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Saturday, November 24

Delayed Announcement: Tokyo International Film Festival 2007

You have no idea how much I wanted to get out of doors this weekend and do something… see something! I had plans, people! Big ones! Well, here is the thing. Remember Tommy? Remember how I thought he was gone thanks to a mountain hike in Kauai? Turns out that he never left and has actually been severely stuck in one spot for – oh, say – two and a half months. And another and – he has spawn. Yes, there is a Tommy, Jr. right behind him. Needless to say, the pain and discomfort are finally getting to me so badly that I can’t stand to be in my own skin. The last thing I feel like doing is heading out of doors where people besides my husband would see me squeezing my legs together in pain or even grabbing myself inappropriately every few steps. There is an end in sight. I’ve tried to do this on my own, but my docs both here and back home have encouraged me to opt towards the surgery route. It’s just a minor procedure… go in, go under, remove, go home. Then I should be back to normal soon. Whoopee. I can’t wait.

On to much more fun subjects… like the Tokyo International Film Festival! Did I tell you? I went! So what if it was last month just prior to Halloween and I didn’t mention it before?! I’m telling you now! And it was awesome.

A dear friend here took the day off of her crazy intense job and got us tickets to see two viewings at the Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills theater – Peeping Tom and Enlightenment Guaranteed. Although I am taking a class on how to be a movie critic this semester, I am not actually a critic nor will I ever likely be. So I am not going to try to delve into this film, except to say that the first, Peeping Tom, was a Japanese suspense/horror movie, which I thoroughly liked despite being left slightly confused as the credits rolled. The director did a teach-in for the movie, where he tells you about the movie and opens the floor up to questions. This is actually quite a funny concept for Japan… opening the floor to questions… because the Japanese are quite unlikely to voluntarily raise their hand and ask a question. They really only would ask a question if they were asked directly to ask a question. So you can guess that the question and answer portion of the program was a bit quiet. There was an English interpreter for this part, but I was much too busy gobbling up the greatest invention ever… caramel popcorn! We had bought some when we came in for the flick. Back in the states, you get extra fattening butter on your popcorn. Here – they squeege gobs of gooey caramel into you bucket! Way better if you ask me! I ate so much my poor friend had to push my hand away from the bucket just to get some for herself. (Hint for next time, my friend… get your own! That stuff is just too damn good to be willingly shared.)

There was a break between the first and second films so we headed out into Roppongi for some lunch. Like I needed more food after my bucket o’ goodness, but I did manage a healthier soup, sandwich and jasmine tea. For Erleuchtung Garantiert (Enlightenment Guaranteed), sadly there was no popcorn as there was to be a particularly excellent dinner at an Indonesian restaurant, Bali CafĂ© Putri, nearby that had outdoor tables providing a view of Tokyo and its shining red and white tower (Try the Arak Beras!! I have no idea what it is, but it is soooo good). The movie… one of the best I have seen in a very long time! It is actually a German film about two brothers and their trip to Tokyo. If you liked Lost in Translation, this is better! Laughing is acceptable at a Japanese theater, but the guffaws that were coming out of me were not. I had to suppress myself several times. From a foreigner’s perspective, it is more than a little amusing. While I don’t have a Japanese person who saw the film to ask, I think that some of the scenes were a bit uncomfortable for them. This is just one of those matters where varying cultures can view one tiny incident in so many differently significant ways. These poor German dudes… I get it! If you are into foreign movies, make it a must see.

A day of frivolity come and gone, it was wonderful to spend so many hours traipsing around such a hip and trendy district of Tokyo. As we headed back to the train, I stopped to take a picture of the shadow cast by a giant spider statue in the middle of the area. While it may have not been a tribute to American Halloween traditions, it certainly felt like a nod to them… meant purely as the icing on that fabulous, fall day.

1 comment:

Kimono Karen said...

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