OK, So I'm a Sore Loser

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nyasa
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#1 Post by nyasa » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:27 pm

Well, I entered the Setsuko Hara contest on DVD Beaver, with the Naruse set up for grabs, and didn't win. The judge's decision is final, and all that, but:

Setsuko Hara's eyes immersed the two flashpoints. Her face reflected the landscape--an external beauty barely concealing internal disquiet--and when she smiled onscreen with that temperate tenderness that was hers only, she entitled Japan with a right to hope."

I don't understand the first sentence at all. As for the second, it appears to be comparing Setsuko to the landscape of Japan, beautiful on the surface but all kinds of seismic mayhem going on underneath. Does that seem like the essence of the woman to you?

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Matt
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#2 Post by Matt » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:36 pm

Yeah, no offense to "Jr. Acuna" (any relation to Dr. Acula?), but I don't see how anything can "immerse" "flashpoints," let alone how eyes could do it, or how something can be "entitled with."

All due respect to the hard work he does and the great service he provides, but writing and evaluating prose has never been Gary's strong point.

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skuhn8
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#3 Post by skuhn8 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:42 pm

nyasa wrote:[...], she entitled Japan with a right to hope."
entitled with? Does that make sense grammatically? Aren't you 'entitled to' something, such as your opinion? Otherwise pretty nice stuff IMO.
Matt wrote:Yeah, no offense to "Jr. Acuna" (any relation to Dr. Acula?), but I don't see how anything can "immerse" "flashpoints," let alone how eyes could do it, or how something can be "entitled with."

All due respect to the hard work he does and the great service he provides, but writing and evaluating prose has never been Gary's strong point.
Nor commentaries. I'm reminded of Duvall's character in Apocalypse Now: "Anyone brave enough--give me that!--anyone brave enough to sit through a Bogdanovitch commentary can drink from my canteen any day!"

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tavernier
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#4 Post by tavernier » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:01 pm

The winning entry looks like it was badly translated from the original Japanese.

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Michael Kerpan
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#5 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:06 pm

Somehow -- I managed to miss this contest.

Setsuko Hara is my favorite actress -- but I still can't see the point of such worshipful comments.

WAS this winning entry translated from Japanese? ;~}

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Mr Sausage
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#6 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:10 pm

If you rephrase the second clause of the latter sentence to something like "her tender smile gave hope to millions," doesn't it now sound exactly like a television eulogy for a dead philanthropist who succumbed to a disease? Because despite the attempt at fine phrasing that is pretty much all it means.

I don't know how exactly this contest worked (I'm assuming you sent in a small piece of praise), but it seems like the the passage won for lugubriousness rather than nobility of sentiment. Also, noting an actor's eyes and smile is a pretty conventional form of praise; maybe I'm complaining too much, but I'd like to see more originality.
Last edited by Mr Sausage on Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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nyasa
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#7 Post by nyasa » Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:35 pm

It was show 'your appreciation in no more than 40 words'.

I actually have no complaints, because I certainly shouldn't have been in contention. I submitted a haiku which took me about five mins to write (dwelling, I must admit, on that smile) - but subsequently I thought of better alternatives for every single word.

But the winner does remind me of a certain brand of academic movie criticism, in which loads of impressive words are employed (often imprecisely) for no other purpose than to appear impressive.

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Michael Kerpan
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#8 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:43 pm

Given that Aida Masae retired (permanently) from her role of Setsuko Hara over 40 years ago -- and is not dead yet (not that I've heard) -- what prompted the call for obituary-esque encomiums?

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nyasa
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#9 Post by nyasa » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:10 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Given that Aida Masae retired (permanently) from her role of Setsuko Hara over 40 years ago -- and is not dead yet (not that I've heard) -- what prompted the call for obituary-esque encomiums?
I think it was a Naruse-set-for-a-prize-we-all-love-Setsuko-put-the-two-together deal.

