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Monday Movies: Christmas Spirit!!!!

This weekend, the world-famous food blogger E. Bolden came over for dinner and a Christmas movie, specifically Scrooged. It was funny, but I don’t have much to say about it other than that I started to suspect it was partly based on Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol.

We did have an experience that superceded any film this weekend, however. On Saturday afternoon, I went into the bathroom to find that the light fixture was dripping. After various failed attempts and e-mails to landlords, we finally got the upstairs neighbor to open the door, revealing that his bathtub had overflowed. He mentioned being super-tired, so presumably he had fallen asleep while drawing a bath? It was strange, but at least it seemed to be an isolated incident, and the drip had stopped within 20 minutes and we were able to clean up.

But then The Girlfriend got up to go to the bathroom at 2am and found that the doorjamb was leaking to the point where it seemed to be raining in the house and water was leaking out of every conceivable gap in the bathroom. She went upstairs and found that the guy’s bathroom was completely flooded and he was in a panic. It took an hour for the leaking to stop this time.

This ordeal appears to be over, but certain questions linger. For instance, how can you overfill your bathtub twice in one day, and how could you do so in such a way that the second incident was much, much worse? Our working theories are that he was on drugs or attempting suicide — though The Girlfriend has also floated the possibility that he was hiding a mermaid in his tub.


December 20, 2010 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. i watched two French movies, one comedy A pain in the ass and another one they said a thriller, though there was nothing thrillerish about it, i liked it b/c i like people resurrecting Roman de Gare and on utube Cruel Romance again, cz like the songs
    nothing extraordinary happened to me over the weekend except my haircut looks like Joan d’Arc and i’m considering wearing a beanie all the time

    Comment by read | December 20, 2010

  2. Floated the possibility. Haha.

    Comment by ebolden | December 20, 2010

  3. You have a very brave and quite relaxed girlfriend. I wouldn’t step into a bathroom where the “light fixture was dripping” (danger of electrocution).

    Comment by grrl | December 20, 2010

  4. I finished watching District 9, rewatched Brick, and enjoyed The Tempest in the theater. Mrs. K-sky found the portrayal of Caliban alarmingly racialized and I told her that this was not Taymor’s invention, and that critics had run through forests on it, but I’d love a handy reference if anyone knows a good essay.

    Brick has some very good lines, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my fantasy husband, but at times it feels like a classy version of Bugsy Malone. Especially next to Veronica Mars, which gets high-school noir with a better meeting of substance and style.

    Comment by k-sky | December 20, 2010

  5. I am skeptical of these claims regarding Brick and Veronica Mars.

    I saw, last Wednesday, Love and Other Drugs, which is not at all a good movie. It does, however, have many shots (quite a few more than necessary) of a nude Anne Hathaway.

    Comment by ben | December 20, 2010

  6. “The Happening.” I’m sure the joke has been made many times before, but: it wasn’t. It was a big, fat, dull dud of a movie. Who lets this guy make movies? Marky Mark was unintentionally hilarious.

    “Star Trek.” Goofy and incoherent, but we made it through the entire movie in a single sitting. I didn’t really understand the plot and, despite his bragging, I found Harold’s advanced fighting moves rather unimpressive. Amazing how sexist advanced civilization has become in two or three centuries.

    We were going to watch “Kick Ass” last night, but ended up watching two episodes of SNL on Netflix instead.

    Comment by Craig | December 20, 2010

  7. Shoulda been a Naruse, but the only one handy is a drama about a Noh actor, and I wasn’t in the mood. So

    Anma to Onna aka Two Masseurs and Woman Mountain resort, blind masseurs, male and female students, mysterious beautiful woman, sad young man. Stuff happens, including romance and theft. Pretty locations, filmed splendidly. Comedy, including much “blindness” comedy, but all gentle and with respect and kindness.

    Has a lot in common with the later Kanzashi, too much really, unless the mysterious woman at resort is some kind of trope. Shimizu was the Shochiku workhorse, and they may have just let him take a crew to a resort once a year as a vacation. He threw some tricks in.

