Saturday, March 11, 2017
Moonlight Serenade (Masahiro Shinoda, 1997)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) with his father. Unfortunately, Keita can't follow the American romance -- some of the words in the Japanese subtitles are too hard for him, he says -- and his father only says he'll have to be older to understand it. Moonlight Serenade is one of the late films by Shinoda, who apprenticed with Yasujiro Ozu and became a prominent member of the "Japanese New Wave" in the 1960s. It displays his skill at storytelling, handling several subplots and surprises, and has a fine sympathetic treatment of the people caught up in the postwar crisis. But it's a bit old-fashioned for a movie made in the 1990s, too overloaded with characters and incidents for its own good, and the frame story seems unnecessary.