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06 May 2005

Shall We Dance? (2004)

I went to see the movie "Shall We Dance?" starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.

It was released in US last October. Then now it is shown in Japan. Actually the movie was remake of Japanese movie of the same title.

A middle age man who was bored with his routine work happened to be a student of dance school and then participated in amateur ballroom dance contest.

The story was almost the same as original. I have seen the original many times. I like that movie. I like American version, too.

But what surprised me was someone's learning to dance is subject to tease even in USA. Here in our society, dancing is not as common as in US, so if a middle aged man is found learning to dance, some people might look at him as strange lewd guy.

How do you consider ballroom dancing? How do you see a middle aged man who is learning walz or latin?

Do you learn social dance in high school or before as compulsory curriculum?

Anyway, I feel like learning to dance.

21:55 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: Dance

30 April 2005

Charlie's Angels are my forever angels!

Actually, I'm talking about Charlie's Angels of 1970's TV drama.

That was on air when I was small. I watched the show with my family. So when I watch re-run of Charlie's Angels, it reminds me of my childhood. The beautiful women in gorgeous setting, that may have been my first image of America.

I liked Cheryl Ladd among the angels appeared. I did not like Farrah Fawcett so much. Her hair is crazy.

But the character I liked the best in the show was the angels' boss Charlie. He is anonymous but considerate.

I have DVDs of old time dramas. I found a very interesting thing by watching the original version aired in US. The DVD is copy of original films first aired in US, 1976. I compared it with the Japanese version re-run on TV recently. Japanese version cut out the scenes that tells one of the angels, Sabrina acted by Kate Jackson had an ex-husband.
They wanted her a single woman who had never married.

The drama was made into film in 2000 and 2003. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu were angels.

But I like the original version much better. The movie angels were not so pretty.

The other American show I was watching with my family was "CHiPs."
That was interesting, too.

20:15 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: TV

23 April 2005

"Extreme Measures (1996)" reminded me of Unit 731

I saw this movie on HBO channel at the hotel in Beijing.

The movie was with Chinese subtitle. The movie reminded me of one horrific history between China and Japan. That was biological and chemical experiments on real human bodies done by Japanese army's special unit called Unit 731. Maybe because I was in Beijing and anti-Japan riot was about to begin, I got into this story very seriously.

The story is New York's ER doctor named Guy (Hue Grant) met with a strange patient. After the patient died, he searches for the mystery of the patient's death. Then he discovered the secret experiments going on that uses homeless people's bodies. The project aims to find new way to create nerve for disabled people. So the motive was not to create biological and chemical weapons. But both of the experiments use human bodies without examinees' consent.

I used to meet with ex-Unit 731 soldier. His name was Mr. SHINOZUKA Shiro. He made a speech of his experience. He said he has been trained to be militaristic man that can give up humanistic mind. He and his collegues called the examinees "Log." The people called "Log" included Koreans, Chinese. After the war, he was captured but by Chinese government's generous policy he was released. He realised how horrible what he has done was.

Strangely ex-Unit 731 soldiers were never prosecuted even by US occupational force.
You can find a reason for that by seeing the last scene of the movie.

In the last part, Guy met with wife of the leader of the experiment. The leader died by gun shot of the quarrel between Guy and the leader's friends. She says to Guy that her husband's measure was wrong but the motive was right. She gave her late husband's corrected data of the experiment. Guy received that.

Japanese people including me should know such thing has happened in China. This week Tokyo high court rejected the compensation demand by victims and ex-victims of Nanjin atrocities and Unit 731 experiments.

I feel very sad these days.

17:50 Posted in Film, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: political issues, history

10 March 2005

The Fog of War (2003)

Do you know Robert S. McNamara?

This is the documentary film based on the interview recently conducted with of Robert McNamara who was Secretary of Defense during Kennedy and Johnson administration. He is now nearly 90 years old.

He is also important for Japanese history.

Exactly 60 years of today, the city I live, which is the capital of Japan, Tokyo was bombed by US air force. 100,000 civilians including children were killed by B-29 airplanes over one night. At that time, Mr. McNamara was under the command of Colonel LeMay, who directed the bombing of Tokyo on March 10, 1945. McNamara was part of this bombing project as a statistical analyst.

He seemed regretted what he did. He also mentioned his supervisor LeMay said if the US lost the war, he would have been convicted as war criminal.
Then, McNamara said “Can we get away with this immorality because we won the war?”

Again, I wouldn’t want to blame him for what the US army has done to our country. Yes, US has done too much for its objective. But Japan started the war by bombing Pearl Harbor and we’ve done as brutal things in China as Hiroshima and Tokyo.

There are many other important messages in this film. I recommend you to see it.

15:10 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Documentary, nuclear weapon