Friday, February 24, 2012


"Map of the Sounds of Tokyo" is a Spanish movie, but you wouldn't know it (when watching it) if you were not told. You'd think it's a Japanese movie. This film is by director Isabel Coixet and the movie is a thriller, but it starts with a definitely eyebrow raising feast called "Nyotaimori" that caught my attention. Feminists cringe and protest in drove because of the practice of eating hot sushi out of a woman's naked body. They do not care much if that is sometimes the price of doing business in Japan or copy cat in other countries simply for the fun of it. Columnist Julie Bindel of The Guardian, in February 2010 paid 250 English pounds to attend a real Nyotaimori in London and wrote an article about it. Needless to say, she despised it!

According to Jack Herbert, this is how "Body Sushi" is done:

"Before becoming a living sushi platter, the person (usually a woman) is trained to lie down for hours without moving. She or he must also be able to withstand the prolonged exposure to the cold food. Before service, the individual is supposed to have taken a bath using a special fragrance-free soap and then finished off with a splash of cold water to cool the body down somewhat for the sushi. In some parts of the world, in order to comply with sanitation laws, there must be a layer of plastic or other material between the sushi and the body of the woman or man."

Watch this clip and let me know if you would participate in such a feast. Not me! I think this movie was a financial loss. It was produced at a cost of US $8 Million dollars but only grossed about $3 millions. I think the Japanese tint of this movie did not fare well with the Spanish movie viewers.
The Way to Calvary

Monday, February 20, 2012

HTML5 Music Player

While talking about the tree of death... let me follow that somber thought to test a new music player to take place of my now aging Flash music player... So let's take a little detour to listen to the beautiful music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Requiem.
Mozart's Requiem

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Life and Death

This is the third and last clip from the movie "The Mill and the Cross." In this clip, the painter, Pieter Bruegel, explains the composition of his famous painting. It contrasts life (the left half of the painting) to death (the right half of it.) The crows perched atop the wagon wheel on the trees of death and the ones flying in the sky are birds of prey that feed on the dead. This movie has scenes of that and I thought are too gruesome to include them in this blog. All famous paintings from the ancient masters have stories to tell. What does La Gioconda tell you? Do you know? She was Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo... A very interesting story to tell there.
The Way to Calvary

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Tree of Death

You have seen the first clip from The Mill and the Cross. Are you ready for a second clip of that movie? A mild warning to you that this second clip is a bit hard to watch due to some violence, especially that if you watch the clip closely, you will see that the man being severely mistreated execution style is an innocent man. He was killed nonetheless! This clip is necessary for me to show you the meaning of the tall pole with a wagon wheel on top in the extreme right of the "The Way to Calvary" painting. Please pay attention to the first minute of the clip as it provides clues to understand how that painting was created. In a few days, you will see the third and last clip of this movie that contains in some details how this painting came to life... Come back if you have time...
Mill and Cross

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wind Mill

The US makes about 2,500 new movies each year! You'd think that it should be easy to find good material for a movie blog. Nothing is further from the truth! Many times, at least for my taste, I need to reach back to years bygone to find movies worth talking about. It is interesting to note that many foreign movies, movies made from countries other than the US, are excellent proofs that one does not need budgets in the hundred millions of US dollars to make good movies. Here is one that fits such bill: Lech Majewski's 2011 Polish-Swedish co-production "The Mill and the Cross." This movie was recently made with a meager 1.1 Million Euros and it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 23, 2011. It focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in a famous Pieter Bruegel's 1564 painting "The Way to Calvary" that sets against religious persecution of Flanders' Protestants in 1564 by Spain's Catholics.

As way of background for you, here is The Way to Calvary as it is displayed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna:
The Way to Calvary
This film painstakingly recreates the painting with live persons, using blue screen technique and computer graphics to immerse the viewers into the painting that comes alive. In this movie, the actor portraying the painter provides detailed explanations to his work of art, at the same time giving a historical depiction of 16th century life in Flanders. There is a couple of scenes that are quite disturbing due to the senseless violence during persecution scenes. You will see one in the next blog following this one. Come back here in a few days...

This blog shows you the cinematic interpretation of life inside a wind mill as seen through the eyes of the movie director Lech Majewski. What is remarkable is the opening sequence that slowly morphs live action shots to a digital still life painting that looks like this:

Click here to see the video clip.