16 December 2020 | wickedmikehampton
Slavery and infidelity
Since I enjoyed Director Yoji Yamada's samurai trilogy so much, I wanted to see how he handled a non-samurai drama.
Yamada was 83 in 2014, when he made 'The Little House'. That makes him 89 now. This millennium, after turning 69, he's made 15 movies and written 10 other screenplays for others!
To paraphrase the 1930s beginning of the 'The Little House', the decade Yamada was born, "It was when geisha houses would buy pretty village teenagers from their families, and when becoming a maid was good training to becoming a wife."
90% of the movie is shot inside the house in the suburbs of Tokyo. The story is two-pronged, the relationship of a rural maid with an upper middle-class family, and a romance. It's both plaintive and melodramatic without being saccharine.
It's fascinating to see the reaction of the characters as Japan attacks China and then America. The average person is the same in every country, short-sightededly more nationalistic than alarmed. The father of the household hopes that his company will get to sell more toys in China - I'm sure the director/screenwriter's irony was deliberate.
He's done a trilogy with another family I wish I could see, as well as another set in the 30s. Hell, he's made 85 movies of which 50 are comedies with the same character getting older - that must be a world record.
I live reality day by day so maybe it's good that I have frivolous desires for future fictions.