Dragnet Girl Screen 8 articles

Dragnet Girl


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  • Not noted for his interest in sex and violence, let alone heterosexual relationships, Ozu would seem to be out of his depth. But he characteristically charms us with injections of humour, visual rhymes and homages to Hollywood, as well as demonstrating his ability to extend his visual repertoire beyond washing lines, telegraph poles and kettles.

  • Alongside Walk Cheerfully's gangsters-going-straight yarn and That Night's Wife's melancholic chamber drama, Dragnet Girl emerges as the plottiest of the three... Ozu's treatment of this gangster underworld as something dispersed throughout contemporary society contrasts the more withdrawn presentation of criminal activity in the prior two films, and yet, even with the uptick in macho rottenness, empathy reigns.

  • This silent gangster picture by Yasujiro Ozu (1933), about a typist determined to make her criminal boyfriend go straight, is one of the most striking of Ozu's American-style silents.

  • DRAGNET GIRL is always a discovery: for those familiar with his Ozu's work, it's like a secret code, a confirmation of what they'd previously only suspected about the director; for first-timers, it's a dream life, a reminder that there's no such thing as a silent image. Every vivid shot in DRAGNET GIRL makes an accompanying sound seem superfluous.

  • As the quartet moves toward its inevitable redemptive collision, the director flexes his various sides: Ozu the gagman includes a pair of skinny ruffians rhythmically skulking down the street (and then, when a policeman shows up, rhythmically running away), Ozu the try-anything novice gets a fisheye effect by reflecting the city off the shiny chrome of the getaway car, Ozu the contemplative imagesmith ponders close-ups of a dinner grown cold and a suitcase containing a criminal’s life.

  • Yasujiro Ozu’s Dragnet Girl (1933) is an electrifying expression of all the conflicted, ambivalent feelings swirling around the modern girl and the full-throttle westernization and modernization that, in the 1930s, ran up against Japan’s rising nationalism. Jazzy, stylized, kinetic, and high-spirited, Dragnet Girl is also an intimate, emotionally charged study of people caught in the cultural cross-fire.

  • [Dragnet Girl's] distinctive, highly inflected manner suggests what Ozu both lost and gained with sound. Some of the dramatic sequences of this film, with their posed, tenderly expressive dramatic dialogue (here conveyed in title cards), could fit recognizably into his later work. Other sequences, featuring elaborate camera work that calls exaggerated attention to decorative objects, contrasts of light, reflections, and sudden movements, are hard to find in his sound films.

  • Dragnet Girl is packed with so much visual bravado—unexpected, rhythmic editing choices, as in a distinctly musical cut from a jump-roping kid to a bass being slapped in a nightclub; stunning, Josef von Sternberg–esque chiaroscuro compositions; smooth tracking shots; forced perspectives—that it’s easy to overlook the emotional complexity with which Ozu and screenwriter Tadao Ikeda sketch the film’s array of characters.

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