Well, that was just the best sword-fighting movie I've ever seen. Lots of bare feet moving across wooden floors, incredible cinematography, a top-notch cast and plenty of questions they didn't bother answering. Sword of Doom, Japanese Psycho Samurai, I highly recommend it. And it really blended into last night's theatrical spectacle well. Which I should say something about ...
Faust, as done by Punchdrunk, was the kind of theatrical experience you spend years going to the theater hoping to encounter. We screwed up and manage to miss the clues that would have got us synched up with the story thread that was going on, and spent most of the first hour going from floor to floor absorbing the incredibly atmospheric scenery that was created in the spaces of the warehouse. A forest with real pine trees and a broken woodshed, a cornfield with a windmill, a freaky hall of stone madonnas with candles underneath them, a big empty barn ... it was all just a part of the whole we never got to entirely see. Finally, an actor pulled me into the dance scene and I was swing dancing with the devil ... spun back into the audience until he brushed his hand across the cheek and commanded,"Follow me!" So I did and we saw the rest of Faust (and Gretchen)'s downfall ... only catching up with the rest of our group as Mephistopheles threw his body across a naked Faust as if to mark him as his property. Boo ya. I need to go back in December and catch the scenes I missed.
Let's just say tonight I'm sponsored a bit by the perry and farmhouse cider we polished off at The Harp near Covent Garden (my face! I can't feel my face!), and hit a review of Funeral Parade of Roses. This movie was billed as a gay Oedipus, but I missed most of the metaphor and got caught up in the depiction of life as a queen (geyboy in Japanese) in 1960's Japan. The lead characters were fighting to be head drag queens at a hostess bar in Tokyo (a strange parallel to the Naruse movies I saw earlier this year), one doing the traditional kimono look, the other a 60's mod girl. Meanwhile, they were also members of some kind of film commune, and there were scenes of them watching movies, filming TV, and smoking pot and playing strip poker. Occasionally there were interviews with the actors as actors, asking them how they felt about the roles they were playing, and then asking people on the street about what it was like to be a geyboy - extremely interesting given the cultural context. Then suddenly the Oedipus thing slammed back into the story, and BLAM! Ultraviolence! And I felt dumb that I'd missed an obvious plot point or two. It was all a bit too long, but not a waste of celluloid - just a bit much for that late at night. I think the lesson was: no more movies after 8 PM on weeknights.
And of course my favorite part of the weekend was hanging out with spikeylady Saturday afternoon, which was unexpectedly free and in dire need of some good girl time. I had some nice squash soup and bread at the vegetarian restaurant near her place, then we poked around in Peacocks, where I picked up a fuzzy sweater and a skirt and dress for 40 pounds (cheap!). Thanks for the invite - I promise next time I'll catch the quick train instead of doing the scenic tour of south London.