barringerjames at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 25 02:32:38 EST 2002
My name is Jim Barringer. I recently moved to Japan,
although this is my 4th time living here. I work for
Dow Jones in Tokyo, and my work in business
development leads me to travel around quite a bit. My
wife, Megumi is Japanese, and we have two children, a
girl, 4, and a boy, 3. We live in Kamakura.
I started developing an interest in Japanese film when
I saw "Kwaidan" by Masaki Kobayashi in the US, shortly
after I left Japan (my first time living in Japan)
after a tour based in Sasebo, Kyushu, with the Navy.
To this day, "Kwaidan" is one of my favorite films.
Other favorite directors include Juzo Itami, and of
course Kurosawa. Notable favorites are "Tanpopo" and
"Rashomon," as well as "Kazoku Ge-mu" (Family Game)
and "Yen Family."
Serious film people should not ignore Hayao Miyazaki,
either - I'm no fan of "anime" as a genre, in fact I
find Japanese anime can reach surprising lows in
banality, but with "Sen to Chiro no Kamikakushi"
("Spirited Away") Miyazaki made one of the best,
strangest movies I've ever seen.
I'm no fan of the foreign critic's current darling,
Kitano (Beat) Takeshi's films - they put me to sleep.
I just get the feeling he wants to play the tough-guy
and film young girls taking their tops off in Okinawa.
A nice way for Beat to make some money, and it
apparently impresses the audiences in France, but I
find it pretty but boring and senseless. I think it
helps to enjoy Beat's movies if you haven't spent much
time in Japan. Then it may look mysterious and
inscrutable. If you've lived over here a while, you
know it's just plain dumb. When I want pleasant
boredom, I lean towards more traditional Japanese fare
- the "Otoko-wa Tsurai Yo" Tora-san films. I can even
watch these things with my mother-in-law (although my
wife usually walks out of the room or reads a
I'm interested in this board to expand my horizons
beyond what I already know, especially as I now have
access to a wealth of Japanese film on DVD at my local
video store which I wouldn't have access to in the US.
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