Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Sep 06 2005

From June through August, summer’s been a crotchety old man. Not villainous, just a general obstruction to good times. It’s been too hot, or too muggy, or constantly raining, or some combination of the three (occasionally all of them). Never to such an extreme that anyone can seriously complain; no heat waves or typhoons. Just generally unpleasant.

Then this past week it made up for its past sins. Perhaps it realized everyone would grumble, so it decided to clean up its act. Every day has had a high of about 82, with a light breeze and a few decorative clouds dotting the sky. Perfect.

This is usually the point at which the blogger makes an amusing counter-point that the week’s been terrible, but I’ve actually had a great time. Went to my parents on Sunday and watched Ong-Bak, as decribed in my last entry. Last night, after a long day at work, I stopped by Suncoast and bought a variety of DVDs, including My Neighbors the Yamadas, and watched that last night.

Wow. What a beautiful, touching, funny movies that is. Gorgeous. You’d never know it was by the guy who directed Grave of the Fireflies, “film most likely to make you slit your wrists.” Though, now that I’ve seen all four of his movies, I suspect that Grave was more of a serious project that he did because he felt it was important. It was a story that needed to be told. It wasn’t his story, after all; it was an adaptation of Akiyuki Nosaka’s short story. Pom Poko has its serious side, but it’s at least as much a comedy, and Only Yesterday is more like a romantic drama. Neither have near the weight of Grave, and both generally maintain a light-hearted tone throughout.

Whereas The Yamadas is a straight-out comedy. Oh, there’s one dramatic sequence that lasts a few minutes, but the rest of it is a series of unconnected sketches from the lives of these characters. It’s not even remotely realistic. And it’s thoroughly entertaining.

In any event. I had another long day at work today, followed by writer’s group. I was dreading that a bit because folks would be reviewing my preliminary notes for The Modern Fantastic, and while they’re all great, I wanted to gird myself for their criticism. Not surprisingly, I received lots of great feedback that will undoubtedly make the book much better than it would otherwise have been. I came home energized and ready to write.

So I re-watched My Neighbors the Yamadas. Great film.

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