Sunday, October 21, 2012

Drive (2011)

He is a man, who is idle, uneducated, lonely and knows he bears a cross.
- Shin Hasegawa

The air is diffused with slightly burned smell of melted cheese and cellulose - the fluorescent sign, "Nino's Pizzeria", illuminates the cool dry night. The driver parks his car silently in front of the place. He pulls out a SPFX mask, a shabby plain-looking face made for movie stunt job. Let's wait and see, until Nino comes out. Let's wait and see. Pretty soon, he would come out, carrying smell of alcohol, rotten stomach and saliva around him. He would come out of that front door. The printing shop next to Nino’s has the same front door, so does the shoe repair, and the eyewear retail, too. But this one is different. Not because Nino put checker-board patterns on it. Silly-looking thing, Nino thinks the patterns would block the view from outside. No, the eyes buried in the SPFX mask can see him through it. Millions of strip-mall restaurants and nail-salons across the country have the same front doors, but this one is different. Because, pretty soon, Nino will come out through that door, and go straight to hell.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Musashino, the Landscape That Never Was (Part 3)

Lady of Musashino, The Murayama Reservoir

In THE LADY OF MUSASHINO, Mizoguchi features various images of water. When Tsutomu and Michiko take a long idle stroll in the area for the first time, clear water running in the canal introduces us to the world of Musashino. Later, a trip to the large reservoir (the Murayama Reservoir) definitely changes the fates of their lives. Transition from quiet water of the reservoir to violent, turbulent storm eloquently speaks the evolving emotions of the protagonists. These images remind us that the Musashino is abundant with natural water resources, as the mountainous area far north supplies the massive amount of underground water throughout the year. Consequently, the area has become the lifeline of the Greater Tokyo since late 19th century.
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