This week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude is the opening track to Masaru Sato’s score for Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. I like the mixture of Japanese styles and jazz. Sato studied under Kurosawa composer Fumio Hayasaka. When Hayasaka died of tuberculosis at age 41 while scoring Kurosawa’s 1955 film Record of a Living Being, the studio tapped Sato to replace him. Sato would go on to score 7 more Kurosawa films.

I meant to finally get off my ass and get to a theater this weekend to catch Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, but stayed home to make sweet sweet love to my new TV instead. So, that’s all from me this week. Now it’s your turn. Did anyone see anything worth talking about since last weekend? Lay it on me.

One Response to “Turning Japanese”

  1. Oh yes, the interlude is a captivating, stylish and atmospheric affair. Pulsating!

    Lucille and I (with Sammy and Danny for most) saw the following in theaters:

    Little Fugitive ***** (Tuesday night) Film Forum

    Side Effects *** 1/2 (Friday afternoon) Edgewater multiplex

    Caesar Must Die *** (Wednesday night) Film Forum

    Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts **** 1/2 (Saturday) Montclair

    The week’s highest was the 1953 LITTLE FUGITIVE, a naturalistic work that purportedly influenced the French New Wave, and was directed by three people–Raymond Abrashkin, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin. Featuring excellent use of non-professional actors in real Coney Island locations, and shot in 35 mm with a hand-held camera, the film won the Silver Lion at Venice and once seen is absolutely unforgettable.

    The five Oscar nominated animated shorts were presented in a theatrical program that also included several fine works that missed making the final five. My own favorite of the group -and the one that seems to be favored to win- is John Kahrs’ irresistible The Paperman, which I had seen a few times earlier in the year before main features in theaters. I am providing the link to it on the first comment to the MMD. Maggie Simpson’s The Longest Daycare is a close second, and Adam and Dog would be right after. The other two, Fresh Guacamole and Head Over Heels are fine too and round-out a splendid lot.

    SIDE EFFECTS has some rough edges, and one can’t be too invested or the ending will disappoint, but it often is an engrossing psychological piece dominated by pill popping from both sides of the divide, and it’s played out in hushed exchanges. For me it’s the best Soderbergh movie is a while. Sadly it could be his last as he says he will retire now. CAESAR MUST DIE is a novel idea embracing the real and imagined, but this Italian drama-film based on Shakespeare never manages to connect on a the human level that “Julius Caesar” did, and despite some brilliant sections, it’s often a tedious watch and listen.

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