Takemitsu – 1. Hymn For A Tired Man (1968) – 2.The Inheritance (1962) – Films Directed by Masaki Kobayashi – Film Music of Toru Takemitsu –
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Film Music to end the weekend – not just any film music, but music by the legendary Avant-garde composer Toru Takemitsu, who just so happened was a film buff.
Toru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (born Oct. 8, 1930, Tokyo, Japan—died Feb. 20, 1996, Tokyo), achieved worldwide renown for works that combined the tradition of Western classical music and the sounds of traditional Eastern instruments, especially the biwa (a short-necked lute) and the shakuhachi (a bamboo flute), in addition to serial music and musique concrète. His compositions also used percussion in unusual ways, electronic alteration of orchestral sounds, and even silence to return to music the sensuality he thought it had lost. In addition to concert works, he composed more than 90 film scores, including Woman in the Dunes (1964) and Ran (1985). Takemitsu was, for the most part, self-taught, though he did study intermittently with the composer Yasuji Kiyose. He first performed in public in 1950 and the following year helped found a new group, the Experimental Workshop. Takemitsu’s first composition to attract international attention was Requiem for Strings (1957), which became one of his most popular works. Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland promoted his music, and it began to be performed abroad. Major orchestras also began to commission and perform his compositions, among them what was possibly his best-known work, November Steps (1967). Takemitsu’s later music reflected the influence of Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, and Olivier Messiaen and incorporated elements of tonal harmony along with those of serial music. He also claimed that the Japanese formal garden inspired the structure of his music, as illustrated by such works as A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1978) and Tree Line (1988). Takemitsu was active in festivals of modern music and was director of the Space Theatre at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan. Among his awards were the Gravemeyer Award (1994) and the Glenn Gould Prize (1996). Takemitsu’s last work was a piece for the flute, and he was working on his first opera at the time of his death (1996).
Misaki Kobayashi: Kobayashi’s directorial debut was in 1952 with Musuko no Seishun (My Son’s Youth).
From 1959 to 1961, Kobayashi directed The Human Condition (1959–1961), a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is almost ten hours, which makes it one of the longest fiction films ever made for theatrical release.
In 1962 he directed Harakiri, which won the Jury Prize at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1964, Kobayashi made Kwaidan (1964), his first color film, a collection of four ghost stories drawn from books by Lafcadio Hearn. Kwaidan won the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1968, Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa and Kobayashi founded the directors group, Shiki no kai-The Four Horsemen Club, in an attempt to create movies for younger generations.
In 1969, he was a member of the jury at the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.
He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora! after Akira Kurosawa left the film. But instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.
One of his grand projects was a film on Yasushi Inoue’s novel about Buddhist China, Tun Huang, which never came to fruition.
Two samples of their collaboration. First; the 1968 film Hymn To A Tired Man and second; The Inheritance (1962).