Last weekend, I got to see Hugo, the new Scorsese movie, and I wanted to report that it is just as good as the reviews say. The basic story is simple enough: around 1930, an orphaned boy lives in a Paris train station, risks capture by the station-master, makes a friend, and tries to find a message he believes was left by his deceased father. Woven in is the history of moving pictures by magician/inventor Georges Méliès, who built the first film studio in the world and produced hundreds of films (including the 1902 "A Trip to the Moon").

It is a fairy tale, with a light magic-realistic touch, balanced by an amazing amount of "this really happened" (which you'll have to go learn yourself; it isn't brought up in the movie). Or, ask me about it if you don't mind spoilers.

The plot has some nuance, which I appreciated, though the acting could have used a lighter touch- everyone was capable in their roles, but nearly all of the characters felt cartoonish at times.

The train station, clock works, movie studio (walled in glass to let in light- apparently historically accurate) and Paris street scenes are all gorgeous. Visually, I loved it. This is the first movie I've seen where the 3d truly enhances the art, rather than feeling to me like a gimmick. (I saw and liked Avatar, and I won't argue with somebody who felt this way about Avatar- but I'm a "gears, steam, and clockwork" kind of guy, rather than "blue alien jungle". TMI? [hush!])

What else to say? I don't think it passes the Bechdel Movie Test- there are various scenes of women talking to each other about men. I wonder if this was different in the original novel or a Scorsese touch. Oh- perhaps I'm wrong- a women talks to a girl (and boy, but mostly the girl) about how wonderful it had been to be an actress; that might count.

Anyhow, I am glad I saw this in the theatre.

Inception

Sunday, 29 August 2010 10:57 pm
I liked it. Not as much as Paprika, possibly not as much as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Probably 8 or 8.5 out of 10. It could have been a 9 if they'd spent more time with the Architect and turning realities upside down (psychologically, as well as physically); psychological freefall as well as the physical in the second half. [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball says it could've used some David Mamet- the hotel bar scene felt to him like they were going in the direction of The Spanish Prisoner.

They did blow stuff up good, in the second half; it was fun, but they could've trimmed that down 20ish minutes without any loss.

So, yeah. Worth seeing, possibly worth seeing on the big screen if you like your stuff blown up big...
We heard The Shaw Festival was putting on The Women this year, so we re-rented the film last week. (The George Cukor/Clare Boothe Luce version, not the 2008 mess, of which no more will be said).

The story is of Mary Haines, a New York socialite in the late '30s, confident in her marriage, progressive about women's rights, and it turns out, a pretty awful judge of character. Her friends mostly are conniving busybodies, her husband's been cheating on her for months, and she has nobody to turn to but her mother, who tells her to sweep the affair under the rug. She instead takes her "friends'" advice, confront the Other Woman (played by Joan Crawford) and her husband. She ends up on a train to Reno, the only place to get a 6-week divorce, and are soon followed there by her friends, who have highs and lows of their own. Back in New York, two years later, the plot culminates in a big party with a cut-throat battle royale, and formerly naive Mary comes out wiser, and apparently the only one not spattered with mud.

On the one hand, it's a morality play, asking serious questions about whether women spend all their time cutting each other down, and whether modern society was all that modern after all. On the other hand it's a campy bitch-fest with some of the best one-liners of any film I've seen.

So, yes. Highly recommended. (We are possibly having a re-play party in early October; remind me if you're interested and I haven't mentioned it)...

---

On Sunday, we saw the Shaw Festival version. On the balance, it was well done, but it lacked the chemistry in the (all-star) movie. The sets were amazing (and the stage-pieces swooped around the stage, in and out of the light, in a very satisfying way) but I can conclude that I liked the movie better.

The accents were jarringly off- they occasionally managed "NYC flapper" but often the accents seemed out of place, which was disappointing.

One of the aspects that I thought I didn't like about the film actually turned out to be lacking in the stage-show: Mary's relationship with her pre-teen daughter, who is played in the film as fairly melodramatic or even mawkish. In the stage-show, she stands more on her own, isn't very hammy at all, but also doesn't have the intense connection with her mother that was so striking in the film, especially after Mary goes through with the divorce. Before seeing the stage-show, I would have said she over-played the character; afterward, I think she was an essential partner for the main character.

Both versions do a good job with Mary and her own mother, who is "pleased that she's finally needed again" to help Mary figure out how to cope. There are slight differences in pacing between the two, and the ending of the stage show is ambiguous, but both were fine in those respects.

