Monthly Archives: May 2011

The (sur)real world

Cool thing of the day: Man, Woman, and the Wall.

Movie poster with Sora Aoi (right) and Keita Ono (left).

Netflix was good enough to suggest this flick, based on my preference for creepy, cerebral movies, of which there are lots. I’ve seen so many, I’m kind of burnt out on the genre. This one was Japanese, though, so I had to watch it. Yeah, I’m a Japanophile otaku geek, but I’m also awesome, so it’s OK.

Before I  begin, dear readers, a small (but important) disclaimer. Stalking is bad. Stalking is bad. Stalking is bad. But for some reason, it’s really entertaining to watch.

Reporter Ryo moves to a new apartment with very thin walls. His neighbor to the right is a young woman named Satsuki. He hears her all the time: in the shower, on the phone, having sex with her boyfriend. Ryo quickly starts to fantasize about her; he even buys equipment to better eavesdrop on her life.  But Ryo soon finds that he isn’t alone in his voyeurism.

This is an awesome movie for lots of reasons. The plot was solid, the characters well drawn, and there was a lot of detail to the set designs. I wasn’t too crazy about the cinematography or editing, but nothing’s perfect, right? I know very little Japanese, but I understood enough to judge the actors (mostly) competent in their roles.

I love movies that are both realistic and believable. I love flawed characters. Archetypes are fun to play with, but I like the complexity of real people. I think a lot of writers are scared to have truly fucked up protagonists–drug dealers, sadists, murderers, despots, etc–but those characters are the most interesting to create. I may loathe their actions and ideologies, but it’s fun to try to work them out. Some people may say that creating bad characters is bad, too, but, then again, those are the same people who claim that violent video games make children violent.  *snorts*  As if the parents have nothing to do with it.

So, in conclusion, Man, Woman, and the Wall was a mixed bag of awesomeness.  For reals.

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Open letter to my brother

Dear A,

I’ve secretly stalked you for over a year now.  I’ve befriended you via one of the largest, vilest social networking sites.  I’ve commented on your posts—not because I wanted you to take notice of me, but because I was genuinely interested in what you had to say.  I’ve checked out your friends, your enemies, and your detractors.  I’ve even Googled your name and found out your school activities.  Creepy, I know, but I wanted to know about you.  I’ve noticed similarities between us.  Given that I’m a colossal fuck-up, I don’t yet know if this is good or bad.  I have to remind myself that you are not me, that you will not necessarily make the same mistakes I have, or have the same regrets, but, still, I can’t help but worry.

I respond to you always with the buried hope that you will, eventually, notice that there’s something off with the faux-me, and wonder, just who is this person whose photo I’ve never seen, lives in a different state, and talks like a middle-aged female?  What am I to him?  How does he know me, anyway?  Have you ever wondered?  I know little enough about you to say. Perhaps I’ve put too much into this—this sham persona, this approximation of familiarity.

 You see where I’m going with this, yes?  Clearly, this situation is not going to resolve itself.  I guess I’ll just have to do what everyone else does—I’ll have to send you a letter.