Posts Tagged 'mikio naruse'

Kumamoto — The Film Geek

Boy, it’s hot and humid today. I think that the rainy season is beginning to loosen it death-grip on the skies. Yesterday, R and I did what we usually do during the weekends — take the tram into town and hang out. Last week, we bought a book listing all of Kumamoto’s numerous coffee shops and have since been exploring. There’s a few Japanese-themed shops, complete with tatami mats and green tea; several generically hip shops featuring Ikea-esque furniture and some tastefully displayed artifacts from the 1970s; numerous really dull shops catering to housewives with sweet-toothes (sweet teeth?); and at least one Chinese coffee shop; not to mention the dozen or so Starbucks and Starbucks-clones dotting the town.

Yesterday, I suppose I was in sort of a pissy mood, largely because it took R and hour and half to get ready to go out. After I needled R a bit, her mom burst in with some brown rice muffins and a can of organic apple juice. Whenever men get grumpy, Mrs. Sumi later told R, give them food. As much as I’d like to dispute her logic, I must admit I did shut up and gobble down the muffins. And I was less grumpy afterwards. I’m somewhat appalled at my own complete lack of guile.

Anyway, we spent much of the time in Shimotori, one of two shopping streets downtown. R bought a book on Zen, and I bought a compilation CD of old Stax soul tunes. We were hanging out at a coffee shop called Hands talking about kanji when the cell phone went off. (Oh yeah, it’s really easy to rent a cell phone here. Of course, my cell is about as basic as you can get, with none of the cool extras like net access, MP3 players or video players.) R’s parents were in the neighborhood and asked us over to her dad’s office. Soon afterwards we went to another coffee shop run by a friend of her dad. Did I mention that R’s dad knows everyone in this town?

The proprietor who is named Sonomura-san not only owns the shop — decorated with various items of film memorabilia — and is a film history lecturer at Kumamoto University, but is also a film critic who shows up on TV now and then. Soon after we ordered, he came right over to us and launched into a discussion about how he recently visited Ozu‘s and Mizoguchi‘s graves located in Kamakura and Kyoto respectively. We talked some and I mentioned that I was not only a fan of Ozu and Mizoguchi but also of Naruse Mikio (at least what I’ve seen a little of his work). Sonomura nearly wept with delight that a foreigner — and a relatively young one at that — heard of Naruse. The conversation quickly descended into an all out geek-fest. He knew the names all of the characters in Seven Samurai, the names and years of all the movies Hara Setsuko appeared in, and intimate details of director Keisuke Kinoshita‘s life story. The whole time he was unrelentingly staring at me. Ruriko and her family might as well as not have existed. Fortunately, I knew enough about Japanese cinema to sound somewhat intelligent. After an hour or so, we managed to disengage. While I respect and admire his passion for Japanese cinema (I’m sure I’ve bored people with my interest in the same) I did sort of feel like I was on the receiving end of a fire hose for an hour. Later that night, we went to a video store and rented one of the Kinoshita films that Sonomura recommended.

Advertisements

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 28,070 hits