"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Who Ordered The Mono No Aware?

So, I’ve been falling asleep in the cinema again.
Easily done for a man of my advancing years.
The darkened room. The comfortable seat.
An ice-cold bottle of imported beer beforehand.
I fell asleep watching Michael Haneke’s ‘Time Of The Wolf’.
I fell asleep watching Wim Wender’s ‘The Wrong Move’.
I fell asleep watching Peter Brook’s ‘Marat/Sade’.
And I fell asleep watching Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Le Mépris’ too.
This is my second Ozu in 7 days, and my
body's buckling just a little under the strain.
My throat is red raw, and my brain is drowning in its own mucus.
I’m finding it somewhat hard to breathe, truth be told.
Have my eyes turned pink yet? I can’t see in this light.
To be invited into a Japanese home
is to be afforded a very great honour.
And the guest always takes priority.
Remember that. And always remove your shoes upon entry.
4:3 is an aspect ratio which complements Ozu’s world of domestic interiors.
It’s all about the hearth and the home afterall.
For therein lies the hot emotional core.
A clock chimes. A wife behaves obsequiously.
A businessman pours green tea over a bowl of plain rice.
Western brand names hint at an off-screen American occupation.
The pop-and-crackle of fluff on the film print
perfectly reflecting the noise inside my weary head.
I start to hallucinate about halfway through the film.
I see a spectral figure standing in my peripherals.
He's looking straight at me. Not at the screen.
And he's addressing an audience from a lectern.
He doesn't see the young ultranationalist
drawing his wakizashi blade until it’s too late.
All things are transient. This knowledge I humbly receive.
Pathos is sometimes chastened. Eye-lines can be disconcerting.
His fate etched upon a tatami mat. Hidden behind a a shōji screen.
He rests now, peacefully, alone in the void.
Only after the door has closed behind me,
do I put my hat and my coat and my brogues back on.

Inejiro Asanumaa is assassinated on national TV



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