Wife! Be Like a Rose

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Dan Sallitt

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Nov 8, 2005, 11:42:17 PM11/8/05
to NaruseRetro
Something different for Naruse, but quite a nice film. It starts a
little flip and goofy, but falls into an interesting, contemplative
state, without a lot of incident or drama. In a way, it's almost the
record of someone making up their mind, with imagery and landscape as
visual aids to the decision-making process, and the story an experiment
to gather data. It's perhaps Naruse's most Ozu-like film, but the
ending, if not exactly a kicker, points up a Darwinian undertone that
gives the gentle story some bite: sorry, Mom, you were weighed in the
balance and found wanting.

Jared Rapfogel

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Nov 8, 2005, 11:56:04 PM11/8/05
to Narus...@googlegroups.com
One thing I love about this film, and that seems very typical of Naruse:  the interlude in the country, culminating in the daughter's realization that her father belongs to this other family, is intensely moving, beautifully realized, and structurally fascinating, almost a great mini-film of its own - but almost the moment that the daughter (and the audience) emerges from this other world, and has the father to herself, her resolve vanishes.  This kind of abrupt about-face pops up pretty regularly in his films (the writer proposing out of the blue in Anzukko, for instance), and feels very bold (after the film has worked so hard to arrive at her revelation) even as it rings absolutely true.

Dan Sallitt <sal...@post.harvard.edu> wrote:


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Michael Kerpan

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Nov 9, 2005, 8:06:51 AM11/9/05
to NaruseRetro
Toho remade "Wife" in the late 60s -- with a hack director and a
largely secon-rate cast (with the lead role played by some currently
popular singer). It was amazing just appalling this was.

The real film is another Naruse work that just keeps getting better
with each re-visitation.

Dan Sallitt

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Nov 18, 2005, 1:17:06 PM11/18/05
to NaruseRetro
As we are talking about music scores, I thought I'd go back and say
that I was really impressed by the score of WIFE! BE LIKE A ROSE, and
wished there was a soundtrack album. The composer is Noboru Ito - it
was his first credit, and he went on to do a number of other Naruse
films, none of which I have seen. Anyone know anything about him? - Dan

Michael Kerpan

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Nov 18, 2005, 1:24:35 PM11/18/05
to NaruseRetro
The only other film I've seen scored by Ito is "Ore mo omae mo" (1946).
I don't recall the music offhand -- except that our hero buddies
perform kabuki-esque dances (one in drag) to amuse their boss -- and
that there is music that goes along with this. This film is sort of an
modern-day follow-up to "Traveling Actors" -- but not quite as
inspired. ;~}

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