Umimachi Diary

My parents were a bit upset that they had difficulty getting me on the phone.  It turned out that I had unknowingly switched off the ringer, probably with my foot in the middle of the night.  My mother commented that I had gained weight, based on my recent photo with Stomper.  I went out to Trader Joe’s and listened to the radio for a while.  I went out to the theatre to see the Japanese movie “Our Little Sister,” which also had the title “Umimachi Diary.”  It was the story of three sisters, named Sachi, Chika, and Yoshino, who bring into their home their teenage half-sister Suzu after the death of their father.  The movie had something of the feeling of “Little Women.”  It wasn’t clear to me exactly what the time period was, but Sachi had a flip phone, and I saw a laptop computer in one scene.  There wasn’t a lot of technology in this movie.  We see a lot of walking and taking trains.  A lot of the details had to do with food like fish and drink like plum wine.  Sachi is the eldest and the substitute mother.  Yoshino is a colorful character, left-handed and unusual.  Suzu arrives in this house and goes to school.  She feels guilt that her mother was responsible for the breakup of the marriage of the parents.  The movie wasn’t about the usual conflict and resolution we get in most movies.  There is restrained emotion, and we see many apologies.  This is sure a different culture.  Everyone is too polite.  They get along together like the Brady Bunch.  There are some beautiful moments, like the bicycle ride past the cherry blossoms.  That reminded me of “Jules and Jim.”  There was also the scene in the garden where the sisters have sparklers.  As I was watching, I couldn’t help thinking one of them would get seriously burned, or possibly burn the house down.  Perhaps the main flaw of the movie was that it ran on for too long.  I think that everyone in the theatre started squirming and feeling restless, waiting for this thing to end.  It does end with a scene on the beach, rather reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman.  I think this movie might gain some fans in this country, but it’s too low-key and understated for most Americans.  We’re too accustomed from a young age to expect loudness and yelling and blaring music on the soundtrack.  I would have liked this movie much more if it had been trimmed by about ten minutes.  A director should not fall in love with his footage and try to preserve too much of it.  I thought about seeing “Easy Rider” and its original four-hour cut.  I walked over to the record store and bought albums by Ian Hunter and Sweet.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He played tracks from some of the best albums from the first half of 2016, including Paul Simon, PJ Harvey, Lucinda Williams, Radiohead, Margo Price, David Bowie, and Sturgill Simpson.  I started to watch the Columbo episode “Suitable for Framing” with Ross Martin, but I fell asleep.  I woke up and watched a couple of episodes of the Kung Fu marathon.  I don’t think I ever saw the one showing Caine escaping from China.  Some of the people who died on August 1 include Frances Farmer (1970), Strother Martin (1980), Paddy Chayefsky (1981), and Marie Trintignant (2003).

This entry was posted in Movies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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