The stage version was stylish, and the lines still had as much zing, but the actresses didn't have the stage-presence of the movie-stars, sadly enough. So this is one of the rare occasions when I was happier with the film than with the stage-show.

---

[livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball rented a batch of Pre-Hayes Code movies, (specfically: Forbidden Hollywood Volume 2). We watched one of the other Norma Shearer films, "A Free Soul". It had many "WTF?" moments, and it wasn't a "greatest of all time" film by any stretch, but it was fun, and one of the better early talkie movies I've seen. Apparently it was fairly scandalous for its time; showing an unmarried woman spending nights with her lover; part of the loose morals that the Hayes Code successfully censored for the following decades.
I just got out of Exit Through the Gift Shop, a movie about graffiti street-art, and a well done mockumentary.

Supposedly, it started as an amateur videographer's quest to film the biggest street artists, and as the project spiraled, then turned into a documentary about Thierry Guetta, the videographer, now known as "Mr. Brainwash" and his rise to commercial success making pop/street art with an army of illustrators hired through Craigslist. How he copied all of the strategies of the people he filmed, and finding great commercial success despite having no talent of his own. How the "real" artists are left wondering whether the joke was entirely on them. The punchline interviews at the end when they bitterly distanced themselves from their supposed friend, seeming a bit petty, and trying to make sense of how he made millions with his ripoffs (and a lot of their hard work).

My only complaint was that it got slow at the 1-hour mark, though they picked it up a bit when the supposed videographer filmed Banksy installing a protest against Guantanamo Bay prison inside Disneyland. Which did happen.

Indeed, lots of the events in the movie did happen- only many of them were engineered for the movie. Financed somehow, and with some actor to play Thierry Guetta.
Thursday night, d. and I went to see Almodóvar’s latest. I hadn't read many reviews, and none of the ones I read give away the... middle, but I think it's worth the reveal.

If you liked Women on the Verge, you should see this. There is a film-in-a-film which has a delightfully wrong homage - (there's a bed on fire; and barbiturates in the gazpacho; and... you just can't do that. Can you?) or as The New York Times review puts it:

"the director’s pastiche of his early, funny work becomes, in the context of this somber new film, a poignant reflection on aging and loss. To catch a glimpse of “Women” in the mirror of “Embraces” is to see how cinematic images can be both tangible and ghostly."

Much of the film is in flashback to 1992-1994, a full 14 years before the film's "present". [A self-indulgent side-note: I'm struck by how much happens in that 14 years- and it's a bit spooky to overlay the plot over top of my life, to see elements I would just consider "modern" in the 1994 shots and realize no, they were modern 14 years ago. Getting old here, folks.]

Things start with bright and cheerful casual relationships, a writer who changed his name and lost his eyesight, a close assistant and her son; in flashback, Almodóvar tells the back story of the principals, unspooling what might be a murder mystery. It can't be film noir if it's shot in bright primary colors, can it? But noirish it is; and fairly grim for a portion. Until Almodóvar upsets the apple-cart with the first glimpse of Women on the Verge. (In the theatre, dan and I were the only people who were laughing out loud. Which felt pretty damn weird!)

I will be thinking about this film for a while. It digests slowly. There are themes of piecing together ones past; re-editing a badly told story into something beautiful; recovering destroyed photographs from their shreds; reclaiming one's whole identity from pieces that had been buried and considered dead. An Almodóvar trope: self-reinvention and becoming more true to oneself.

Loss. Aging.

And beautiful images of Spain, which I haven't visited, and really would like to.
A Cohen brothers movie; not quite as dark a comedy as Fargo. Set in Minneapolis, but a Jewish suburb, not small-town. The story is, at face, a retelling of the Old Testament book of Job, the trials of a God-fearing man.

So, yeah, God seems to be testing Larry Gopnik, a nebbishy academic. Wife leaves him; his kids don't respect him; he challenges a student who tries bribing him and appears to be losing tenure as a result of anonymous defamatory letters; his brother has awful medical and legal problems. Through all this, Larry tries doing the Right Thing. To bad effect.

But Larry is the architect of (some of) his trials as much as anyone. He's a serious man, but he's also oblivious to his surroundings, which led to a bit of a psychological "Mr. Magoo" effect.

On the upside, the three rabbis he goes to for help were very funny. And the ending, which I won't spoil, was very well done. Overall, it works, though it feels like a less than stellar success.

