Friday the 13th

I was thinking of watching and writing about Serrador’s last film as a callback to Project Fear and a sign-off to The Late Show, but it didn’t get done. The UK collided with an iceberg made of frozen evil instead.

One nice thing, though: Erin on Yasushiro Ozu’s final film, just in time for the great man’s birthday. It’s lovely and good for the spiritual hangover we in the UK may be experiencing.

Still, for all of this familiarity, the world in which these characters live is fundamentally unstable. Things change, inevitably, in ways both dramatic and mundane: people die, children grow up and leave their parents, workers are transferred to faraway cities, friends drift apart. It’s sad, but that’s just the way things are. (“Isn’t life disappointing?” as a young woman in 1953’s Tokyo Story famously puts it.)

On an altogether less pleasant note, here are some things I made for Twitter yesterday: screaming into the void, or gobbing into it anyway:

And finally —

16 Responses to “Friday the 13th”

  1. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    From what I hear about the SNP though, there’s a chance for Scottish Independence again, though I expect Johnson to deny that.

  2. Yeah, there’ll be a struggle. I don’t see how they can force him to allow a referendum, though maybe a campaign of civil disobedience would be a good idea around about now…

  3. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    Poor Scotland…so far from the EU, so close to Boris Johnson.

  4. ehrenstein47 Says:

    The actual title of Ou’s ;as film is “The Taste of Autumn Mackerel” — that dish being a delicacy served at weddings. The men in the film are indeed a silly bunch, reminiscent of the kids in Ozu films — who are often more serious than their parents I some ways. The boys in “I Was Born But….” are mortified when they see their father do a Stan Laure; impression for his boss. His boss finds it delightful , but the kids go “on strike” refusing to speak to him. But unlike Peggy in “The Irishman” they come around.

    Amidst the group of silly men in “”The Taste of Autumn Mackerel” the gold-crazy son-in-law stands out. Ozu really let himself go over this actor, making his superfondness for him apparent in ways those who had worked with him over the years found rather shocking. Said actor died a short time later and there was quite a scandal when at the funeral his wife threw herself on the coffin screaming ‘OZU HAS TAKEN HIM WITH HIM !!!!’

  5. Tony Williams Says:

    Very relevant youtube, David C. In the USA we had no international news on PBS, just the irrelevant impeachment hearimngs that will go nowhere.
    If you allow me to respond to an earlier, issue I want to state that I have now seen QT’s latest atrocity I find little to disagree with 99% posters on this site as well as the discerning comments of McBride, Rosenbaum, Sharrett, Walsh and others who have clearly recognized the film what what it is. I found it banal and infantile, meandering, and posturing as well as containing clear evidence of the sexism and racism others detect in his films.

    Gore Vidal once stated he never read acclaimed books in their first weeks of publication. He waited to see if the claims were justified. If one post about BULLET HEADED MONK stated that “I saw this film for free and I still feel cheated” my response is that I waited until I could see this film for free and do not feel cheated but rather confirmed by my suspicion that it’s supporters are clearly engaging in denial that are as equally dangerous as the present state of the GOP and today’s British electorate.

  6. I think the impeachment hearings are necessary, personally. Even if they can’t achieve any practical result (they might injure Trump’s popularity a little) it’s necessary to call out criminal abuses when one sees them.

    CNN’s coverage was so favourable to Labour it must have been a shock to its audience when Johnson got in. What was a shock to us was the level of his success. I’m really disgusted with the British people. After Grenfell, Windrush, countless lies exposed, what does he need to do to be unelectable?

  7. Tony Williams Says:

    Not arguing about the impreachment hearings themselves but the fact that it monopolized PBS for 12 hours to the detriment of other important news. Mitch McConnell has already stated that the movement will die in the Senate that is republican-controlled. Democratic Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth recently mentioend at a tlocal meeting that it is impossible to get any legislation through Senate unless it meets with McConnell’s approval. So this whole process is a waste of time.

