It’s been a while! Happy 2021 and all that. Not a whole lot of reading or writing being done these days; fatherhood and entrepreneurship take a lot.
Also I don’t like this stupid new WordPress interface. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing these posts. I got a flat tire! I didn’t have change for cab fare! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
I have been doing *a bit* of gaming and watching when I can scrape together some globules of time. Maybe I’ll post again soon about the gaming component.
Lucky dog that I am, I’ve been gifted a few old J films over the past couple birthdays and Christmases, and I just recently got around to viewing one of Kurosawa’s lesser known works – The Bad Sleep Well (悪い奴ほどよく眠る). I won’t give any plot summary here, in case you want to check it out for yourself, but suffice it to say this isn’t Kurosawa’s usual take on feudal or post-war Japan. This one takes aim at the country’s corporate culture, corruption, greed, and the nature and banality of evil.
A few thoughts with a little bit of spoileriness:
- Great visuals and camerawork, as is typical for Kurosawa. In Kagemusha, he made brilliant work of color. Here, he keeps up with his expert employ of light and shadow.
- While his character ultimately falls a little flat due to the writing, Mifune is great, as always. The guy was the archetypal samurai, but he sure had range.
- Takashi Shimura as a bad guy!
- A lot of well done scenes; the setup in the first act starts off a bit confusing, but comes together brilliantly.
- If you read any reviews of this film, you’ll almost inevitably find that the reviewer was disappointed with the ending. I can’t disagree. It wasn’t completely unexpected; in fact it was Shakespearean and quite J. But unsatisfying.