I give it a minor recommendation. I might see it again, though I expect a bunch of other Cohen brothers movies I haven't seen will take precedence.

Hm, I should see O Brother again.
Slumdog Millionaire came highly recommended from all over, and I will echo that back.

I could swear that I read exactly this story in a William Gibson short story, though; we got your mashup Bollywood/ska/rap soundtrack, characters starting from the very bottom, hyper-on-on-on pop culture, computer-networks and cellphones playing a central role, cities growing up out of the slums, violence, the odd implausible coincidence, and heavy reliance on inter-connected flashbacks. Did I miss anything critical?

I did like it; I was merely puzzling over whose style it reminded me of. Gibson's it.
I apologize if you haven't seen it, because the next paragraph is probably not going to make much sense.

I can't believe I hadn't seen this movie until now. A sentimentalist like me. I liked it. A lot. I mean, aside from agreeing with the lesson that erasing someone's painful memories wouldn't be the easy right answer; aside from the two leads which had amazing chemistry and the well-done production which used effects without feeling trite; and apart from the sheer "what the hell just happened". Something through this made me quite sad and also grateful. I'm guessing it might have to do with the connections of memory-loss and life-loss. And loneliness. Joel's re-imagining the beach-house with Clem, forcing himself to reinvent a memory he could keep, with her in it- felt like a fairly major assertion about the best of our stubbornness, fighting giving in to despair. And again the motif of learning something different this time around the loop, this time regarding relationships revisiting the same emotional ground again.

So, what did you think of it?...

Ironically, after I rented this but before I watched it, dan and I were talking about what to do with ephemera such as old audio tapes. So my plan was to go through my box of cassette tapes and decide whether I need to send my mix tapes off to these folks to record them digitally at ~$6 a tape. I got far enough to realize I kinda didn't have the wherewithal to deal with that at the same time as watching the movie.

Spoilers

Sunday, 7 September 2008 01:16 pm
Friday night we saw the movie Diabolique, which was one of Hitchcock's style-influences. It was an OK (but merely OK) suspense/horror story.

Which I bring up now because it ended with a spoiler warning. Something like, "Don't be diabolical! Keep the surprise ending from your friends who haven't seen it yet!" ...And fifty years later, I won't say more about the surprise, out of respect for that.

This week, I've also seen a two-part Doctor Who episode from the new Series 4, which involves the Doctor meeting another time-traveller- she knows him very well; he's just meeting her for the first time. The show handled the interpersonal dynamics quite well. She'd tell him something impossible, he'd ask her incredulous questions, and she said, "Sorry, spoiler." The look on his face...

I like the dance in this show, between the Doctor being omniscient yet not- compared to men, he's like a god; but his omniscience usually turns out to be experience over his amazingly long lifespan, being very clever, and having good instincts for how things ought to turn out.

And this makes a story. True omniscience and omnipotence only make good stories in short doses (or maybe as acquired tastes).

(Of course in Doctor Who, he also treads the line on omnipotence; I know some people find it overly deus ex machina, but there seem to be a lot of things in science fiction that I'm willing to suspend disbelief for when it otherwise feels like a good story...)

I was recently thinking about these: would I be happier to know how something will turn out, with 100% certainty? How about probabilities? It seems to me that's the difference between a spoiler and a coming-attraction; it's all in the mystery.

And if I may get a bit theological in my journal; if there's a word for what God means to me, it might just be that: mystery.

So: bring on all the predictions through any human filter you like. But if we get to the time where we've got scientific instruments that can map a person's life with 100% certainty, or if I were to suddenly discover I believe in a God who doesn't respect free will... I expect then I'll have problems.
Earlier this week when I was working on my paper d. got Pat and Mike to keep him company. Well I'm glad he didn't watch it then, because this is a Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy movie I liked more than Adam's Rib.

Kate plays a "girl athlete" and Spencer plays her manager; the inevitable happens, but not quite as you'd expect given the standard formula. There's a handshake, near the end, that had me nearly dying with laughter.

Oh, and there's the scene where Kate shoves Spencer aside in order to very effectively beat up a pair of mobsters. Then we get the reenactment for the police, where she does it again, very prim and upper-crust.

And there's the jealous other guy, and the other jealous guy, who happens to be the very attractive young boxer who Spencer still manages but isn't paying attention to, now that he's got the "girl dynamo." Great chemistry all around, and fairly real characters, if a bit flat.

But I wish they still made movies with as much overall panache.

I should start a collection, top-notch feminist movies from the 50s. This, and Adams Rib, and... hm.
Themes: digging out. movies. friends.