    But pretty, funnt, and interesting. There are plot developments, and cultural jokes I didn’t understand. Mieko Takamine and Shin Shiburi are a very attractive couple. I’m not gay, but I just think this young Shiburi is freaking hot. Mieko was better in Nobuko, and K Tanaka played this kind of part better in Kanzashi

    Criterion “Travels with Shimizu” boxset is highly recommended.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 21, 2010

  8. 2 notes on Anma to Onna 1938, 66 minutes, 1 technical, 1 substantial

    1) A scene, young Japanese woman in kimono with parasol in foreground, thin shallow bridge over mountain creek in background. Cut no woman, cut woman ten feet away, cut no woman, cut woman twenty feet away. Jump cuts, all suitable for framing

    2) Shin Saburi plays a UMC playboy, around 25, deceased parents, whose brother and sister-in-law suddenly die, leaving him with a ten-yr-old nephew. He goes to the resort to figure how to cope. Shimizu effortlessly gets all the nuances and poignancy of About a Boy into around ten minutes of screen time, interweaved with many other strands. At one point the kid offhandedly tells a masseur that his uncle is “Just a big baby.”

    This director is a treasure.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 21, 2010

  9. Ozu, I Was Born, But… 1932 silent

    This is considered one of his very best, but I have been holding it back. I was right. Too many bratty boys and too obvious a message. Too “tendency.”

    But it was very funny, the 2nd half got much much better, and it is not unusual to lose patience with the early parts of Ozu’s movies. But this time the first half felt very fast and busy and irritating. He builds, sets up shots and scenes for comparison and contrast with later scenes. Anyway, yeah this is a masterpiece, if you can stand the kids.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 22, 2010

  10. the other day i tried to watch _The late spring_, couldn’t get past the tea ceremony
    started feeling like that, having the restless legs syndrome
    i’m sure it’s a really good movie, i’ll try it again some time, just i need to watch it in a right, patient mood

    Comment by read | December 22, 2010

  11. Yamanaka Sadao, Kochiyama Shoshun, 1936-37

    Again Yamanaka shows us the back alleys and sewers of Tokugawa Edo, with just a little contrast with the more corrupt nobility. The plot may be a little too complicated, and there might be one or two too many characters, but this still was original, imaginative, and humanist. A very early movie of Setsuko Hara. Someone compared this one to John Ford, of the Stagecoach or Darling Clementine slice of life period. It is darker than Ford usually went. Very fine movie, if not a must see like Yamanaka’s other two surviving films.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 23, 2010

  12. Ozu, Late Spring, 1949. 2nd time, this time with Pena commentary. Commentary merely adequate.

    Kotsko is wrong this is a freaking masterpiece. The compositions, especially the interiors, are as perfect as the Zen rock garden.

    Too bad everyone but me has misunderstood the movie. I cannot remember one single competent patriarch in 50+ Ozu movies. They are all fuck ups.

    Sumiya lies. He lies, lies, lies. He lies in the most important matter in his daughter’s life. He determines her entire life with a lie. And I think he lies badly, and Noriko knows he is lying, and this destroys the relationship, unnecessarily.

    The scene with the lie is followed immediately by the Auntie finding the wallet, saying she will turn it in to the police, and then running from a cop. Sumiya just watches. On, I think, the grounds of a temple. This is just in case nobody caught the corruption point in the preceding scene.

    The scene at the Noh play is very subtle and complicated, but is followed by the walk, and the single “subjective” shot of the movie. Noriko and Sumiya have become objects to each other.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 24, 2010

  13. Late Spring is about the fucking lie. In the final packing scene in Kyoto Noriko is trying to say without saying that she forgives the lie. But Sumiya keeps lying.

    (Oh, and being gay and living 25+ years with only his mother, I would bet that Ozu understood destructive convenient or socially personally necessary lies.)

