Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day #21,574

Walk km 6365-6366: to the library

Movie #1545: The Rug Cop (2006, Minoru Kawasaki)

From the makers of "Executive Koala". That movie was really stoooooooopid. This one is just stupid (and boring).

Movie #1544: The Quiet Duel (1949, Akira Kurosawa)

A two-parter. One part of this movie is a public service announcement about the seriousness of venereal disease and how it must be treated immediately.
The second part is about not telling the truth. I've just watched a bunch of Korean movies on this subject and the consensus was that speaking the truth is the right policy. In this one, it's not so clear.
A doctor cuts his finger during an operation and contacts syphilis from the patient. He realizes that it will take at least 5 years to cure. So, he tells his fiance that the planned marriage is off but no, he won't tell her why. At first we think he's embarrassed and the woman won't believe him about the cut finger. But no, he doesn't think it's fair for her to wait five years for him to get better. So, his fiance goes through hell (not knowing what happened) but eventually does marry someone else. Then one of the nurses says she's crazy about the doctor. So, everyone is happy? Not telling the truth is OK? Well, we really don't know because we never see his fiance after she gets married so we don't know how her life turned out. The question remains unanswered.
There are a few drawbacks to this movie. One: the guy he gets syphilis from comes back into the story and turns out to be complete slime. This is supposed to contrast with the heroic doctor who sacrifices all his happiness for the sake of his fiance. This is way too black&white - suitable for a public service announcement but you would think that Kurosawa could have used some shades of grey here.
Another is the doctor's speech on the day his fiance finally leaves him to marry another. He talks about sex only. Huh? After building this up as a great romance, his only worry is that he's not gonna get laid? I found that kinda weird.

Song #36,238: Umfolozi (2005, Doreen Thobekile)
It's amazing how much stuff is on eMusic. You can look at the new releases and see that everyday there is another pile of new CDs (actually MP3s) listed. These days anyone can record themselves and then try and sell their music over the internet. No recording contracts and no records or CDs to manufacture.
So one day I thought I'd look through the new releases. Amazingly after looking through only about a hundred new releases I ran into Beach Bellydance Babylon which sounded good so I bought a couple of their tracks. Then I clicked on the record "label" to see if they had any other interesting releases. That's when I ran into "Zulu In London" by Doreen Thobekile. The 30 second promo showed that this wasn't what I normally listen to but it sounded interesting. I bought a couple of her songs and after playing them a few times, I really enjoyed the music.
So, I picked one of the songs to put on my blog and started to look to see if there was anything about Doreen on the internet. I figured she was probably some janey-come-lately with an MP3 only release so there wouldn't be much there. Wrong! It seems that Doreen has been singing, dancing and playing music for 40 years! This song was recorded in 2005 when she was 65. She died last year of cancer at 70. So if you like this song, buy a copy on eMusic and then read all about her (many internet sites have her full story).

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