Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I was having a hard time concentrating myself since I woke up today. So when I was told about the Japanese Film Series 2009 at BU, I knew I had to be there tonight for the first movie. I somehow have to catch up the with proposal presentation but I doubt I would have gotten anything worthwhile accomplished in those 2 hours.

As I hinted, today was the first movie - Rikyu. Overall nice movie. It started with the message that this movie is about the conflict of art and politics ... and that was the sublime focus of the effort. The ending scene showed the revered tea master Rikyu walking away to court ritual suicide - I liked the way it was shot.

Like most people, especially of south Asian origin, I have great respect for the Japanese race. Apart from their sincerity and confidence there is one thing which I particularly like about them. Their respect towards everything that commands it. From the mighty steel structures to the stylish details - the actually take time and effort to appreciate the beauty in everything. Watching them, in person or in movie, is a learning experience of the oft-misquoted "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder".

About the movie though, I am sure I have no qualification to make any technical judgement but I felt the movie was marred by its editing. As I said before, the movie tried to balance art and the harshness of Japanese lords (think 16th century). In fact, the main Lord was a comic character and he acted nicely. But serious editing issues ruined most of the artistic moments. Just when the mood for a particular scene was setting it, then the scene would cut. And there were several short takes which did not at all fit into the flow. The acting was good and the movie ... oh it was about a famous tea master and his ambitous comic warlord ... was well directed to show the Japanese way of life that I describe above.

Next week, it's a Kurosawa film that I have not seen. I plan to watch it too.

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