Tokyo Story

I finally got round to watching Tokyo Story (1953) which Netflix sent me a while back. In short the story’s about an older couple who travel from their little town to Tokyo where two of their grown children live. Busy with their own work and children, the successful grown kids view their parent’s trip as an annoyance even though the parents spend most of their time staying out of everyone’s way. The grandchildren are spoiled brats given to whining and complaining. The cold welcome causes the parents to consider the gap between their hope for their old age and the reality. Clad in kimonos, this couple is on the other side of a gaping cultural divide from their Western dressed young.

Ozu uses this simple story to examine where Japan and Japanese families were going after the war. Yes, people could achieve more, but is the accompanying busyness and success worth it?

I enjoyed the simplicity and sincerity of the film. Also seeing little cultural things like the grandma taking medicine that comes in an envelope, the mosquito incense coils and a kind of Japanese play pen which was basically a mesh tent that kept a baby safe and mosquito free in a room while a parent worked was interesting.

Lil’ Bush

I just saw my first episode of the hillarious Lil’ Bush, a cartoon satire of the Bush administration on Comedy Central on Wednesdays at 9:30 Central Time. I laughed out loud during the two short pieces tonight. The first was about Lil’ George’s friendship with Lil’ Tony which worries his parents and the second was about how Lil’ George hires illegal aliens to do his chores at home after he gets punished.

Next week there’s a mini-marathon, which should be worth checking out. Satire is really what keeps me going till January 2009 when we get someone new.