Friday night, I shovelled. Thankfully, the physio went very well- my neck wasn't bothering me while I was shovelling, though it was bad enough earlier that we ducked out of dinner plans with [livejournal.com profile] dawn_guy & [livejournal.com profile] catbear.
Saturday morning, I shovelled. It was sort of fun, because it was so light and fluffy.
Saturday evening, I shovelled, so that we might get out to the da Capo concert. Which was cancelled almost exactly when I came in from shovelling.
Sunday morning, I shovelled. Getting it over my head to the top of the pile was a bit of a pain.
Sunday afternoon, I shovelled, after the plow came through. Getting the compacted plow-crap onto the pile was more of a pain- this marks the first time I've ever had to do maintenance digging from the top of a snow-pile to make room for the rest. I took a few photos, but they're not as pretty as Saturday night's from in front of a neighbour's house.

Saturday night dan got us a backup plan, within 10 minutes of the concert being cancelled, which turned out to be good fun: we went to see Karen-M-of-no-LJ, a friend of [livejournal.com profile] persephoneplace who dan has gotten to know as well. It was going to be a 5-minute walk, except we walked through the school yard to save a few hundred feet of walking around it, so of course it was a 15 minute walk. :) Fortunately, my wind-pants double nicely as snow-pants.

We watched Volver, which none of us had seen. I loved it. Very much a "strength of sisterhood" movie, with less over-the-top characters than some of Almodóvar's works, and I liked the eventual reversals of back-story that made things even more believable. The theme of blowing winds was quite beautiful- especially with the image of going back and forth from Madrid to the family hometown, through the spinning wind-farms; a bridge between the historic provincial superstitious old people and modern younger city-dwellers who don't seem nearly as grounded, but much more busy.

Friday night, d. and I watched the first episode of Planet Earth, narrated by David Attenborough. It was better than I expected- the other two parts I've seen were on an airplane, and you don't really get the nuanced video in a 6-inch seat-back display. :) I'm looking forward to curling up to see more of them.

And on Sunday [livejournal.com profile] chezmax and I saw Juno, which was charming and funny and perhaps a bit too quirky, but still worth seeing. My only major complaint is the one I've read most frequently about it, that the conversation with her family after she's done a mental 180 on getting an abortion feels like a sitcom decision, which ends up feeling suspiciously moralizing. It didn't sit well with me how the step-mom says, "Aren't you just an Amazon?" and that's it.

On the other hand, every other step in the movie is cavalier, such as the girls finding adoptive parents in the Pennysaver. So perhaps this decision fits; and it fits with the theme of Juno being a strong 16-year-old who made a mistake and is dealing with all of the consequences, including going through with the adoption, as tough as it is. So: yeah, I recommend it. It's very funny; imdb has the longest set of "Memorable Quotes" for this movie than any other I can think of. That's probably because everyone's just so damn quirky.

An enjoyable dinner last night with [livejournal.com profile] chezmax and [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j, with soup that turned out to be stew, orange mint bread, and rubber cherry pie that turned out to be tasty and not at all like rubber.

Finally, to end with some more digging out: Saturday [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball asked me for a bit of joint-financial paperwork from 2000-2001, which I thought I could find, and I couldn't in ten minutes. And he was having heebie-jeebies about how much stuff I keep in my closets, and I had to agree that with a fresh pair of eyes, yes, it is a bit scary.

So I started going through things, including a great big pile of papers from my time at Cornell that I had decided to keep when we moved from Ithaca. Wow. I'm gung-ho about attacking this, because It Is Time. And it will help me on my way toward organizing my stuff according to GTDish guidelines. More to follow. I wish I'd taken a photo before I started.
Natural selection is so cool. The Dec. 24 issue of the Economist has a neat article about humans' shift from hunting to agriculture; how it was in a sense a desperation move as they hunted the big game to extinction. Such as the rhinoceroses in France. 30,000 years ago. That's... amazingly recent. When they ran out of rhinos, they went on to elk and bison. When they ran out of bison, agriculture seemed like a good idea. OK, I'm bastardizing the story a bit, but it makes a fun story that way. I'd link to the article, but the Economist didn't put it on their website.

On Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j showed me Gankutsuou. It's a sci-fi anime in 24 episodes retelling The Count of Monte Christo. After watching two episodes and reading up in Wikipedia, I want to read the (English translation of the) original. I may come back and watch the anime- it's got a different perspective, starting the story with the young aristocrat Albert and his friend Franz, piecing together the Count's story in flashback in a much less sympathetic fashion. Other interesting bits I learned from yon wonderful time-sucker wikipedia: two other stories whose plots were heavily borrowed from CoMC: Sweeney Todd (which I know some of you liked) and Stars My Destination (by one of my favourite old sci-fi authors, Alfred Bester).

Thirdly, from [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj: The Complete New Yorker on DVD has dropped in price from $100 to $39.99. That's cool enough- $40 is a very fair price- but if you order with coupon-code 'WINTER25' it's $29.99. Wow. I'm going to buy a copy for my parents; perhaps then they will throw out the great big stacks of the magazines in their house?... Yeah, it's unlikely, but I suppose I can hope. ;)

And now maybe my brain will quiet down a bit and let me get to sleep; though I won't complain, because the evening was pretty great. Not the least of which: for dinner d. made duck burritos and lemon bars. Yum!
Les Invasions barbares rates five out of five stars. I think I should see this again eventually; the longer version next time (we had the choice between 99m and 112m; we took the shorter one).

So much nuance; and the wonderfully clever dialogue between old friends and exes. It skewers nationalized medicine, Quebec hospitals, American culture, and probably our attitudes about families as well. Much of the the film just felt comfortable- they could imply volumes just with a single visual element (a glance; a long shot through the hospital's corridor). Some of the comfortableness feels uncomfortable- how the son used his money and privilege as a lever to work through bureaucracy, a perfectly obvious decision that I would probably make as well, in the same circumstance as him.

And all of this feels comfortable even though I've never helped a close friend deal with a terminal illness. Though, of course, I know people who have, and I suppose the story arc in the film is somewhat cathartic.

I need to see The Decline of the American Empire, its predecessor. (Don't yell at me for not seeing it yet! I only have so much time for movies! ;)
We've just finished watching The Lion in Winter. Such a fine movie.  I'd bought it last month (saw it in the $10 bin at GenX!) and we've just gotten around to opening it up now.  Fitting, since it is set in Christmas 1183.

Eleanor: Henry
Henry II: Madam
Eleanor: Did you ever love me?
Henry II: No
Eleanor: Good. That will make this pleasanter.

Henry II: I'm villifying you for God's sake - pay attention!

Eleanor: In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible.

Merry Christmas, all.
I guess d. just posted his review of Knocked Up as well; I haven't read his, and I apologize for any duplication. I'll keep it short. :)

This was a cringe-humour, toilet-humour, popular movie- that I liked. It had intelligence behind the embarrassing jokes, and that seems to have made the difference.

It also turns out to be an adorable romantic comedy and the male lead turns into a responsible guy by the end, without making the movie feel at all hackneyed.

Midway there's a scene that made the movie for me, with a dejected bouncer, which goes from too-much-cringe to really funny in just an instant.

It reminds me a bit of "I (heart) Huckabees", in the way it merges all the genres together and comes up with something better than you might expect.
This morning I watched "Carfree" "Carefree", in which Fred plays a psychologist and Ginger plays the Mixed Up Woman Who Can't Commit To Her Man. She falls in love with Fred's character, hilarity ensues. (Police baton through plate window; bouncing dinner-rolls off a judge... In the last 15 minutes, Fred's character makes a play to try and have her *knocked out with a fist* so he can "talk to her subconscious." Erm, yeah.)

The dancing was superb- and the songs are good. And Fred and Ginger do extremely well with what they were given in terms of plot. I think the writers were smoking... hashish, or whatever the good stuff was in 1938. The plot makes no sense, and it's only a small win to see Fred tap-dance with golf-clubs on a green.

One of the extras on the DVD is a wacky short (20min) called Public Jitterbug No. 1. Its premise is that Jitterbug dancing is anti-American, a menace to society, and the G-men go after the "man" at the top of the Jitterbug syndicate. Or something like that. It's sort of funny, in a difficult-to-figure ironic way, and has good tap-dancing as well.
Friday:

- I caught the first half of the Critical Mass ride. I chatted and rode with [livejournal.com profile] nobody_here and [livejournal.com profile] psychedelicbike and peeled off home at a convenient point. I continue to be conflicted about the message they're sending- a bulk of the people wanted to take both lanes, so both lanes we took. Sigh. Also, the fraction of people wearing helmets felt, um, quite low. I'm pondering how my own energies might be best spent, and after this last ride I'm feeling less like it's via the "unfocused protest" route. *ponder*

[edit to add: Bike odometer has 4950 miles; exactly 800 miles this calendar year, or about 1280km (see previous bike post about nice round numbers). I'm hoping to get another 50 miles before it gets icy and I put away the bike 'till the warm season again.]

