Irezumi Notes

Opening scene:

  • Wide aspect ratio
  • The bridge was non natural as you can see the bridge as a set, and there is no background, isolating them.
  • Subduction
  • Snow was a representative of her cold heart, that she didn’t feel it shows her cold shows how cold she is as a person. – Pathetic Fallacy
  • Striking structural change – Starts in the middle of the action
  • Female lead
  • Colour – striking, saturated
  • Lighting – low key
  • Only about a third of the shot is on the characters
  • Shocking opening scene
  • Music – Intense, Mysterious, no nature in the scene so they used music to evoke feeling
  • Lines – Abstract lighting
  • Sound Bell – quite unsettling, she likes the sound of the bell that unsettles most people, making her seem more evil – Funeral bell.
  • “It feel like we’re actors in a Kabuki play”
  • “feels like we are eloping” – Run away secretly to get married.
  • very overly dramatic, killing all realism, making you disconnect with the characters, not care about them for the rest of the story, and ruining the film before it begins.
  • they’re all in black, apart from Irizumi.
  • Non linear narrative – Dropped into the ‘action’ from the first scene.

Irezumi middle sequence

  • difference between men and women in the golden age vs new age.
  • do they ever state that the spider on her back is magical? she doesn’t seem bothered by it (could just be bad acting?)
  • is the spider actually magical, or is she just using it as an excuse.
  • it is just a frankenstein thing (my perfect creation has got out of hand – the tattoo artist has created the perfect spider, not in the form of a tattoo, but in turning her into a spider)
  • supernatural themes explore things that you would find hard to come right out and say, due to japan’s conservative culture
  • “between man and woman, its a fight to the death anyhow” – samurai to the main character – links the two; she would have been samurai-like, if she was born a man – she shows masculine qualities.
  • they look like the most uncomfortable pillows ever.
  • he is the only one that does not see her as an object, and is also below her – she os the man, and he is the woman in the relationship.
  • you can only see the spider when she is naked – link.
  • the same music (that first played when she was getting tattoo’d) always plays when the spider
  • ‘Danna’ is when someone pays a large amount of money for a wife-like person, so her calling him “Danna” is ironic, and sort of takes the piss.
  • the tight framing represents her restraining, like before they left

Irezumi: End Sequence

  • “Why, a thunderbolt in springtime” – connotations of danger an horror
  • Irezumi ends with death whereas Rashomon ends with life
  • Pathetic fallacy throughout the whole scene – thunder represents emotions and horror.
  • Throughout the film she has her “husband” to defend her and kill all the men, however after she’s killed him, she has no defence and thus dies
  • He gets into a lot of fights and they all end in him killing the men – showing she is the only one that can kill him.
  • He cant kill her because he doesn’t actually thrust at her, he just tries to grab her, where as she doesn’t try to grab him, and just stabs him.
  • He is her exception, as he is the only one that feels inferior to her and he is the only one she directly kills, and he’s the only one she gives a funeral to.
  • He stabs the spider, and her, for they are one in the same.
  • The tattoo artist also blames someone else for ‘his killings’, just likes blames him and the spider.
  • She fades out, dwindling like a flame.
  • Her husband always killed her attackers, but now that she’s killed him, she has no defence.
  • He gets into a lot of fights, and kills 4/5 people, but the only person that can kill him is her.
  • “I must deceive all those bastards and make them pay”
  • Possessed by the spider, or obsessed by revenge?
  • Framing – vertical lines down the screen- shows her being caged.
  • What is a ‘joro’ spider – the Jorō Spider is a member of the golden orb-web spider group. The spider can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaidō, in Korea, Taiwan and China.
  • The tattoo artist is the only man she is scared of.
  • Thunder seen during close up on the spider, again, representing horror and danger.
  • The husband is similar to Frankenstein, the scientist, as the monster in the story focuses their evil around their life, tormenting them, mentally.
  • “Have you seen enough” – her to the tattoo artist, when he’s looking at the spider, but he’s “seen enough” killing.
  • Everyone is blaming someone else for their actions.
  • Shocking image of all three characters dead in a pile – rain is a form of pathetic fallacy
  • The end of Irezumi shows the end of life – whereas in Rashomon the end of the film doesn’t signify the end, it shoes the beginning of new life, as represented by the baby.
  • No moral message in the film – very cynical full of bad people doing bad things – no moral guide, pointing the way to correct moral actions eg Rashomon has the monk.
  • The blood pumping out of her shows the blood of the men the spider has killed.
  • He kills the spider, and kills her at the same time, like they need each other – after she was sold, it was like she was killed, and is on life support, in the form of a spider – like a parasite.
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