Friday, September 26, 2008

I just spent some time with Snow the cat in the backyard. He's very much warmed to me again. I got him to purr for the first time.

I guess John McCain didn't show up to the debate and I was very happily surprised to see that Peter Lorre was still alive, though admittedly looking somewhat like the mummified remains of a drowned Pillsbury Dough Boy. But that nasal, breathless laugh was unmistakable--

Oh. That was John McCain? Okay. Then I'm glad Obama was the only one onstage who managed to act like he was aware of what his opponent was saying. Or horrified, in the case of McCain winning.

I've been running out of movies to watch with the visiting grandmother so to-day I tried Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well out on her, and I think she secretly enjoyed it, despite commenting that all Japanese people look alike. I was reminded of what a spectacular film it is, a greatly underappreciated work of Kurosawa's. Also, with the current financial crisis, the movie's plot about a kickback scheme between a government company and a private company holds a great deal of resonance. Here's my original analysis, and I'd say my opinion of the movie has mainly changed only as regards the character of Yoshiko who, while still not as brilliantly serving the story as Gertrude and Ophelia, seems not at all a bad character in her own right.

I was reminded, too, of an analysis I read of the movie that compared Nishi's pursuit of cold, unwavering vengeance to that of the samurai. That Nishi is unable to avoid his humanity is a component of his downfall, as it surely was for Hamlet. I rather like stories that deal with the reality that trusting one's better nature isn't merely against the engine of the world's network of social fears, it can also often be disastrous. But that's why we love Hamlet, isn't it?

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