Here's a challenge: can anyone find a photograph of Setsuko in her dotage? I know she stepped out of the public gaze, but surely, given that she was such a big star, someone in Japan has published a pic of her within the past 40 years. Or do they put us all to shame, and actually afford genuine respect?

zone_resident
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#10 Post by zone_resident » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:25 pm

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entrySetsuko Hara:
She suddenly quit acting in 1962, and has since led a secluded life in Kamakura, refusing all interviews and refusing to be photographed (making Japanese-cinema scholar Donald Richie refer to Hara as the "Greta Garbo of Japan"). Her final role was Riku, wife of Oishi Yoshio, in a film of Chūshingura.

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Michael Kerpan
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#11 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:12 pm

Apparently there has been an incident or two when celebrity chasing photographers have snapped pictures of her during the last 20 years, but public reaction was always pretty hostile -- so there is not real incentive to try.

Aida Masae has not been any sort of recluse or hermit (unless age has slowed her down recently) -- but just lived in an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood in Kamakura. Basically, she has lived as an ordinary (albeit well-off) old lady, walking around her neighborhood , going to the market, etc. -- and no one has ever tried to bother her.

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denti alligator
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#12 Post by denti alligator » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:38 pm

Was she ever married? Have kids?

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HerrSchreck
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#13 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:17 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:Apparently there has been an incident or two when celebrity chasing photographers have snapped pictures of her during the last 20 years, but public reaction was always pretty hostile -- so there is not real incentive to try.

Aida Masae has not been any sort of recluse or hermit (unless age has slowed her down recently) -- but just lived in an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood in Kamakura. Basically, she has lived as an ordinary (albeit well-off) old lady, walking around her neighborhood , going to the market, etc. -- and no one has ever tried to bother her.
Something about this post made me feel nice.

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Michael Kerpan
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#14 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:35 am

denti alligator wrote:Was she ever married? Have kids?
No kids -- and never married.

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ltfontaine
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#15 Post by ltfontaine » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:29 pm

Basically, she has lived as an ordinary (albeit well-off) old lady, walking around her neighborhood , going to the market, etc.
Well-off? I've wondered before how she has managed to live without working for the last four decades, but was her income such during her career that it has sustained her since 1963?

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Michael Kerpan
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#16 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:17 pm

ltfontaine wrote:Well-off? I've wondered before how she has managed to live without working for the last four decades, but was her income such during her career that it has sustained her since 1963?
It must have been.

She was apparently the primary support for her family (as reflected by her statement -- when retiring -- that she had only gone into acting because her family needed the money -- and now that they were all provided for, she wouldn't be acting anymore).

Perhaps she made shrewd investments with the money she earned from acting (and any ancillary activities -- such as advertising). Remember she was an actress for over 25 years -- and was immensely popular during most of that period.

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manicsounds
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#17 Post by manicsounds » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:55 pm

Setsuko Hara never married or had kids, and she still resides in Kamakura alone. Paparazzi have only taken 1 known photo of her after her exile, just her taking out the garbage.....

A student of mine actually found her home and showed me. It's not like its a big secret. The man at the cigar shop near her home pointed it out. Truly enough, her home. Didn't get to see her though. Probably because I didn't stake out her place.

as for the contest, i didn't write anything. 40 words or less to describe her? Hell, there are no words in the world that can really put a person like that in a nutshell.

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Michael Kerpan
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#18 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:34 pm

manicsounds wrote:Hell, there are no words in the world that can really put a person like that in a nutshell.
That's precisely why God invented movies. ;~}

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Jun-Dai
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#19 Post by Jun-Dai » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:28 pm

Is that who invented movies? :-)

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Michael Kerpan
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#20 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:48 pm

Jun-Dai wrote:Is that who invented movies? :-)
Didn't he/she?

;~}
Last edited by Michael Kerpan on Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Murasaki53
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#21 Post by Murasaki53 » Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:03 am

I somehow managed to submit a blank entry. And I honestly don't know how I did it as I had no intention of entering the competition. It was only later that I discovered this when I was checking my Outbox for something else.

Wonder if the people at DVD Beaver thought it was some kind of Zen-like appraisal?

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#22 Post by Suzukifan » Wed May 02, 2007 3:56 pm

The scene in Late Spring leaving the kabuki play with Chishu Ryu. Just the way she walked conveyed the rift that was coming. What an actress.

I don't know if I could completely describe her but she could light it up just the way she entered a room. Partially her, partially Ozu, who knows. but damn she could light it up.

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