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19025Into the Picture Scroll: The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa

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  • makiwara_no_yetsuko
    May 3 6:34 PM
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      Well, we saw it last night. I just described it to my roommate as the
      equivalent of looking at the Bayeux Tapestry while someone sings the
      narrative in Middle French to the chords of a psaltery. The director,
      Haneda Sumiko, was on hand for a post screening Q&A through a
      translator. http://www.jiyu-kobo.com/english%20top.html is the film's

      Ms. Haneda, a longtime documentary filmmaker, uses those skills to
      tell the story of painter Iwasa Matabei, who is believed to be the
      creator of the twelve volume scroll, then takes us into the world of
      the scroll itself. In an exquisite state of preservation, these
      "still" images have a life of their own, enhanced by the sung
      narrative (subtitled in English), accompanied by shamisen. Haneda
      intercuts modern day scenes of locales described in the story with
      their depictions in the scroll and briefly introduces a couple of live
      action shots of Lady Tokiwa and her attendant walking through the
      forest, which, she says, was intended to give a better idea of how
      arduous their journey must have been.

      Look for it at an arthouse near you and pray they release this on DVD.
      It's a feast for the eyes.