Movies & anime from the weekend, with thoughts:
The New God (Atarashii Kamisama)
I didn’t know anything about this – apart from the title, and that it had English subtitles – when I checked it out from the school library, so I didn’t realize that I was checking out a documentary about the lead singer in a Japanese right-wing punk band. It was actually a little uncomfortable to watch at first; she does things like fly to North Korea to meet with the yodogo hijackers, attends right-wing group meetings to talk philosophy and stands around Yasukuni shrine yelling anti-American slogans through an amplifier.
Then I realized that these right-wing group meetings tended to have, oh, twenty people in them, max, and that she kept complaining that clubs her band performed in would kick them out, so I’m not too worried now about running into any massive anti-US sentiment when I visit. 🙂
After that, watched The Cockpit, which was recommended during this week’s literature class. I’d never seen it before, even though it came out in the US on VHS back in the early 90s when there wasn’t that much else to watch. It was an Urban Vision release, though, and as a late arrival to the anime industry they didn’t have a lot of good licenses. I’m using that as my excuse for never renting it. Anyway, it was pretty good. It wasn’t something I would have thought would ever have been licensed for the US, and it’s a little weird seeing Matsumoto character designs in Serious Dramatic Settings.
The fansub I found was, well, not the greatest, but it did teach me the mplayer hotkeys you can use to adjust subtitle timing on the fly, so it had that going for it.
If Single White Female is half as good, I should probably check it out.
The basic setup for 2LDK is this: Take two women who are competing for the same acting role, make them live in the same apartment. Oh, one’s a city girl with no sense of personal boundaries and the other is a frighteningly precise everything-in-its-place person from the countryside. Watch them as they get on each others nerves, which eventually devolves into them trying to kill one another with anything that comes to hand.
I’m not entirely sure a chainsaw is part of the home furnishings in your average Japanese 2LDK, but that’s my only real quibble with the film.
Edit: Adding a couple of films here because they don’t warrant a full post.
I’ve read a couple of short stories by Edogawa Rampo recently – “The Human Chair” and “Hell of Mirrors” and both were quite good, so I looked up “The Blind Beast” which was based on a Rampo story and “The Mystery of Rampo”, which is, well, a mystery movie that stars Rampo.
“The Blind Beast” is, well, it was actually a fairly good thriller, but it’s the third-most-disturbing movie I’ve ever seen.
“The Mystery of Rampo” has an excellent opening sequence that reminded me of a Roald Dahl story, followed by 90 minutes of me trying to follow the plot and occasionally fight the weight of my own eyelids. The premise is that Rampo is writing a mystery novel, only he can’t release it due to Showa-era censorship, and then the events from the novel start happening in real life as he writes them, so you get this quick back and forth between the bits that are happening in Rampo’s life and the bits that are only happening in his book, only they’re also happening outside of his book and, well, it is actually probably quite a good film but it’s not the sort of thing I should have tried watching when I was a little sleepy.