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 24, 2010

  14. Well, the lie is the essential starting point. LS is also of course about the fucking Patriarchy.

    This is his best. This is a perfect movie.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 24, 2010

  15. The scene at the Noh play probably moves at the failure of the “woman” to maintain eye contact with Noriko. Noriko breaks when the woman looks away.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 24, 2010

  16. At the Noh play, Noriko is in Western dress, while the “other woman” is in a kimono.

    The mention of Friedrich List at the very beginning of LS is fascinating to me. List is the father of neo-mercantilism or National System economics, sometimes described as zero-sum or rent-seeking (authoritarian, hierarchical, oligopolistic) in a developing manufacturing economy. Understanding the kind of politics or culture required by NS economic systems is pretty advanced social theory.

    Pena and all other commenters do mention the loosening American occupation of 1949, and the new Constitution that granted rights to women. And Ozu, Koda Noga, and Shochiku Studio was probably the leftmost of big film producers. And East Asia understands List and his implications far better than the West. I do have difficulty that LS is quite that level of allegory, simply because I don’t think Ozu and Koda Noga were that erudite.

    But it is fascinating.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 24, 2010

  17. so i thought i would watch _Late Spring_ again and started watching it and find it creepy
    first of all, the girl’s face has more like western features and she has only one expression to smile always until she learns about her father’s possibility of remarriage, than she’s all anger, resentment and jealousy which are shown too
    her father looks too young to be her father and overall the movie has a kind of incestous feeling to it, all that her refusal to do omiai, too deep devotion to her father and jealousy etc, and the creepiness is like unsurprising if to think about
    how Japanese like all things kinda like subtly
    pathological, well, that is all imho only, of course,
    but i have to finish the movie first to have a more objective opinion i guess, just for now i’m inclined to drop watching it somehow

    Comment by read | December 24, 2010

  18. then, dung,
    in the contrast, the maid woman’s face showed very understandable and natural looking emotions for me, when she was looking at the omiai pictures, so must be it’s again my own bias

    Comment by read | December 24, 2010

  19. Some say that Hara Setsuko does have an unusual face, and a near incestuous, or at least far too close a relationship between father and daughter is one interpretation.

    Mizoguchi, Aien Kyo aka Straits of Love and Hate 1937.

    Rich student abandons pregnant girlfriend, tries to get her back years later. Late 30s avante-garde Mizo direction in unusual snowy mountain locations. Female lead who becomes strong and independent. Much play-within-a-play…play, traveling entertainers.

    Print in mediocre condition at best, subs ridiculous and incomprehensible. Felt like dubbed in Chinese, then the Chinese used to create Eng subtitles, by someone who didn’t speak English.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 25, 2010

  20. Ozu, A Mother Should Be Loved 1934, silent. Only copy is missing 1st and last reels; considered possibly Ozu’s worst movie, maudlin and melodramatic; I lacked subtitles.

    Young mother of two boys is widowed. she refuses remarriage, family fortunes decline; only one son gets college, the other falls into a bad crowd.

    Yokohama film with the usual Western mise en scene. Maybe transitional, from the UMC ambience of his college films to the lower middle class of the Kihachi series. Felt a little too much like a Naruse film with Ozu directing. Camera felt too low at times for the active scenes. But there were some good shots. Interesting for development of style.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 26, 2010

  21. Naruse Mikio, The Song Lantern, 1943

    Promising but arrogant young Noh student humiliates old man, who kills himself. Student’s father disinherits him. Becoming a streetsinger, he trains a geisha to dance as attempt at redemption. Coincidences fall like rain, and everybody reconciles.

    Ok fine movie. Simple story redeemed by some nice shots, and the Noh. Would need to study up and get help to understand all the allusions. A haiku about a child trying to catch the moon might be important.

    Someone said that this was more about the guys than most Naruse, because of the Noh. The key plot element is the geisha doing the Noh dance. This. Is. Not. Done. There are still only a half dozen women Noh performers on Japan. So in 1943 I think, just think, that the geisha dancing Noh would be weird and radical. So there are a couple levels of incomprehension for me here.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 27, 2010

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