30 Apr 2011

Kikujirō no Natsu (菊次郎の夏)

What a totally fantastic movie to watch as the last one of cooperation between Takeshi Kitano and Joe Hisaishi. I'm very glad it was that one and no other. Why? Because the rest of them are not that good? Of course not.
It's just a great "farewell". I'm not really positive about watching the same movie twice, so yeah, I can say "farewell". So the point is that it is probably the most cheerful yet moving film of Mr. Kitano I have seen.

"Kikujiro no Natsu" is about a story of a lonely kid Masao, whose father died and was abandoned by mother. He currently lives with her Grandma. When summer comes, he is being a witness of his friends going on the holidays with parents. He miss school, in which he at least doesn't feel alone. and is dreaming of meeting with her real mother, who lives far away.

One day being bullied by some lads, he is observed by a woman who somehow knows him from before (but we can't really say how). She is with her husband and that is the main character of the movie - Kikujiro, played by Takeshi Kitano himself. After "rescuing" Masao from guys wanting his money, Kikujiro's wife declare his husband to take care of the boy, later informing about everything his Grandma.
Kikujiro ensure Masao to take him to his mother and that is how the story begins.

In this movie you may see a few different sides of Kikujiro. It's kinda hard to finally judge him. Kikujiro is a very nervous and violent personality. He quickly becomes mad and can't control himself. But he also is an amazing comedian, specifically or not. For Masao he really is gonna do everything., but also using others people and hurting them. The beginning of their adventure doesn't actually show any deeper feelings for this child. But in every next scene we may notice the growing integration between each other.
It is all about contact between son and father. Kikujiro replaces him for Masao. After it appears that her mother has a new husband and even born a child, there is no one left for him. Kikujiro tries his best to cheer him up. While they are traveling, they meet a poet riding around the country in his car, searching for inspirations and 2 motorcyclists. They all eventually end having a camping. And there are the most enjoyable scenes of this movie. They are all having fun, conducted by Kikujiro. It is obvious that's all for Masao.
Fatso and Baldly
Kitano's inspiration for the character (not the film) was his own father, Kikujiro Kitano, a gambler who struggled to feed his family and pay the rent.

I already listened many times the main musical theme in various arrangements - "Summer", but hearing it in the movie is an another experience. While earlier I didn't see any images, now I recall myself Kikujiro's Summer and it sounds even better. The whole score is particularly like a varations of this theme. But there are few other melodies, which also are great. I wouldn't really say it is repetitive, because it really isn't, believe me.

1. Summer - (6:28)
2. Going Out - (1:19)
3. Mad Summer - (2:57)
4. Night Mare - (1:52)
5. Kindness - (2:00)
6. The Rain - (5:40)
7. Real Eyes - (3:18)
8. Angel Bell - (3:15)
9. Two Hearts - (2:03)
10. Mother - (2:15)
11. River Side - (6:16)
12. Summer Road - (3:08)

My favorites: "Summer", "Kindness", "The Rain", "Real Eyes", "River Side", "Summer Road".

"Kikujiro no Natsu" really moved me. It is also about something I always wanted/still want to try. To left everything for some time and go out in to the world on my own. Have adventures and be free and independence. For me, that is a one of the best movie I've ever watched.
What about you?

26 Apr 2011

Robot Carnival

Although I'm much tired, I don't want to take a rest, a real rest, like sleeping. I don't want to lose time for that. It's a fact I slept today only 4-5 hours and I feel exhausted. I have no idea why, to be honest with you. Obviously, you may say 4-5 is just not much enough, but I've been doing so by months and it wasn't THAT bad. Also, in the previous school year, I've been spending much less time for sleeping and it wasn't so bad. Maybe it's just change in the weather? Or could it be caused by medicines I need to take? I don't know. I'm actually pretty scared of taking my pill every next day - 4 days in a row it stuck in the esophagus. There is something not alright.
You might as well skip this entry.

Today I want to mention about "Robot Carnival", an anthology anime movie I watched on Saturday. It consists 9 short movies of different directors. They are all connected with robots.
I would say that every of them has a message for us. Some of them seems to be simply, others are really serious. I sorted in points all of them (I don't want to spoil, so my descriptions are very short):

1. Opening: Directed by Atsuko Fukushima and Katsuhiro Otomo
People living on the desert and their village they were able to built there. It shows an actual Robot Carnival treating these villagers.
2. Franken's Gears: Directed by Koji Morimoto
A mad professor who is giving a life to a Robot (it all looks like a famous scene with Frankenstein, a monster).
3. Deprive: Directed by Hidetoshi Omori
A Hero rescuing a girl, but also an entire universe, I guess.
4. Presence: Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu
 A certain person constructing doll which soon begins to become like a real real human (it's in my opinion the hardest film out there).
5. Star Light Angel: Directed by Hiroyuki Kitazume
Well... Shoujo story presenting teenage girls and their relations with boys, I might say.
 6. Cloud: Directed by Mao Lamdo
It shows a Robot walking through the time - the background is changing all the time.
7. A Tale of Two Robots -- Chapter 3: Foreign Invasion: Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo
A battle between 2 gigantic robots - conducted by a bunch of kids and on the second side - a crazy professor convinced of his genius. He invades the city and already mentioned kids are fighting with him.
8. Nightmare (a.k.a. Chicken Man and Red Neck in Tokyo): Directed by Takashi Nakamura
A collapse of the city at the night. Robots completely destroyed it and are everywhere. Only a one drunken person was conscious and fast enough to run.
9. Ending: Directed by Atsuko Fukushima and Katsuhiro Otomo
Disintegration of Robot Carnival.

Epilogue - Years later a man discovers an orb among the remains and brings it back to his family. It is a music box featuring a miniature robot ballerina.