  8. Christopher Sharrett Says:

    I am very concerned at this moment that we will see a second Trump term. Biden, the only real hope for the opposition, is being portrayed as a doddering old fool, on the order of Mose Harper in The Searchers. But who knows? The Republicans are nothing short of depraved, their fearless leader an arch criminal. I’ve tried to avoid commenting on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Tony Williams has pricked my conscience. I’ve seen the film in theater and on disc. I like Brad Pitt’s performance. But since I’ve been an easterner my entire life, I have no nostalgia for 60s Hollywood, and I would think that those with memories would be offended by this film. For Tarantino, that place and time is a potpourri of TV commercials, product jingles, the weaker pop songs of the period, and obviously fabricated facades of period stores and movie theaters. The rethought Manson murders have a small element, at the very end, of “there but for the grace of God..”, but the moment is played for laughs. I can find no serious conviction in Tarantino, now or then. I have to agree with Robin Wood’s assessment that he is a nihilist, but without verve or anger. And too many people already have used Leone’s evocative titles.

  9. Tony Williams Says:

    I grudgingly respect Brad Pitt’s performance, something I would never say otherwise, but his scene with Bruce Lee is unforgivable. Donnie Yen has recently criticized this.

  10. The Lee scene I read as one example of this person’s contempt for people.

  11. ehrenstein47 Says:

    Most unforgivable of all is Quentin’s treatment of Roman Polanski. Sharon Tate was murdered by the Manson family. She wasn’t spared thanks to the intervention of a B actor and his stunt double.

  12. Tony Williams Says:

    Yes, David E. This is appalling. Many critics have noticed Holocaust revisionism in INCREDIBLE BASTERDS. QT thinks he can rewrite history without taking into account the consequences very much like The Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984. Postmodernist justifications and critics engaging in denial syndrome can not justify such shaleful activities.

  13. INGLOURIOUS, not INCREDIBLE. Though they were that, too.

    I can see the appeal of the fantasy QT exploits — “if only it happened differently.” It’s, in a way, potentially bittersweet because we still walk out of the movie into reality. But I don’t think he’s found a way to make it in any way MATURE because he’s resisting dealing with the truth, and any wistfulness is somewhat crushed by the sadistic violence.

    It’s just not for me.

  14. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    OUTIH has some interesting conceptual stuff, like Leonardo DiCaprio’s scenes where he shoots the scenes for the movie and the stuff about acting and so on are quite compelling. That in a way could have been the movie. The funny thing about OUTIH is that until the ending it’s a good deal more historically grounded than any of Tarantino’s other stuff. There’s definitely a commitment to get the period right in there that isn’t there in IB, and it’s very much an attempt to get Hollywood Pre-Manson right rather than base it on the movies which is the case of practically every other Tarantino movie that are all based on movies. So one level, this is Tarantino entering new territory.

    Everything to do with the Spahn Ranch seems accurate enough (and appropriately creepy). Boots Riley, director of Sorry to Bother You, pointed out that the movie dials down Manson’s white supremacy. He criticized the dialogue between the murderers at the end about blaming violent westerns and so on. And Brad Pitt’s character definitely killed his wife for sure which the movie glosses over. So those are elements to consider as well.

    The problem was to the extent IB was forgivable for its bizarre conclusion it was grounded in the fact that the movie is based more on World War II movies and B-Movie war movies than on history. In the case of OUTIH, the period detail is convincing enough for the most part that the ending feels even more out of place.

  15. Tony Williams Says:

    As far as Bruce Lee is concerned, the film is certainly not “historically grounded” as the contrast between QT’s loudmouth and Lee’s martial arts philosophy clearly shows. Obviously, QT wants to restore the “No dogs or Chinese” sign Lee demolished in FIST OF FURY. Other atrocities concern the demeaning depiction of blacklist victim Sam Wanamaker as well as wasting the talents of Bruce Dern in a demeaning role.

  16. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    Yeah I heard of the Bruce Lee thing and it’s sad. I did think Mike Moh’s celebrity impersonation was among the most interesting characters in the movie.

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