much look forward to seeing these films.

Plinius said...

I read the review of the DVDs in the June 'Sight and Sound' and was a bit put off when they said 'The Burmese Harp' has 'a strange visual poetry, but its allegorical aspects are a little cloying.' However, it looks from your images as though these films are worth seeing for the 'visual poetry' alone...
Great blog, by the way.

the art of memory said...

they are very beautiful.
i think "cloying" is not a word i would use to describe the films.
either people get it or they don't.