Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Movie: Departures
Like/Don't Like: Like.

Once upon a time at BYU a cute guy in one of my classes asked if I wanted to go see a Japanese film at the International Cinema. Um, duh. Cute guy + movie = yes please. We agreed to meet and I showed up and he didn't. As I am 80 it should not surprise you that this was back in the days when not everyone had a cell phone. So I saw him in class the next day and he was apologetic and gave me some line about homework and weather and whatever. And all of that would have been a fine excuse and I could have gotten over it except that the movie was a huge drag. It was two hours of nothing but this old couple sitting in their home waiting for their family to come visit them before they die. So the whole time I'm watching it I was bored out of my mind and peeved that the cute guy stood me up.

This naturally left a bad taste in my mouth for Japanese film. Which is ridiculous, I know. But I'm a girl. I can be like that. I've seen a few Japanese films since and have begrudgingly enjoyed them but I'm still never very thrilled at the prospect.

So you can imagine how I felt tonight when I showed up at my friends house for a movie night (on a school night, no less) and found that the movie she had selected was Japanese. (The sad truth is that this movie has been recommended to me on Netflix several times and has been in my queue for a while and had I ever found out that it was Japanese it would never has seen the inside of my mailbox.) I instantly prepared my mind to be bored and got comfy just in case I found it more interesting to sleep instead of watch.

But it was actually pretty good. Not boring at all, really. It's about a man who has lost his job as a cellist when the orchestra he played in is dissolved. He moves back to his home town and the first job he lands is performing the ceremonial preparations for cremation. (I should tell you that if you watch it, it is helpful to know that the Japanese are a little squeamish when it comes to dead people. We didn't figure that out until halfway through when people started shunning him because of his work.)

The music is lovely (full of the cello, which I love) and the scenes where he's preparing the bodies are actually quite beautiful. There are some funny moments, which kept things light and I thought it had a pretty good message about how death softens the living and puts important things into focus.

1 comment:

Rach said...

I will put this in my queue. It might be one that I dont see for a while, because I have to gear myself up for foreign films. Not because I don't like them, but because I have to pay complete attention and read subtitles, so I can't do stuff like crossstitch or do crossword puzzles while I'm watching. By the way, boo on that guy.