The Thinking Machine #55

The Unbreakable Frame

In their series The Thinking Machine, critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin create a new video essay for De Filmkrant every month.

In 1979, Noël Burch criticised the 1950s films of Mikio Naruse as being enslaved to the “Western style of representation”, “academic” and “over-edited”. Almost, in fact, like TV soap opera! What Burch did not see is that Naruse transformed a seemingly simple découpage (shot plan) into his secret form of mise en scène, with infinite variations and modulations. Let’s take 18 consecutive shots from Sound of the Mountain (1954)…