December 10, 2009
I went to see the Japanese film 'Departures' yesterday.
A story of a young cellist who looses his job with the orchestra, then responds to an ad placed by what he imagines to be a travel agency 'Departures' but is in fact a funeral firm offering services of professional 'encoffiners', hardly promised to be a barrell of laughs or even a proper subject for a movie.
No matter. Being a sucker for foreign "arthouse' movies, I had no choice - had to see it.
The film is not perfect, but it is very beautiful and wise, and there are laughs in it too, or at least some gentle humour. Which comes as a surprise, given the 'improper' subject matter and the number of dead bodies being prepared for coffins, that we get to watch in the course of it.
A heart warming and life affirming, feel-good movie about death? Shockingly, yes.
Something to do with our Western, death denying culture, being astonished by that? Perhaps.
We came out, my friend and I, into the starry night and feeling very much alive (good art does that), headed straight for the nearest pub in need of a stiff drink (appalling pun that, I know; mine was a double vodka, by the way).
We talked about the film and our lives, about the worst jobs we ever had to do, how we get judged by what we do for living, and how often we judge others and ourselves this way ( I was 'just' a waitress for many years, all bankers are loathsome creeps etc..), and how unjust such judgements are.
Then I told him about the importance od carp in Polish Christmas celebrations.
About which, another time..
Posted by Marzena at December 10, 2009 08:48 PM