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    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2008
     
    Its been a while. I thought I'd pop in and say happy new year. Sad to read about Spencer's mother. I hope you are OK Spence and that I catch everyone else in good health.

    I'm in Tokyo for the New Year. Everyone leaves Japan for Australia or Thailand or heads for the countryside to visit the parents around New Year so Tokyo is practically desterted (as much as a metropolis of 34 million can feel deserted). I wandered around where I live in Akasaka (the government and diplomatic area) tonight and saw more cats than humans. I've got a few days off before bullet-training down to Osaka and Fukuoka.

    I've been watching Bladerunner again and again. It just keeps growing on me that film. Maybe its living in Tokyo that does it.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2008
     
    Merry new year!

    Bladerunner's great. Do you have the new 1,218 disc special edition thing, the one that has all 17 different cuts of the movie? I should probably get that...

    I got the Kubrick boxed set for Christmas and I've watched 2001 like 5 times in the past week. Watching FMJ right now. It's better than I remembered. Kubrick rocks. No one like that making movies anymore. Kinda sucks.

    Anywho, I get to go back to work tomorrow. Fun.

    Crap.

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2008
     
    I have the two disc special edition Director's cut region 2 or 4 with commentary from Ridley Scott and two other commentaries from the set designer and others which I haven't listened to yet as well as the hour plus documentary "Dangerous Days". Quite good. The thing to do is to watch it and then wander around in the East Shinjuku area of Tokyo at night. This is the place that inspired Ridley Scott's vision of an Asian populated distopia. The movie is uncannily prescient. Just this morning I was in Ginza and went past two security van guards delivering money and they were dressed just like the cops in Bladerunner right down to the helmet and face visor. Add in all the binking Kanji neon signage in the allyway they were in and its what you call a Bladerunneresque moment. All that was missing was the rain and the umbrellas and street stalls selling replicant snakes.

    I was in Akihabara this afternoon and bought a little usb mouse for my notebook which constantly cycles through seven different colours. I've been using it for an hour and its already beginning to annoy me.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2008 edited
     
    Merry New Year all!

    I love Bladerunner, but haven't seen it in years. I would very much love to watch it, then walk around the neighborhood that inspired the backdrop. Just walking around San Francisco and noticing stuff from movies was a blast, and this sounds far cooler.

    Kubrik also rocks...I still haven't seen Eyes Wide Shut, though I've heard it's not his best. Dr. Strangelove is probably my favorite of his, though Full Metal Jacket is a special kind of awesome.

    I celebrated New Year's Eve by being sick. I called out of work, and got attitude about it, even though I was vomiting and it was dead at work and I lost my holiday pay by doing so so obviously I wasn't doing it for fun. Yeah, it's time to get out of there.

    Anyway, I sprawled on the couch and watched mindless TV all day. It sucked. Happy New Year!
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2008
     
    Your employer really sucks, Foucault. Definitely get out of there. Take some stationery with you when you leave.

    I'd love to go to San Francisco and check out the Dirty Harry locations. I must do the Hong Kong movie tour when I'm there next. Now that I am in Japan I'll have to look up the Beat Takeshi locations. He seems to favour unglamorous neighbourhoods that could be anywhere in urban Japan, though.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2008
     
    It's always strange when I see something I recognize in Philly in a movie. Even stranger, the Jackass movie (high cinema there, I know), actually has a scene that takes place right down the street from me. I'm watching it and I just can't get over the fact that they're at a place I go to all the time.

    I highly recommend Eyes Wide Shut. It is true that it's not his best work, but it's really quite good. I think it was received poorly because it was marketed wrong and a lot of people had the wrong idea of what it was supposed to be about. Personally, I loved it, though I do get the distinct impression that I'm in the minority.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2008 edited
     
    I love Bladerunner. I must get this new "final cut" 7,043.1-disc version, even though I hardly watch most bonus feature stuff. For a movie I love, this will sound weird, but I actually don't think I've seen the original theatrical version.

    As someone who lives in LA, I would like to say that I've yet to see anyone shoot LA better than Michael Mann.

    I'm not sure if I'd rank 2001 or Full Metal Jacket as my favourite Kubrick film. The last scene with Vincent D'Onofrio is probably one of the more memorable scenes of any movie I've seen, not simply because of what happens but because of its whole overall composition. Eyes Wide Shut is definitely not my favourite, but I think it's worth watching. There's some interesting stuff but I didn't find watching it much of a fulfilling experience, really.

    grenville, are you finding it difficult to find where you're going in Japan? I just found out the other day that they don't really have addresses or street names in a lot of places. Is that just the suburbs?
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2008
     
    They don't have street addresses as such in Japan. Its damn confusing as a result. They have a -ku and a block and a building number. So, for example, if I want to get to the Park Hyatt Hotel ("Lost in Translation" while we are on movie locations) which has the address 3-7-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo. This roughly translates as the City of Tokyo, in the Shinjuku Ward, in the Nishi-Shinjuku area, in the number 3 chome (or sub-area), in block number 7, building number 1. The big problem with this system is that buildings get pulled down and areas get redeveloped so building number 4 might now be next to building 23. Confusing.

    The best thing to do is go to diddlefinger.com, type in the English or Japanese versions of the address and print out the map. If it is a business you are looking for they almost always have a basic website with a map and little picture of their sign and some have helpful hints in English like "near Shibuya Beams" or "across from Shinjuku Bic Camera" whch are big, well known buildings. Just go to that area, walk about, scan up the vertical neon or lighted signs until you get one in the right colour and letter pattern and try that. You almost do it by instinct after a while. You can navigate Tokyo quite well by signage recognition -- a big Yodabashi Camera neon next to a Tower Records red on yellow means you are in Akihabara. Of course, that is no help in a backwater town with little neon. I always have a hell of a time finding stuff in Kyoto because its so low-rise and low-key.