Day 1: Conception of the Beast (basically, me saying hello)

A day where my identity disintegrates. Mm not sure why my name has metamorphosized into `time` - now feeling very reflective about life, mortality and how much I dislike insurance salesmen. Well as far as being lost in translation goes, I`m inspired to pick up on Seb`s thread, for want of a better theme. The Hollywood machine is indeed imitating the very same processes that the Japanese have done with American movies; namely to ingest the forms and stories then re-actualise them as new movies/remakes. This 2 way symbiosis has been in play for decades. Yojimbo`s creater, Kurosawa reportedly wrote to Leone about A Fistful of Dollars to say `I have seen your movie, sir. It is a good movie. But it also my movie.` (the quotation marks are as much for emphasis since the quotation might not be 100% accurate). It`s not all one-sided; many critics (read fanboys) of Japanese cinema rated the remake as an equal to the original. I disagree but, again, the viewing pleasure comes from the interplay between the 2 texts; things I expected to happen never did and instead Naomi Watts ended up getting herself into all sorts of hilarious jams that I didn`t predict. Interestingly, from a gender point of view, the threat in Ring, Audition, Dark Water and other top J-horror films is figured as female but this is a whole separate essay. When babbling about films in my long-forgotten thesis I tied this into the shattered image of the male psyche since World War 2. Oops, mentioned the war. I`d redub that “the 6 year incident” but then I`d piss off the Chinese all over again. Next. Hollywood always cashes in on a capital-generating idea/formula (hence sequels, remakes and a stringent belief Keanu Reeves can act). But when I watch a film like Takeshi Kitano`s Hana-bi, with it`s uniquely narcissistic & darkly cosmic world, it strikes me that it could never be translated and remade for an American audience. Tiny image. The wooden puzzle that Nishi`s (Kitano) wife toys with in Hana-bi is like the movie itself; fragmented, broken and in order for the narrative to make sense the audience must work to solve it. And whilst many aspects like the static violence, the reticent characters, the irreverent scenes could be said to be modern & playful ways to make movies, there`s something distinctly Japanese about it. Techniques are still utilised that go waaaay back to Ozu`s family dramas in the 40s/50s that show an objective, watching camera and the absence of closure at the story`s end etc. work in total antithesis to how the majority of American movies are made. So there`s another identity problem in addition to mine, coming from the meshing of two very different East and West styles. But then, living here, we all know about that one...