Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Fiddler on the Roof
What a glorious day it is!
How are you, Kato?
from: Diane email@example.com
to: Kato firstname.lastname@example.org
date: Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 7:21 PM
Hello, my happy bohemian,
Wow! you’ve watched unbelievable 1,279 movies!
It is definitely some sort of record, you’d think.
Well, you are an official movie aficionado now, kiddo.
Very impressive indeed.
I’ve always believed, well for a long time anyway, that movies are an excellent way for someone to learn about life, about others, about ourselves, and about some of the scores of ways one can live ones life and interact with others.
Like you, I love movies, but certainly I don’t get to see too many these days.
By the way, Fred and I will be going to the Massey Theatre in New Westminster on Saturday to see “Fiddler on the Roof”, which has been getting good reviews so I’m really looking forward to it.
Another way to see different takes on life.
I’m growing to love theatre the more I’m exposed to it.
Fred used to teach drama at high school so he gets very excited about theatre and loves nothing better than to explain to me beforehand some of the nuances to watch for and then discuss the production later.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times he sees a production—even the same one by a different cast because he gets something new every time.
Last evening I watched “Carnal Knowledge” at Vancouver Public Library.
Carnal knowledge? What is it?
“Carnal” means “fleshly” or “sensual.”
So, I gather that it has a sexual connotation.
Until I looked it up in the online dictionary, however, I hadn’t known the exact meaning!
Carnal knowledge is an archaic or legal euphemism for sexual intercourse.
The term derives from the Biblical usage of the verb know/knew, as in the King James Bible and other versions, a euphemism for sexual conduct.
An example of this usage is in the first part of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, which describes how Adam and Eve created their first child: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with [the help of] Jehovah.” – Genesis 4:1.
As a devoted Christian, Diane, you certainly know the meaning, right?
In any case, in those days of the early 1970s, the general receptiveness by the public to frank discussion of sexual issues was sometimes at odds with local community standards.
A theatre in Albany, Georgia, showed the above film.
On January 13, 1972, the local police served a search warrant on the theatre, and seized the film.
In March 1972, the theatre manager, Mr. Jenkins, was convicted of the crime of “distributing obscene material”.
His conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
On June 24, 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the State of Georgia had gone too far in classifying material as obscene in view of its prior decision in Miller v. California, and overturned the conviction.
Compared to the pornogrphic, this is far from obscene material, but the film simply depicts the things far from serious material.
This movie reminds me of “Caligula.”
The film is a 1979 Italian-American erotic historical drama focusing on the rise and fall of the Roman Emperor Caligula.
It stars Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, John Steiner and John Gielgud.
It is the only feature film produced by the men’s magazine Penthouse.
Producer Bob Guccione, the magazine’s founder, intended to produce an explicit pornographic film with a feature film narrative and high production values.
He intended to cast Penthouse Pets as extras in unsimulated sex scenes filmed during post-production by Guccione and Giancarlo Lui.
The film’s release was controversial and it was met with legal issues and controversies over its violent and sexual content.
Many have considered it as one of the worst films ever made.
Since then, however, Caligula has been considered to be a cult classic and its political content was considered to have significant merit.
Actually, back in the early 1980s, I went to Paradise Theatre (now closed!) on Granville street to see the movie.
919 Granville Street
To my utter surprise, there was a picket line in front of the theater.
The protesters were shouting, “Those people standing in the line were morally evil and disgusting!”
I waited for long in the line and eventually viewed it.
Yes, it was such a disgusting movie, but I really enjoyed it as an entertainig piece.
Carnal knowledge, oh yes, as a good Christian girl we heard about this a lot, but I don’t hear the word much these days.
We’ve thankfully come a long way.
Now we call it sex education. Hmmm … sounds better.
When I see you one day I’ll tell you about a little “project” or “resolution” I made at the first of the year, which is set to last for one year, is going quite well, which is pretty difficult and which will get more difficult as the year goes on.
So far so good.
Now that I’ve got your curiosity up you’ll hopefully remember to ask me.
Bit complicated to explain with the written word.
Somewhat along the same lines of your 1,279 movies.
Really amazing that is.
Thanks for all these reviews,
You are one busy beaver,
Hope to see you soon,
Love, Diane ~
Sounds like a big party at Sunset Beach yesterday.
Indeed perfect day for it.
Did you go down and smoke a joint on the sand?
Some of my friends are stoners, as it were, and had a great time.
Not for me, but I really should have gone down and looked around just for fun.
So, Diane, you enjoyed to see “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster, eh?
Yes, I did… How about you, Kato?
Well, I watched the production at the Hungtington Beach Playhouse in California… Since I recorded it, I’ll show you here:
Set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905, the story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives.
He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love.
Each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith.
Then comes the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
Kato, did you really go down there to see the above production?
Yes, of course, I did—albeit in my dream.
How did you like it?
I guess it’s okay, but I like the film version much better.
The film follows the plot of the stage play very closely, retaining nearly all of the play’s dialogue, although it omits some songs.
But, Kato, the original Broadway production, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Besides, it held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until “Grease” surpassed its run.
So, Diane, you’re saying that the Broadway production is much better than the movie, eh?
Yes, I am. It won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned five Broadway revivals. That’s the reason someone made a 1971 film adaptation based on its popularity.
Maybe so, but the movie is richer because it contains some additional scenes. So the movie has made “Fiddler on the Roof” internationally popular. That’s the reason you saw the production at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster—far from New York. You see, it is a very popular choice for local community productions.
I see. By the way, Kato, have you watched any fascinating movie lately?
Yes, I have… Look at my list:
Kato, are you saying you’ve watched 1315 movies?
Yes, I am… I’m a flick mania, you know.
