19025Into the Picture Scroll: The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa
- May 3 6:34 PMWell, 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.