How to watch someone you love walk away…and look good doing it.

9 02 2009

I spent the day (and part of yesterday night) indulging in visual stimulation, namely Chinese horror/romance flick 画皮, and秒速5センチメートル.

The former is an adaptation of one of the stories from Strange Tales from Liaozhai, a collection of ghost stories written in Classical Chinese. Ironic, considering that -ghost films- per se are banned in mainland China.

It stars Zhou Xun, whom I must say is one superb actress. Since I can’t be bothered to write a summary of the whole movie I shall just touch on a few key points here.

  1. Zhou Xun with clothes on.
  2. Zhou Xun without clothes.
  3. I like the way that the Man of contention, Wang Sheng, is portrayed as a brave husband who sticks to his priorities in the face of extreme (oh yes extreme..) temptation XD
  4. Zhou Xun again. She makes you hate her and feel sorry for her alternately, depending on what’s required at that point of the movie.
  5. Well Vicki Zhao was pretty good too, as the virtuous and self-sacrificial wife with no lipstick.
  6. The theme song 画心, sung by Jane Zhang.
  7. However there was some weirdness and a jarring effect in the filming. I can’t pinpoint it.

Overall though, it was not bad and quite an interesting film.

Byousoku 5 cm is a 3-part trilogy of sorts, about these 2 kids Akari and Takaki, who meet in elementary school. Each part of the short series covers a particular period of their lives.

桜花抄 (Oukashou), the first part, is mostly narrated through letters from Akari, as they plan to meet after going different ways since graduating from elementary school. After many delays, they do meet, and share a really sweet moment in the snow.

It reminded me of the Ikimonogakari song, Sakura.

Lyrics here

Anyone notice the similarities? Cherry blossoms, letters, parting, Odakyuu trains….Hmm..

I strongly reccomend this anime-movie. Even those with strongly anti-fluff sentiments will appreciate the silent beauty of cherry blossoms and what never exactly blossomed between Akari and Takaki.

Back to the title of the post…How to watch someone you love walk away…and look good doing it.

Both Painted Skin and Byousoku involve the painful breaking up of relationships, onesided or not.

*spoiler alert*

Xiaowei (Zhou Xun) looks stunningly good even as she finally realises that Wang Sheng will never abandon Peirong for her. And who can forget Peirong (Vicki Zhao)’s heart-wrenching expression as she promises to defame and deface herself in exchange for her husband’s happiness?

As for Byousoku, Kanae’s single-minded pursuit of Takaki comes to mind, and her final admission that he’s always been after something she cannot comprehend. Somewhere mid-story, it’s debatable whether Akari cuts off contact with Takaki or not, but by the 3rd segment it’s clear that the two aren’t in contact any longer. The final scene, where both pass each other at a train crossing, is supremely cathartic – and Takaki suddenly looks so enlightened as he walks away from Akari and their dreams of their childhood.

/spoiler alert

No screencaps here because I watched it on streaming. Too n00b to achieve download speeds of Orz.

By the way,  the above picture is not mine either.




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