I know that… but how could you manage to see so many movies for such a short period?
Well… some people love eating, but I love watching flicks instead of fooling around with girls.
I see… So, which one do you like best in the above new list?
Here it is:
Diane, do you know the blind pianist, Nobuyuki Tsuji, don’t you?
Yes, I do.
If you listen to the above two performances, you might want to know how he’s become such a talented pianist.
Yes, I really want to know.
That’s the reason 20 people are now waiting for the DVD to see his biographical documentary… You’d better book the DVD unless you regret it.
What else do you recommend?
I’d like you to see the following movie:
This is a 2013 Japanese drama directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (是枝裕和).
The Japanese title literally means “And he’s become a father.(そして父になる)”
And it really means it!
One day, the couple learns that their biological son “Ryusei(琉晴)” was accidentally switched with “Keita(慶多)” after birth.
After DNA tests prove the error, they must now make a life-changing decision to either keep “Keita”, the boy they raised as their own son, or switch him for their biological son.
Actually, the baby-switching incident was NOT an acccident but one of the nurses did it on purpose.
The performances of both kid-actors are superb, and the story is sensitively written and smartly directed.
The director uses familiar-seeming elements to tell a thought-provoking story.
Gripping, profoudly involving and ultimately refreshing, this film is one of those rare films that keep you totally engaged.
This film even moved Steven Spielberg so that he has obtained a right to remake it.
I see… The above movie impressed Steven Spielberg so much, huh?
Yes, it did.
It must be a good one.
You’re telling me, Diane. You’d better rush to book the DVD. There are still five people waiting in the line as of May 25.
Well, then, I’d better run… anyway, you’re watching another movie, huh?
Yes, I am…
But, Kato, you’d better take a stroll or something like that since it is such a gorgeous day. Otherwise, you’d become a fat man or a zombie.
Yes, yes, yes… I’ll keep it in mind.
Please take a look at the following list again.
As Kato said, “Touching the Sound (1315)” and “Like father, like son (1307)” are two of the gripping and heart-felt movies.
I was really moved while watching the above.
As a Japanese woman, however, I was attracted to the following two movies:
This is a 1965 Japanese period drama directed by Akira Kurosawa about the relationship between a town doctor and his new trainee, based on Shūgorō Yamamoto’s short story collection: “Akahige shinryōtan (赤ひげ診療譚).”
Trained in a Dutch medical school in Nagasaki during the 19th century, the arrogant Yasumoto aspires to the status of personal physician of the Shogunate, a position currently held by a close relative.
His father is already a well-established, highly competent physician.
Yasumoto believes that he should progress through the safe, and well-protected, army structure of medical education.
For Yasumoto’s post-graduate medical training, however, he has been assigned to a rural clinic under the guidance of Dr. Kyojō Niide (played by Toshiro Mifune).
Called Akahige (“Red Beard”) because of his reddish beard, Dr. Niide may seem like a tyrannical task master, but in reality he is a compassionate clinic director.
The film looks intot the problem of social injustice and explores two of Kurosawa’s favourite topics: humanism and existentialism.
“Sansho the Bailiff” (Trailer)
(full movie, click “CC” for English subtitles)
This is a 1954 Japanese period drama directed by Kenji Mizoguchi (溝口健二), based on a short story of the same name (山椒大夫) by Mori Ōgai (森鴎外).
The film follows two aristocratic children who are sold into slavery.
The children grow to young adulthood at the slave camp.
Older sister Anju (安寿) still believes in the teachings of her father, which advocate treating others with humanity, but her brother Zushiō (厨子王) has repressed his humanity, becoming one of the overseers who punishes other slaves, in the belief that this is the only way to survive.
Anju hears a song from a new slave girl from Sado which mentions her and her brother in the lyrics.
This leads her to believe their mother is still alive.
Zushiō is ordered to take Namiji (波路), an older woman, out of the slave camp to be left to die in the wilderness due to her sickness.
Anju accompanies them, and while they break branches to provide covering for the dying woman they recall their earlier childhood memories.
At this point Zushiō changes his mind and asks Anju to escape with him to find their mother.
Anju asks him to take Namiji with him, convincing her brother she will stay behind to distract the guards.
Zushiō promises to return for Anju. However, after Zushiō’s escape, Anju commits suicide by walking into a lake, drowning herself so that she will not be tortured and forced to reveal her brother’s whereabouts.
It is a gripping and heartbreaking story.
“Sansho the Bailiff” bears many of Mizoguchi’s hallmarks such as portrayals of poverty, a critical view of the place of women and elaborately choreographed long shots.
In any case, it is one of the Mizoguchi’s finest works with Ugetsu (雨月) made in 1953.
I hope Kato will write another interesting article soon.
So please come back to see me.
Have a nice day!
Bye bye …
If you’ve got some time,
Please read one of the following artciles:
■“Happy New Year”
■“Merange & Sabina”
■“Beauty in Spa”
■“Love @ e-reading”
■“Love & Loyalty”
■“Amazing Two-legged Pooch”
■“Life with Music”
■“Biker Babe & Granny”
■“Heaven with Mochi”
■“Travel Expense Scandal”
■Happy Gal in Canada
■Roof of Vancouver
■Better Off Without Senate
■Trump @ Vancouver
■Otter & Trump
Hi, I’m June Adams.
Kato is a real movie lover, who tries to watch 1001 movies.
As a matter of fact, he has already accomplished his goal.
Kato watched “The Arabian Nights” or “One Thousand and One Nights” as his 1001th movie.
You might just as well want to view it.
The stories in “the Arabian Nights” were collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa.
The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature.
In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.
What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves.
The stories proceed from this original tale.
Some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord.
Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more.
■『軽井沢タリアセン夫人 – 小百合物語』