As I mentioned already, I tried to describe all of these stories in a way you don't realize endings. I can only recommend you to just watch it. It is worth to do. This movie is definitely something different among others. May I say it is ambitious? Yes, it is. I don't think casual, commercialized watchers could enjoy it. And that is the point. Well, it's all up to you and what you expect.

What is the reason that I reached for this movie? Joe Hisaishi! No kidding.
So what I need to mention about yet is obviously the original soundtrack, composed by no one else than him. Why I took this movie among others Hisaishi made a music for? Somebody mentioned it is similar to Chrono Trigger's... I was really surprised, but also interested if that could really be the truth. Is it? Honestly, only one track is familiar with one of Mitsuda's composition. What I must mention is the fact that the whole score wasn't created only by Hisaishi, but also two other composers - Isaku Fujita and Masahisa Takeichi.
Generally, we can hear the electronic music. It is not a surprise if you take a look at the the year of release this production and bear in mind that at the beginning of the career, Hisaishi was combining his compositions mainly with this "genre". It is ok, but not superb for me.

Disc 1 

05 DEPRIVE                                               
15UNIT 1
16UNIT 2
                                                                                                                                      Disc length: 1:08:25

Melody: Joe Hisaishi - 1-9, 13-21, 26, 27;  Isaku Fujita - 10-12, 22-25
Arrangement: Joe Hisaishi - 1-9, 15-21, 27; Isaku Fujira - 10-12, 22-25
Masahisa Takeichi - 13-14, 26

I want to share with you the track which I found to be familiar with Mitsuda's "Corridors of Time" (or "Zeal theme").
Compare yourself! "UNIT 2" and "Corridors of Time".
Maybe you don't know yet, but Yasunori Mitsuda is my idol.

P.S My style of writing might have been worsened, because while making this post I was angry. I already have written the whole text, but... Because of something I needed to rewrite it. It surely is not that "good" as the original and I can't help that. Sorry.
I'm also going to write about "Kikujiro no Natsu" soon, an another masterpiece of Takeshi Kitano with the music composed by Joe Hisaishi... It is a very important point of my life as a film fan.

20 Apr 2011

I also would like to inform you about festival academies which program fmf announced today. Only in Polish for now, though.

14 Apr 2011

Inter - what is happening?

I won't avoid mentioning Nerrazzuri anymore. I really am disappointed after what had happened today as well as week before. If someone doesn't know it - F.C. Internazionale Milano (Inter Mediolan/Milan) lost 1-2 today with Schalke 04 in a leg match in the Champions League. What else I need to say? It is not like I suspected Inter to win 4-0, but somehow I believed it could be possible. I don't think I should accuse lads. Today the played really a balanced match. The final score is not fair in my opinion, but... who really cares about one more or one more less goal in this statement. Assuming 2 matches, it ended with 7-3 for Schalke. It is like a defeat with AC Milan prophesied the bad turnover of cases... After the victory with Bayern and "happy" randomization when it appeared Inter plays with Schalke 04, nobody assumed it will "end" like that. Ok, not an end at all. There is still a chance to get Scudetto (6 fixtures and only 5 points to Milan - when now Nerazzurri don't need to concetrate on CL any longer... I hope they are able to keep winning) and won an Italian League Cup.
Highlights (I'm sorry it's Polish, but seems that only one available now, however strange it is):

13 Apr 2011

Gustav Mahler - officially and currently my favorite not-living composer

The frequency of my writing is decreasing. Last time, instead about just mentioning of some interesting things, I decided to write a long post about a one of them. Maybe I should just shortly tell you what curious I experience through the time (although surely I won't/wouldn't mention about everything), but I'm not sure if I'll manage to do that. It's just when I start to write about something it is hard to me mentioning more of it, however bad or good I do it.

Last Saturday was very special for me (02.04.11). I was at the philharmonic at the concert of Gustav Mahler second symphony. Currently he is my very favorite not-living composer (even though I know only 3 symphonies, 4 songs of him and well... Bach suite, but he only arranged that, so I don't think we should bear in mind this work). Obviously I prefer symphonies than songs. I'm still trying to decide which one most: 1st, 2nd or 5th?
1st is amazing, but...off. Why? The shortest one and the easiest one. It's very powerful, generally speaking. You can enjoy listening it, however, it is not somehow "ambitious" like 2nd and 5th. Try to listen "Sturmisch Bewegt", the final movement.
So... 5th or 2nd? Both of them I had an occasion to listen to live, but with other conductors (5th - Krzysztof Urbański, 2nd - Marek Pijarowski), I think these interpretations were equally good.
5th has this awesome (yet again) "Sturmisch Bewegt" as a 2nd movement. This composition earned most of all plays in my last.fm library of Gustav Mahler.
As for the 2nd symphony, amazing is the 1st movement, but... Even more the final (part e from 5th movement), with choir and 2  voices (soprano and alto).

Even though I listened to both works several times, I still don't think I do understand them good enough. And that is the point. I think here we just have a draw. I suppose I need even more time to the final judgement. I also think I must to know all of Mahler's symphonies before that.

I want to share with you the few performances of my beloved movements I found on YT:

Symphony No. 1 in D major "Titan":

4. Stürmisch bewegt

Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection":
 1. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck

5e. "O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube"

Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor 

2. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz

Maybe you are curious as to why in the title of my today's post I wrote "not-living" and if there is someone else I prefer. Well... I think you know about who it is all about. I really am going to write about Hisaishi-san more, you just have to wait little longer.
And by the way. Last time I "discovered" an another fascinating and not very good known composer - Ralph Vaughan Williams. After few plays of his 1st Sea Symphony (choral) I'm in love with it. Is he that good as Mahler? We will see.