Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nostalgic Movie

Went to see the movie Always - Sanchome no Yuhi (Sunset in Third Street), based on a long-seller manga comic. The time setting is 1958, the good old Showa era, when Japan was still relatively poor but energetically recovering from the defeat of WWII. The nostalgic scenery was created using CG magic by Takashi Yamazaki. Although a George Lucas and Steven Spielberg fan, Yamazaki is "sick of Hollywood sci-fi effects."
The CG supports the story -- it's not what people come to see," he explains. "It's like the music or the color cinematography." And that, he feels, is the wave of the CG future, for Japanese films certainly. "
"What people want now are films that appeal to the heart," he says. "That's also why 'Always' is a new type of CG film." His aim was not to send eyeballs spinning with his CG effects, but to use them, together with real sets and miniatures, to creates a warm, thoroughly authentic period atmosphere. "CG is becoming more of a supporting player, not the main actor," he comments. "I like that trend."
(quoted from "CG wizard eyes new cause" by Mark Schilling)


There's a funny sequence in the movie when a new TV set arrives at Suzuki family. TVs were still a rarity and the whole neighbour makes such a fuss. Next, the wooden furniture-like refrigerator cooled by a large block of ice, is replaced with a new electric one. Mrs. Suzuki remarks "Now we have all three of the Sacred Treasures - TV, refrigerator, and washing machine."

I was born in the mid-60's, so about 10 years later than the period depicted. Considering the time frame between the end of WWII and now, I realized I'm much more closer to the post war generation than I thought. But it's hard to admit it and perceive it. The Showa era seems so remote now.

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