Wednesday, 2 December 2009INDEX

Yojiro Takita's DEPARTURES

Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2008, Departures is quite a long film (130 minutes) but it doesn't seem to be. It has been said of Ozu that when you see one of his films you want to go out and buy your mother some flowers. This is that sort of film. I do not approve of death rituals. Anyone who has read Evelyn Waugh's The Loved Ones would understand why. Death rituals are incredibly expensive, force people to spend a lot of money when they are very vulnerable and have absolutely nothing to do with the dead person (who is blissfully unaware of the whole thing, probably). Yet strangely this film wins you over to the Japanese way of death.

I also do not believe in larded background music, yet this film wins you over and the music helps to build the mood of sentimentality. This is not a film to see unless you have at least one handkerchief.

There are limitations, including some of the silliest looking salmon I have ever seen and an abused octopus who if he was not dead prior to being thrown back in the water certainly died when he hit the water after a five metre drop.

But overall this is a film to see if you possibly can. And don't forget to take the phone number of your local florist so you can order some flowers after you've seen it.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009INDEX