Friday, June 29, 2007

Watched (and visited) June 18 - 24, 2007: Perrault and To, Olmsted and Hopper

Le beau plaisir (Michel Brault, Bernard Gosselin & Pierre Perrault, 1968)

A little appendix to Perrault's Ile a Coudres trilogy. While the three principal films (Pour la suite du monde, Le Règne du jour and Les Voitures d'eau) were shot in black and white, there must have been a camera with color film on hand from time to time. This shows an abbreviated version of the islanders attempt to snare a beluga whale (for a New York aquarium) using traditional methods.

Ba xing bao xi / The Eighth Happiness (Johnnie To, 1988)

A bit of enjoyable (Lunar) New Year's tomfoolery -- in which CHOW Yun-fat gets to camp it up as a mincing (by design) ladykiller. Chow lives with his elder brother, a TV chef (Raymond Wong, also the film's producer) and his younger brother, a would-be comics author (Jacky Cheung). Chow has a fiancee, who is (conveniently for him) often out of town, as she is an airline stewardess (Do Do Cheng). He is currently in pursuit of a very hot department store salesgirl (Cherie Chung). Meanwhile Cheung has crossed paths with a nice young woman (Fennie Yuen) with a rather fearsome mother -- and Wong has been smitten by a divorced (or at least separated) opera singer with a young son (Bo-bo Fung).

A plot summary here would be pointless -- as would any mention that there is nothing whatsoever "real" about this film. To's visual sense is a bit more television-ish than one is used to -- given his later films. but still, this looks good and is lots of fun.

Also re-watched -- Death Note, parts 1 and 2 (due to children wanting to see this). Also the conclusion of our revisitation of Hana yori dango (Boys Over Flowers) (episodes 45-51).

Other events of note -- a twilight tour of Olmsted-designed Franklin Park (lead by a National Park Service ranger):

...and a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts' splendid new Edward Hopper exhibition:

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