Here we go again, looking back it always seems like i need a few days to adjust to new situations. Funnily enough, the longer my period of stay, the more time i need. Does it mean that i managed “better”, this time around? In some sense yes. I pretty much devoted myself to one thing, and i followed it pretty closely:
I think i manage to view quite a few good movies, even though i feel like i missed a few. More on that later.
Eric and I continued to go to action ecole ones more, this time to see:
Gentlemen prefers Blonde Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, well the movie was thoroughly entertaining, you couldn’t possibly go wrong with that 😉
I watched Sakuran the next day. I wasn’t completely convinced by this film. I don’t think the music matched that well with the rest of the film. Call me a traditionalist, but the “arty” and elaborate ambience of the red light district don’t mix well with pop and rock sound. The main actress although regularly felt out of place with her strong, and very “Yakuza”-like talk (deep loud voice, and some expression i can’t really remember that felt coming out of a Yakuza film)[Edit i later read that one should expect such behavior since they are Oiran(prostitutes) and not geishas, i’m still unconvinced that a women in her situation could have such behavior]. The images were really beautifull, but almost to much, the saturation of the color was also overdone imho.
On Friday morning, i read from Epikt’s blog that the Maison de la culture du Japon was doing a retrospective on the Shôchiku, and that i had missed an incredible amount of movies… ;_; I rushed over there to see The Last Samurai, the epic last movie of Kenji Misumi, know for the Zatoichi serie as well as for the Lone Wolf and Cub movies. The movie was great, the story is pretty cool, and even the clichées are kinda fun. The only thing that i didn’t know was that the film was in two part… for a total of about 3 hour. I went out of the movie completely exhausted, and opted to not see the next movie (There was two screening every day one at 15:00 the next at 19:00).
The next day, i saw 君の名は(kimi no na wa; french title: Quel est ton nom). It doesn’t even appear on imdb or other sites as far as i can tell… Granted the link won’t help many of my (few) readers, but google translated it, there some fun in there anyways. Back to the movie though: It was an absolutely fantastic movie! Haruuuuuuuuuuuukiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii , Maaaaaaachiiiiiiiikoooooooo!!!!!!! Great stuff, a sublime melodrama like there aren’t filmed anymore. Can’t say how much i laughed and cried during the movie, it would be shameful 😉 Same problem as the day before, this movie has three episode for a total of 3:05 hours! I lost the count of messed up situations the two lovers had to face… I was better prepared this time and ready to see the next film. Sadly i decided to first get some food, and when i came back, at 18:30 the film was already sold out! -.- Sadly this was although the last day of the 2 week long retrospective…
Having finished the retrospective, i tried to focus more on newer films:
Beyond the Years by Im Kwon Taek, who directed Chi Hwa Seon which i already talked about. I mentioned this because i really felt a link between the two movies: similar landscape shots, two themes that are kinda similar -they are both biographies of artists-, the randomness of one’s life as described by both.
The sun also rise, which was pretty much the revelation of the week. i love that movie! The first part which completely won me over was so incredibly absurd and fast paced i barely had time to keep up with the movie. The structure was really well thought and surprisingly he managed to tie up every loose end by the end of the film. A great moment of cinema.
Wonderful town was a strange movie. I really liked it, but somehow i never understood if it was a love story a social tale or an analysis of the “post – tsunami” period in Thailand. Probably something in between, but it made it difficult to follow the film.
Women on the Beach. I kinda liked it, even though it’s basicaly a film about a man who treats women like dirt (and every other man around him as well), somehow it takes time to realize it and to that point you already built some sort of affinity with him that becomes difficult to break. Movies aren’t here to paint the world in pink, i felt strongly catched by the movies and the vice and flaws of all the people in it.
Utamaro and his five women. I was recently telling someone that i prefer films where nothing happens, this is one of those, it was great 🙂
The next day, i went to a late night screening of Martyrs, that i had read about on epikt’s “glop ou pas glop” blog. There was a huge contrast between that and the previous film. I’m not sure if i’m so fond of the genre. But it definitively was well made, in my opinion, and you where regularly surprised by the turns the movie took. Ame sensible s’abstenir!
Last but not least, i saw tanin no Kao which impressed me a lot. The beginning is rather week, taking a too intellectual approach. But after some time, the actor really started to flesh out they role and it became a incredibly deep movie, the concepts and thoughts of it are still on my mind. A really great closure of my cinemaphile stay in Paris.
On a side note, it’s really amazing how many older japanese movies where airing this time around, you basically had 1-2 movies per day, at least (not counting kurosawa). Since talking about the movies alone took me so many time, i will split up and talk about the rest of my stay in a new post.