26 April 2014 | queen_meow_of_ontario
A quaint short documentary from Ozu
An interesting documentary on the Japanese treasure of Kabuki, directed by another Japanese treasure, Yasujiro Ozu. Kagamijishi, or The Lions Dance, is a depiction of a young girl who becomes possessed by, and eventually transforms into, a demonic lion-like beast. It's a shame that this is in black and white so we can't fully experience and appreciate the wild and vivid colours of the kabuki dance, but it's glorious nonetheless. I'm also really happy that there was an informative preface detailing how complex the moves are, how closely they resemble that of a naive court girl, and how mentally concentrated the kabuki actors are. Without that, the documentary would have fallen flat, because throughout the 23 minutes that this occupied my screen, I became transfixed upon every solitary movement that the actors did. The fluidity and frailty of these delicate movements is astounding, and even when the demonizing lion occupied the stage, it's actions were smooth and majestic, just like that of a lion.