Sasame-yuki

I felt like sleeping all day.  I listened to the end of the Giants game in Milwaukee before going out to the record store, where I bought two used Blu-ray discs.  Back at home, I watched “The Makioka Sisters” again, this time in the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition.  This movie made such a strong impression upon me when I first saw it back in 1985.  It brought to mind two other movies about sisters, “Cries and Whispers” and “Heart to Heart.”  I’m not sure that I understood the bits of humor the first time I saw this movie.  My memory was that this movie was full of color and beauty.  Seeing it again, a lot of beauty is in the faces of the sisters.  Also, the indoor scenes made me feel anxious to see the outdoors.  The walk to view the cherry blossoms was one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen in any Japanese film.  I actually thought the film would look sharper and clearer in high definition.  The events in the movie are from 1936 to 1941.  What we see is a changing world.  This is a wealthy family coming down to earth.  Yukiko is the shy third sister who is holding out for a marriage that she wants, delaying the marriage plans of her younger sister Taeko.  This family made me think of my cousins, although they are three sisters and one brother.  The disc came with an essay by Audie Bock, who noted that the film left out some harsh elements like malnutrition and disease that were in the Junichiro Tanizaki novel.  I thought that the one notable flaw in the movie was the music, which had a trendy, electronic 1980s sound and was irritating at key moments.  One interesting fact about the cast is that it includes Juzo Itami, who would become famous as the director of “Tampopo.”  This was one of the great films from director Kon Ichikawa.  I’ll always remember how meaningful this film has been to me over the years.  Some of the people who died on June 9 include Charles Dickens (1870), Robert Donat (1958), Allen Ludden (1981), Claudio Arrau (1991), Arthur Alexander (1993), Alexis Smith (1993), and Bob Welch (2014).  Today is a birthday for Natalie Portman (36), Johnny Depp (54), and Michael J. Fox (56), Dick Vitale (78), and Jackie Mason (86).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 9, “The Wise Little Hen,” featuring the debut of Donald Duck, was released in 1934.  In 1981, Allen Ludden, host of the game show Password and husband of Betty White, died at age 63 of stomach cancer in Los Angeles.  In 1994, Lisa Left Eye Lopes set fire to Andre Rison’s sneakers, resulting in his mansion burning down.

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