This article was published in the first issue of Sanlian Life Weekly in 2019, with the original title "The Highest State of the House"
Stills from the movie "Where there is Kumagai Shouichi
" "A Place Where Kumagaya Moriichi is" is an idyllic Japanese movie that tells the story of Kumagai Moriichi and his wife living peacefully in a traditional Japanese house. Although it focuses on this famous painter, the film does not portray his prime, nor does it have the plot when he painted. It puts the pen and ink in the daily life of Kumagaya Shouyi in his later years.
From the age of 60, the painter has not gone out, only eats with his wife, watched fish, teased cats, and played chess every day. I started painting at night. In a large amount of time during the day, in order to see the texture of the stone, he can stare at the stone all morning; to see the direction of the white clouds moving, he can also lie down in the yard for a long time. He even observes flies-the artist wrote a collection of essays in his later years, called "Flies."
The audience may wonder: a person who has not been out for a long time, is he wasting his time and wasting his life every day? But this movie tells you that people with enough heart can also "home" out of the universe. Of course, when Kumagai was 76 years old, he suffered a stroke and was unable to go out to sketch. Part of his "home" was also for physical reasons. In the movie, he once tried to walk out of the courtyard and go to the street outside. Not a few steps out of the house, I met a little girl and ran home in fright after I met her.
Kumagai Moriichi's late works are many things that surround this courtyard, which are picked up and pointed directly at people's hearts. He has a painting called "Raindrops", which captures the splash of water at the 0.01 second moment when the rain falls on the ground. You will be surprised how the naked eye can capture so fine. In the film, he said that the ants crawled by moving their left leg first. The photographer and assistant lie on the ground and observe for a long time, but they can't see clearly.
The movie screen is calm and the narration is gentle. Several times you may feel that the screen is dead, but it is actually just the director showing the audience the most intuitive silence of the courtyard.
At the beginning, director Shuichi Okita created a very interesting "sense of distance."
In the morning, Kumagai Shouichi had breakfast with his wife and housekeeper: fried fish, pickled vegetables in his own jar, soup and rice. The hot dog won't bite, so you need to use a small clip. The soup splashed on the faces of his wife and housekeeper. The two were used to it and continued to eat. After dinner, play Go. After losing to his wife again, he put on his own equipment-wooden clogs, coat, felt hat, and two crutches, bid farewell to his wife who was drying clothes under the porch, and left the house.
The worm on a leaf first attracted him, staring at the leaf for a long time, and he said, "Are you always here?" The leaf trembled slightly, as if responding to his question.
He continued to move forward, with lush trees on both sides, giving people a sense of the wilderness of trekking through mountains and rivers. A butterfly flew towards him. He paused, looked back and found that it was a black butterfly floating on a green leaf. Kumagai wanted to touch it playfully, and the butterfly spread its wings. Next, the cicada got into the gap in the trunk and then bounced to the ground. Suddenly the old man's face appeared in the camera, he was lying on the ground, trying to catch the cicada that had just fallen. There were a few goldfish in the tank. He walked over and sat down and looked at the water plants. The white cat called, he looked back and stared, and stepped forward to talk to him. The cat turned and ran away. He and the praying mantis on the tree looked at each other for a long time. Then, a small stone on the ground attracted his attention. He couldn't tell why this stone attracted him, so he picked it up and put it in his pocket. Moving on, a line of ants on the ground didn't know what was busy, his innocent eyes were full of questions.
Looking tired, he suddenly raised his head and said to himself: "Where is this?" Looking around, he found that his wife was hanging clothes beside him.
Movie "Where there is Kumagai Shouichi"
The director uses a microscopic narration method to make this passage feel as if the artist has traveled for a long time. But in reality, the above journey only took place within a short distance of tens of meters in the courtyard. The painter went around and returned to the origin of his wife's clothes drying.
Director Shuichi Okita is good at seeing life in details. Chinese audiences should be familiar with his commercial debut "Antarctic Cooker". This movie has always been regarded as a must-see in Japanese gourmet movies, and every one shot in itEating-making rice balls, making ramen, fried crabs...not only contains thinking about Japanese culture and eating habits, but also explains the director's own worldview. There is also no obvious plot advancement, focusing on tracing daily details. Both "Antarctic Cook" and "A Place With Kumagai Shouichi" tell stories in a relatively fixed scene, which tests the director's grasp of the situation.
One of the manifestations of the situation is that "A Place with Kumagai Shouyi" contains the view of life and death in Japanese traditional culture. In the second half of the film, the fate of seeing the tall apartment building next to the small courtyard and the sun being blocked is inevitable. Kumagai Mamoichi decided to fill in the pond he had dug for 10 years, because after the tall building is completed, the pond will be the courtyard The only place where the sun can shine. The wife invited the workers who filled the pond to eat. Kumagaya suddenly saw light in the yard during the steaming of the banquet. He walked into the yard and found a man with tentacles on his head, and light was emitted from his tentacles. They chatted for a while. The man said, "Would you like to go to the pond to see it?" Kumagai Mamoru looked at him and firmly refused. "If I go to the pool with you, the child's mother will be very sad. She has been tired for a long time in her life, and I don't want her to be tired again." At this time, the audience guessed the metaphor of the luminous man.
This paragraph actually contains a view of life and death in traditional Japanese culture, similar to Xie Wucun’s haiku: "The butterfly falls on the bell, and you fall asleep peacefully." Butterflies are weak creatures, and her life span is only one summer, but she Living easily and happily, I fell asleep contentedly on the bronze clock symbolizing eternal solemnity. This sentence expresses a Zen view of life and death and impermanence. Shiga Naoya, who was born in 1883, also expressed in the novel "In Kinosaki" that life and death are not two contradictory oppositions, but two different parts belonging to a living subject. Death is not terrible, but individuals still struggle with contradictions when facing death.
In the movie, the wife said that this courtyard is the life of Kumagai Moriichi. The story in the film is that when Kumagai was 94 years old, the pond was filled and the sun was blocked by the newly built apartment. Three years later, the painter passed away. One year before his death, he also wrote in the essay collection "The Flies": "I want to live because I am not open-minded. So no matter how old I live, I will not bear my life. If I don't spare my life so much, it would be perfect, but it's a pity , I just can’t bear it.”
Tanizaki Junichiro said in "The Praise of Yinyi" that a soul who grew up in a typical Japanese house has a different understanding of the world. In the "Yin Yi Praise", it is said that the light in the traditional Japanese courtyard will show a soft light after being reflected by the paper sliding door; when the lights are bright at night, the Japanese paper will reflect the light again, thus forming a soft effect again. Japanese traditional buildings dominated by wooden frames, using the characteristics of beam and column combined frames, often open doors and windows to form an integrated indoor and outdoor structure. "A place where Kumagai stays here", Kumagai and his family eat dumplings. They must be served under the porch, served with tea, and a wind chime hung above their heads, and then look out at the turquoise scenery of the courtyard.
At the end of the film, there is a bird's-eye view shot taken from the photographer overlooking the courtyard of Kumagaya Moriichi on the top of the newly built apartment building. I saw the small courtyard of traditional and representative Japanese culture, surrounded by a modern Japanese house. This seems to clarify the writer’s living conditions, but also to clarify the current situation of traditional culture.
When there are 9 minutes left in the film, I finally have the most direct portrayal of the identity of Kumagai artist, but it is very short. Opening the door of the studio, the lens only gave a glimpse. Many paintings were stacked, and then the artist closed the door and was immersed in the world that only belonged to him and the world.