February 28th, 2010

Jasper Morello

And the last day of Mehbruary, it shall be known as Failsday

Oh, today. Bah and bah and bah.

I was trying to cheer myself up by having people over for games, but my 3rd cancelled.

So I thought, well, no reason not to cook the food I'd bought for the three of us, and started in on it, and then happened to check and see if "Where The Wild Things Were" was on somewhere, and it was! We rushed out the door to hit the 1:20 show ...

and when we got there discovered the times had been printed incorrectly on the website I was looking at. It wasn't showing today, it was M-Th, not Th-M.

So well, it was lunch time, and off we went to Chuen Cheng Ku, just up the street, and had a fabulous "bringing around the carts" dim sum. I'm totally thinking of having the 3rd annual Geminis Birthday Bash there, if Wechsler and Meg actually want to be a part of something like that.Now that's what I call Dim Sum #fb on Twitpic

Then we walked to the National Gallery to see the Kienholz "Hoerengracht" exhibit. Only ... it was over. It's last day was the weekend before. He's my favorite modern sculptor and I totally failed to see his exhibit even though it was free and had been there for months. What have I been doing for the last three months that I missed it every single day? Oh, yeah, I remember, rather a lot of this time I've been laying around the house in this kind of paralyzing depression.

Anyway, I'm back home. This day didn't go so well. I am probably going to spend most of the evening writing and reading and doing things like that, and maybe even putting away my laundry, and eventually I'll dig into the overly huge pot of food that's sitting in the crockpot and eat some of it.

And Leonard Cohen. All of these people I know like Leonard Cohen. I have this page I've been going back to occasionally to play the songs off of it to see if I get it. So I'm not the last of my friends to discover Leonard Cohen; he's still just not clicking for me. No idea why.
Sea dragon

The end of the Ozu festival

So after two months, the Ozu festival has ended. We saw three movies in the last week: End of Summer, Early Spring, and The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice. I'll be happy to not see anymore Japanese domestic dramas for a while, despite the "masterly" film making; too many people making choices based on what society expected of them, too little of people seeking personal understanding, happiness, or fulfillment. Lots of insights into Japanese culture, mind you, but sometimes it was all a bit too harsh.

The very last movie we saw (Green Tea Over Rice) had some great scenes set at a Pachinko parlor, and I laughed out loud when they went out to eat at the "Calorie Hut (insert picture of pig)." However, it was mostly about a rather priggish wife doing her best to "outwit" her husband, and rather sad insofar as neither of them seemed to be making any attempt to get to know the other. Ah, arranged marriages!

Of this lot, my favorite was decidedly End of Summer, which was about an aged patriarch embarassing his family as he gets closer to death. He was probably in his sixties or seventies, and I loved that he was sneaking away to go drink some hootch with the girlie he'd hooked up with way back when. His daughter in law was mortified, but I think the phrase "he died as he lived" was far more of a celebration in this case than a cause for remorse.

Early Spring, meanwhile, was more of a domestic drama, "married man fools around on wife, will she forgive him!", but fascinating in its depiction of Japanese office culture. I also liked that for this film, finally, we actually saw a woman taking ownership of her sexuality; she was portrayed as a wee bit of a villain, but I found her far more appealing than most of the dull young virgins who seemed to spend all of their time contemplating marriage proposals and little else (in most of the last half of Ozu's work).

Overall, I saw 14 Ozu movies in two months, but only missed two I was really hoping to see (due to scheduling issues). With the twelve I saw in 2005, I've now seen 28 of his 37 or so movies (many are missing; some only exist as fragments, but I did see some of those!). The only one of his sound black and whites that I missed was "The Munekata Sisters;" sadly I didn't see many of his color movies at all, but since there are only 6 and I've seen three, well, that's not too bad, really. As for his silents; well, there are many of them, but I don't think I'm particularly interested in seeing the ones I missed as I nearly fell asleep during every one of them.

Best movie? I'd say Late Spring, which I rated equal to Tokyo Story as 3 1/2 stars (out of four) but which just shimmered with beauty. And I got weepy at the end. I'd say watch them both if you can. As for me, my next stop in movie-land is Alice in Wonderland; after all this I could use something a little bit lighter!