December 11th, 2012


(no subject)

The Japan Foundation was having their usual free films back at the old Bloor Cinema which has been taken over and renovated by an outfit that screens documentaries solely. Is why last year's films were at some inconvenient locale. The Japan Foundation's film nights have been cut to two, alas, but they still show three films. However, not up for a double bill, on Sunday I skipped the one about airlines and went to the one about the little village that puts on an amateur kabuki show every year (or every two years, if you're the real little village.) The film's called Someday in English, on account of them assuming American audiences would no more go see 'A Record of the Disturbances at Big Deer Village' than they'd buy a book called 'The Rivers of London.'

It was lots of fun, though I find the renovated Bloor now has much narrower seats, and I *think* has lost some side space downstairs. But venue apart, I was assailed by a particular gaijin moment in the film.
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Last night's film was Villon's Wife, and I lasted fifteen minutes. I was in the balcony, which has the old wide seats, and unlike the floor on Sunday night it was almost full, with lots of friends meeting each other, and groups of Japanese chatting together, and a happy theatre ambience all round. The film is set just post-war, in the vanished Tokyo one rarely sees, and Matsu Takako is gorgeous (she was in Someday-- her picture's in that first link) and listening to the levels of Japanese the actors use is most instructive. But there's only so much I can take of "a long-suffering woman's relationship with her brilliant but self-destructive writer husband in postwar Tokyo." Dazai Osamu wrote some amazing stuff but oh em gee was he a 'ditch him, dear, he ain't worth it' dweeb.