Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, April 5, 2010

High and Low

That's the title of an amazing film by Kurosawa, who took a simple police procedural story and made it into a meditation on honor and morality. The son of a businessman's chauffeur is mistaken for the businessman's son and kidnapped, and even after the error is discovered the kidnapper still demands the businessman pay the ransom. So the businessman has to choose between bankruptcy or the life of a child not his own. It's based on an Ed McBain 87th Precinct novel, which is a solid read but still just a decent crime story. Kurosawa expands and deepens the situation and characters to such an extent, it's like watching a passion play about what will lead you to heaven and how easy it is to fall into hell. The scene on a bullet train between Osaka and Tokyo is breathtaking, but it's the manner in which the police slowly hone in on and tighten their grip around the kidnapper/killer that's mesmerizing.

I talk about this because I watched it, again, this time on my computer DVD player. I'm finding I prefer to use my Mac Mini for this, because when I play wide screen videos on a regular DVD player, the frame tends to cut off the ends. Movies that should have a ratio of 1 to 2:35 wind up more like 2:20, and directors like Kurosawa use very square inch of the frame. On my Mac Mini, it plays surrounded by black and you see the full frame. It's smaller, but Jesus what detail!

Busy day at work kept me from did the knowledge I can now do it from home. I prepared shipping labels for the move out from the New York Fair, this weekend, and a manifest for what needs to be sent home from Paris for next weekend. But I'm finally fed and I watched the news and I feel relaxed...and it's time to dig into BC-3. Here goes.

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