Sunday, August 2, 2009

maybe i shouldnt watch films i loved twice...

kon ichikawa's THE BURMESE HARP struck a chord with me immediately. it is a beautifully shot, intense, and well acted Japanese anti-war film from the 50s. the film centers around Mizushima, Shoji Yasui, a soldier who stumbles upon a loot while fighting in Burma. he learns to play it and his music inspires his unit but his convictions keep him from going home and he remains in Burma to live as a monk.

when i first saw it, i was floored by its intensity. i had just seen ichikawa's mesmerizing fires on the plain which was one of the darkest war films ive ever seen and a powerful statement on war in general. harp was a pleasant surprise after seeing fires and the visual imagery remained with me for a couple years. when it popped up on ifc, i DVR'd it to watch it again.

unfortunately, it didnt have nearly the same effect on me as it did the first time. i find that this is an occasional problem and has prevented me from watching certain films twice. i really want to watch lilja-4-ever and make way for tomorrow again but im afraid that a second viewing would take away the magic from the first watching. i would already know what was going to happen and some of the power would be removed.

granted, ive rewatched most of kurosawa and bergman's films and my appreciation of them has only grown. while i still maintain that the burmese harp is an outstanding film, it might not have been as brilliant as the first time i watched it.

the first impression of a film is important to me and