mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Shades of the past

Oh, I had great plans for this summer. I was going to get off my ass and kick my don'wanna reflex and do a bunch of things I'd always half-thought about doing, like the summer films at the AGO-- Kurosawa this year!-- or used to do, like Perseid watching. And I started well enough with the Doors Open thing and the Tafelmusik free concerts and showing up for Pride, however briefly because dear god that sun was HOT. But then the mug began, and you can't see Perseids in downtown TO, even though the night was clear, and though I bought tickets for three AGO films, every one of those evenings was muggy and oppressive and threatening, and either I didn't want to go out in that or, out, felt vile enough that I came back home. So the last six weeks have been something of a bust.

This week the Bloor is showing a handful of Kurosawas to mark his anniversary, and one was The Hidden Fortress this afternoon when, mirabile dictu, I did *not* have a shift. I had a ticket for it at the AGO and was annoyed at missing the big screen experience. But now I got to see the film where I first saw it, 25 years ago about this time, in another universe when I'd just discovered Japan as something other than film, ironically enough. Things have changed since then, alas. My eyes are worse than they were and my contacts no longer address the problem; the subtitles are half-illegible white on white anyway, and the Japanese is male-grunt incomprehensible. So I was a bit sad to start with, wondering why I'd been so delighted with the thing back in '85... and then, and then, the old Kurosawa magic crept back. I can't say how or why, but I have that full-fed sensation Kurosawa's historicals always gave me; however much I wonder at the historicity of them all (surely it's romantic history, since Kurosawa was such a romantic), however much I wonder why this princess doesn't talk like any NHK Taiga drama princesses (where did that harsh shriek come from?), still and all, Kurosawa convinces on his own terms, always. A pity I'll have to see him on the small screen from now on, but my own fault, basically.
Tags: film, japanese, rl_10

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