Sea is Watching

Our March 2007 film selection, The Sea is Watching is now open for discussion. Members who would like to Post an Official Commentary here are welcome to do so (Contact Ron or Roger if you would like to have posting priveleges to this blogsite). Anyone, member or not, can place brief comments here by simply clicking on the comments button.


One thought on “Sea is Watching

  1. UMI WA MITEITA (2002) moved like a lazy eddy in historic Edo. It was written and storyboarded by the master Akira Kurosawa. It would have been a human interest piece, more like RHAPSODY IN AUGUST (1991), or DREAMS (1990), or even DERSU UZALA (1975). This was the other side of the great director’s creative energy. We are more used to thinking about the stirring samurai epics when Kurosawa’s name is evoked, but even in the midst of the spectacle and blood of those ronin romps, he focused on the characters; their foibles and their strengths. THE SEA IS WATCHING (2003), literal translation was THE SEA WAS WATCHING, was directed by Kei Kumai. Although he was in fact a disciple of Kurosawa, the point is –who was not? Kumai is a writer/director of more than 20 films since the 1960’s –and accomplished artist in his own right. What he did with the Kurosawa concept was lyrical, sensuous, and touching. The art design by Takeo Kimura and the cinematography by Kazuo Okuhara did a lot for the film; representing the strongest elements. It has been critcized for being slow. For crying out loud, not all films have to thunder and shake and tip you back in your seat every few minutes to keep your attention. Sometimes it can be a great pleasure just to sit quietly and watch things unfold, like one would do on a spring day overlooking a sunny meadow; just have the patience to see what develops, and rejoice in the opening of a flower, or the appearance of a fawn. Nagiko Tono as O-Shin was lovely and vulnerable as the love object, the Cabiria of the piece. Misa Shimizu was strong, beautiful, and clever as Kikuno –the geisha that lied about her heritage and her child. The final scene on the roof top, with the sea lapping at their hems, and the sky ablaze with stars stays with you. This movie is so much more than just a concert of concubines, or boors in a brothel. It speaks volumes about station in life, and women’s status in history, and isolation and loneliness, and everyone’s need for love and respect. It is lush one minute and stark the next. It moves at a snail’s pace; a snail with the heart of a dragonfly.


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