So I stopped at Starbuck's on the way home to do e-mails and check some things online then went home to watch "Departures" thanks to Netflix.
What a lovely little Japanese film. It's the story of Daigo, a man who's lost his dream to play cello for an orchestra because he doesn't think he's good enough. He and his wife move home so he can live in a house left to him by his mother, and he winds up becoming someone who ceremonially prepares the dead for cremtation, all done as the family watches and with all the grace of a Japanese Tea Ceremony. It leads him to a new appreciation for humanity and also a deeper love for his music.
A couple of times it fell into formula (I knew from the first introduction of this one character they were deat meat) and I think the timeline was off for some of the plot points, but overall it was a very moving experience, and people's reactions to his job are fascinating. I can see why it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
This is the kind of movie I'd like to have made. Even my horror scripts were based more in character and reality (as much as possible). I wrote one called "Killing Moon" where the first ten minutes are this minister trying to raise a demon, having a trick played upon him and then winding up becoming the demon he asked for. It's basically showing how people can convince themselves of things that would seem fantastic (hell, look at the Tea Party crowd and their claims of death panels for seniors, all ludicrous but still they believed it)...and how when the devil makes a deal with you, he plays by his own rules. As does God, when he's fighting back. No one who's read the script got that. Comments were -- "How would he not know it's a trick?" and "This guy doesn't think he really raised a demon, does he?" and such. It wasn't easy to hear.
I will say, though, I shrugged off the comments that were just "Doesn't work for me" and focused on making the script better. And now it's ready to be made into a book, I guess...so long as I throw in some serious sex. After all, the guy God sends to fight the demon is gay and has a lover, so let's have some fun with it.