Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday 14 November 2005

Shirotori Park.Small Compact.Located in a suburb of Nagoya City.Comfortably walk around it in 5 or so minutes.From the air the ponds created within the gardens are said to resemble a swan in flight.Hence the name.There are some traditional tearooms and other buildings constructed by craftsmen from Kyoto.Think I've blogged about the park before.I visit every 3 months or so.To observe the changing seasons.Baby ducks.Cherry blossoms.Fall leaves.
Last Friday armed with my new digital camera I went again.
Still peaceful.Well kinda.Despite the recent appearance of an overbearing 15 floor building on its fringes.

Despite the increase in the feral cat population.
I stood frozen watching one stalk a seagull.Too slow to photo it pouncing and breaking the unfortunate birds neck.Too slow as it triumphantly dragged the limp corpse into the undergrowth.
Avian atrocities aside,for 50 yen you can purchase a small paper cup of fish food.To feed the piscean predators that populate the ponds.The goldfish or koi seem to hear the vibrations of your feet as you near the steps of the ponds.They begin to flock like bees and greedily fight for any pellet floating their way.
Mouths popping and slurping obscenely.Ive included a photo of aforesaid koi.
Still a bit early for the full glory of autumn to be reflected in the foilage.Evidently its been too warm.Maybe I'll get down to Kyoto late November when the season is at its peak.

Was disappointed with the 2005 Best American Short Stories edition this year.As selected by Michael Chabon.Should have known.Not really a fan.Nothing stood out.Nothing clever,no wordplay,phrase or metaphor to puzzle.All too similiar all too introspective.Each years edition seems dependent on that years guest editor.This years may have been good.Just not my taste.
On the other hand the 2005 Essays edition as chosen by Susan Orlean, ( author of "The Orchid Thief" the basis for the movie "Adaptation") is a much better read.The essays cover a broad range of topics from factual features to some personal memoirs.Much more enjoyable than Chabons offerings.

Briefly.I've watched a few good ones of late.Though I cant see why some gush over "Napoleon Dynamite".Seems to be a movie that tries too hard ,is too earnest.Sometimes bland and mediocre are just that.Bland.Mediocre.Unfunny.The ending was too pat,too contrived and feelgood.
Also watched "Million Dollar Baby" having been impressed with Eastwoods earlier "Unforgiven" and the more recent "Mystic Creek".Simply elegantly shot.Character driven.The use of light in some scenes is very effective and effecting.One shot with the light falling diagonally across Eastwoods characters craggy features conveys more than 10 pages of script could.The fight scenes reminded me of "Raging Bull".Bone crunching,nose breaking shots that made me wince.As with "Mystic Creek" theres a foreboding sense that all will not be well.The end also reminded me of another great movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" with a release of sorts for the characters.
Lastly but not least I finally got to see "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".As with Chabon I'm not a Jim Carrey fan.His hyper drive maniac turns in other movies leave me cold.Like Robin Williams an acquired taste.Pleasantly surprised with his performance here.Almost human.Much pared down.Muted.Sans eye popping gimmicks.Sans facial tics.Sans nervous energy.sans everything really.A good supporting cast to back up Carrey and Kate Winslet the main protaganists.Kirsten Dundst and Elijah Woods among others.Woods played a character light years removed from Frodo Baggins.
Like "Million Dollar Baby" some scenes linger.One where the 2 main characters do "snow angels" or scenes where
Carreys character is desperately fighting to stop his memories disappearing or being erased.
Which got me thinking as most good movies and books do and we just keep the good memories of past relationships,filter out the bad or worse even adjust or reconstruct good ones?......

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