- Dinner and movies chez [livejournal.com profile] chezmax and [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j. I liked Perfect Blue, though not as much as Paprika, but it was neat to see some of the same character touches used in more ominous ways- such as the spritely evil Mima skipping around just like Paprika had. I'd give it 3/5 stars. Then we watched a bit of trippy anime as a palette-cleanser, Azumanga Daioh, which is addictive in much the same way chocolate-covered espresso beans are, that more than a bit tends to make the brain hurt some.

Saturday:
- Low energy day, because I didn't sleep very well. I might blame the chocolate-covered espresso beans, though I expect that's only an excuse. Saturday I ran errands, and cleaned the vegetable drawers of the fridge. It was too pissy out to do much else outside. I bought new pants.

Sunday:
- I was out the door before 8, and off with two other Quakers to Sparta, just a few km from Lake Erie, for a regional meeting. These were the first Canadian business sessions I've attended outside our local Meeting, in the six years I've lived here. The business sessions felt to me like going-through-the-motions, rather than something at all spiritually led, and the afternoon presentation was... a mixed bag. The best part of the trip was meeting people at lunch- including one family who got excommunicated at their last church. Also, singing this hymn set to "Finlandia", which I've always enjoyed. (I didn't think I knew it; but I remembered harmonies from the second bar onward!)

On the drive, we passed Mapleton's Taxidermy and Cheese Store.



Finally, I was glad to see d., since he got home before I did; and I was happy to take him out to sushi in the evening, but otherwise, the day felt frustrating.
I read PKD's original book of Scanner Darkly last year, and on the basis of that, decided to skip the movie.

When I was visiting my folks, my brothers brought along the movie, and I let myself get sucked into watching.
The movie's much better, I think. You can argue whether "Bladerunner" is better than "Do Androids Dream" but I see no real comparison here. PKD's novel had distracting 60s slang and the drug/police cultures felt unrealistic and flat. All of these seem fixed by translating to rotoscope animation and limiting to 100 minutes. The visuals work better than the descriptions. Even though the scramble-suit is a bit silly.
If you like magical realism; if you like anime; or if you like really chaotic movies, Paprika's one for you. The story follows a psychiatrist researcher using a new technology that allows her to enter the dreams of her clients. She's not authorized to do this, though; and when three of the "DC Mini" widgets are stolen, she, another pair of scientists, and a policeman who she's been treating must find the widgets before they are used for nefarious purposes. The story will alternately make more and less sense, and by the conclusion if you must have loose ends tied up, you may leave dissatisfied. On the other hand, if you are fond of kawaii and bubble gum japanese pop, you may leave very happy indeed.

This was directed by Satoshi Kon, who also did Millennium Actress. While I liked Millennium Actress, I liked this more- it has more energy, less stereotypical characters (?) and it's certainly less predictable.

I liked the somewhat ambiguous morality here. One of the themes is irresponsible, childish discovery for discovery's sake versus the proper ethical use of science; also science as redemption versus tradition as dead end.

It seems to me another theme is Western appropriation. It makes all of the movie-in-movie references Western; much of the schizophrenic dream-parade is "traditional" Japanese culture. Many of the main characters are drawn as Westerners, they slip into Western vocabulary surprisingly frequently, and the big tension near the beginning is between the Western-appearing researcher with the bubbly alter-ego and the traditionalist, respectable Director. I thought this was an interesting counter to all the old cyberpunk: William Gibson and Neil Stephenson set so many novels under the theme that technological Eastern Traditionalism/collectivism will subsume Western individualism/capitalism to set the people free.

In case you want more of a taste than the trailer, at least for now, somebody's got the whole thing on YouTube. Watch the first 9 minutes- if you liked that, you'll enjoy the rest.

"The mailbox and the refrigerator shall lead the way! And the 24-bit eggplant will be analyzed!" Er, yeah.

Mmmm.

Thursday, 23 August 2007 10:15 pm
We just watched Tampopo. The only good time to watch this movie is before dinner. Maybe next time. :)

[edit to add: and the VCR won't eject the tape. I think I'll have to take it apart when I get back from Ithaca. :(

...And [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j just pointed out, no wonder the VCR ate the tape; it must've been hungry also.]

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