East Side Sushi

I got up and put down my Jimi Hendrix T-shirt. I worked a little bit on writing an exam, and then I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theatre. Several people were in line ahead of me, apparently eager to see “East Side Sushi.” Many of these people were senior citizens, and they had some difficulty making their way to seats in the dark theatre. I could have gone to a showing later in the day to sit through a Q&A with the film’s director, Anthony Lucero, but I had a strong feeling that I knew what the questions were going to be. The movie was something like a mixture of “The Hundred-Foot Journey” and “Tampopo,” except set in Oakland. I liked the early scene showing the morning preparation for the fruit cart, although I was uncomfortable seeing people handling the fruit with bare hands. It made me not want to buy fruit from them. One of the attractions was seeing the locations around Oakland in the film, although nobody applauded when we caught a glimpse of the Grand Lake Theatre sign in one shot. The story shows a melding of two cultures, with a Latina woman named Juana taking a job in a Japanese restaurant and attempting to become a sushi chef. I don’t know how much progress you can make in one year, but I didn’t quite believe that Juana could become so awesome in that amount of time. This movie also brought to mind “McFarland, U.S.A.” I thought these movies could be an indication of the increasing importance of the Latino culture in places like California. I think that we don’t see enough of Latino and Asian actors in the movies. I thought the scene where Juana is robbed was quite powerful, but it seemed like a weak idea to show her father having problems starting his truck. I could relate to a couple of scenes because once when I offered my sushi to my friend Javier, he said he didn’t like it. The woman who interviewed Juana seemed not right to me. I would say that the Asian actors were the weaker performers in the cast, except maybe the man who played Mr. Yoshida. I could definitely believe him. I wished that Lucero could have come up with a fresher idea than the television contest to get to the resolution. Still, you’ve got to root for this underdog story. It was a crowd pleaser, at least in this town. I had to like seeing the shots of Lake Merritt that were filmed a very short distance from the very theatre where I was watching all of this. I would recommend this movie because it’s a movie about people trying to have decent lives. They’re struggling against crime and financial difficulty. I would not vote for a sushi chef whose signature achievement was a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bit with the chopsticks in the rice was something that I knew about. It was theatrical. I think that in a year someone would have told her. When you’re learning about a culture, you’re not going to skip details. At least I don’t think so. I sympathize with so many things that Latinos experience in this country. It’s different from what other ethnic groups experience. What else did I see? There was the Oakland Public Library and an AC Transit bus. I think this movie should be a big success in Oakland, and it has potential to reach a lot of people across the country. I got out of the theatre just after two o’clock and felt pretty good. I took the bus over to Best Buy in Emeryville to use a $5 coupon to buy ear buds. Now I can listen to my Beatles albums and baseball games again. I went back home to do my laundry, and while I was doing that, I discovered a used copy of the Blu-ray of “Frances Ha” in the record store, and I decided I had to buy it. I think I’ll always associate David Bowie’s “Modern Love” with this movie. I shopped for groceries, so I was glad to get all my planned chores done. I watched the Partridge Family episode “Who is Max Ledbetter, and Why is He Saying All Those Terrible Things?” The guest was John Banner, and this was his last television appearance before his death in 1973. The second season of the show was arguably the best, and this was the last of the episodes. Since I was reminded that the premiere of “Get Smart” was on September 18, 1965, I brought out the DVD to watch that pilot episode again, which was in black and white. The first thing that 99 said was “Mets win doubleheader.” I watched the NUMB3RS episode “Jack of All Trades,” featuring Henry Winkler. He went from being The Fonz to being an uptight FBI agent. Two movies that were on at the same time last night were “Funny Girl” and “Conrack.” Barbra Streisand had the role of a lifetime in Fanny Brice. I liked “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and I thought William Wyler did a good job of directing. I heard the voice of Betty Boop from one of the women. I couldn’t stop thinking about the recent death of Omar Sharif. I remember seeing “Conrack” on television many years ago. I had gotten about that plan to take the students out trick-or-treating for Halloween. I don’t think those kids should have eaten those sugar cookies. I was reminded of the days when Jon Voight did movies that had life in them. The movie ended with Beethoven on the soundtrack. Paul Winfield and Hume Cronyn were in the cast. I could relate to some aspects of the Jon Voight character, although I don’t think my students would meet me at the boat. The students in the movie didn’t wave or show much emotion. They thought that Jackie Robinson was the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Johnny Depp was on the Jimmy Kimmel show in a rerun. He was talking about “Black Mass,” which I would like to go out to see today after work. He said he learned his Boston accent from hanging out with Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Depp said he just “sponged it.” Somehow, I couldn’t stand seeing his tattoos. I wished that I could avoid the heat wave. Some of the people who died on September 19 include James Garfield (1881), Robert Casadesus (1972), Gram Parsons (1973), Hermes Pan (1990), Orville Redenbacher (1995), and Ann Doran (2000). Today is a birthday for Jeremy Irons (67), Randolph Mantooth (70), Paul Williams (75), David McCallum (82), and Adam West (87). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 19, Elvis Presley set sail for Germany and a tour of duty with the Army in 1958. In 1968, “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand debuted in New York. In 1973, Gram Parsons died at age 26. In 1981, Simon and Garfunkel performed their free concert in New York’s Central Park, drawing 400,000 fans.

This entry was posted in Movies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s