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Archive for May 27th, 2010

by Phillip Johnston

This past Sunday, Lost ended.  If that means something to you, you may be happy to be reading about the show on a website dedicated to the very best of film and (sometimes) television; if it doesn’t mean something to you, you may be tempted to skip over this post.

I would ask you not to, for in evaluating this massive piece of storytelling that has unfolded on American TV screens in the last six years, there is a job to be done – a job I can only but begin in a short, accessible post and will try to do with a minimal amount of spoilers.  It is the magnanimous task of separating myth from character, a job accomplished to near perfection by the creative team behind Lost, but perhaps not so well by a few viewers and devotees.

When Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on a mysterious island back in 2004, viewers and castaways alike were confronted with an inexplicable place that held more than a few impenetrable mysteries.  There were polar bears on the island, a strange underground hatch, an ancient Egyptian statue with only four toes, and, most terrifying of all, a monster made of black smoke. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(Japan 2008 114m) DVD1/2

Aka. Aruitemo, Aruitemo

The name of that sumo wrestler

p  Yoshihiro Kato, Satoshi Kono, Hijiri Taguchi, Masahiro Yasuda  d/w/story  Hirokazu Kore-Eda  ph  Yutaka Yamazaki  ed  Horokazu Kore-Eda  m  Gonchichi  art  Toshihiro Isomi, Keiko Mitsumatsu

You (Chinami Kataoka), Hiroshi Abe (Ryota Yokayama), Yoshio Harada (Kyohei Yokoyama), Ryoga Hayashi (Mutsu Kataoka), Kirin Kiki (Toshiko Yokoyama), Yui Natsukawa (Yukari Yokoyama), Haruko Kato,

In an age of excess, none more so than in his native Japan, Hirokazu Kore-Eda is rather an enigma, one might even go so far as to call him an anachronism.  He’s seemingly the sole torch-bearer for the form of cinema favoured by the masterful minimalists of the old days, Ozu, and Shimizu.  His films are leisurely, sedate, compassionate, and centre around families, indeed relationships in general, and epitomise the very term humanist.  It’s over 40 years since Ozu’s passing, and though the Japanese new wave yielded masters a-plenty (Oshima, Imamura, Teshigahara, Kobayashi, Shindo, Masumura and Hani to name but seven revolutionary samurai), Kore-Eda is the one link back to the past, and if ever a film epitomised that, it’s Still Walking.

            A middle-aged brother and sister are returning separately with their respective families to the coastal town of their birth to visit their parents to commemorate the latest anniversary of a family tragedy, when their elder brother died as a child in rescuing another boy from drowning.  The surviving brother, Ryota, rather than be cherished all the more by his parents after his brother’s death, has never lived up to their expectations, while his sister, Chinami, seems oblivious to the central conflicts, only being really interested in her own husband and life.  When she goes early, Ryota and his wife and child stay the night as agreed, but while Ryota’s mother welcomes them, his father, Kyohei, a retired doctor, is as frosty as ever. (more…)

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