2010-08-17

Inception

Inception directed by Christopher Nolan

Last week, I went to the theater to see Inception at midnight showing.  Almost three weeks had passed since Inception released in Tokyo, Japan. Nevertheless, many people sat in the theater even late at night.

Inception is a story of layers of dreams.  People dream in a shared dream and dream again into a shared dream of a deeper layer and again...

Inceptions shows some rules of dream world. For example, man who dies in a dream wakes up at the upper layer.  For example, time passes faster than the real world.   And there were many significant words.  Despite many hints, Inception deluded me.  Because, the movie seems to explain well but it's not so kind.  I want to see it again!  The impression of the movie still lingers.

I saw The Dark Knight, too.  The Dark Knight provided a inextricable question as a last one from Joker.  It's so-called "prisoner's dilemma".  (I didn't know prisoner's dilemma is a well-known subject of game theory until I read Prisoner's Dilemma written by Richard Powers.)  Eventually Christopher Nolan must like elaborate puzzles.

I thought about Inception at the night until I fell asleep "What does the scene mean?  What does the words mean?  That is to say, ....zzz."  When I slept thinking about Inception, I dreamed about sleeping on a light-blue box!  If I will practice hard,  I can dream about dreaming in a dream?


The Dark Knight (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]The Dark Knight (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]

Warner Home Video 2008-12-09
Sales Rank : 124
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2010-07-29

Vineland

VinelandVineland by Thomas Pynchon

It wasn't easy for me to read Vineland through.  I couldn't immerse myself in the world of Vineland as well as V.The Crying of Lot 49 and others.

I suspected the translation version might be the cause of trouble.  The Japanese translator was a strong devotee of Thomas Pynchon.  His notes were full of the praise of rhetoric Thomas Pynchon spun.  I think readers have a right of finding out the riddle by themselves and solving.  The translation's notes were so intrusive that imagination of readers is disturbed.

Anyway, Vineland doesn't have distressed feeling like other books of Pynchon.  The first half is comical like a cartoon.  It's fun and exciting.  But the second half is explanatory going for the end of story.  Is that Thomas Pynchon?  My impression of Thomas Pynchon is that the story goes speedily with unexpected imagination and sly description without changing pitch.

Vineland was published after 17 years when Gravity's Rainbow was published.  17 years is long time.  It's natural to change.  I'm afraid a little bit to read Mason & Dixon.


VinelandVineland
Thomas Pynchon

Little Brown 1990-01
Sales Rank : 269920
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2010-07-23

Neuromancer

Neuromancer
Neuromancer by William Gibson

I like the movie, The Matrix.  So, my friend strongly recommended Neuromancer.  He said " if you like The Matrix, you have to read Neuromancer.  It's the originator of cyberpunk like The Matrix."

I'm not familiar with science fiction.  I learned by his explanation that the science fiction such as The Matrix is called cyberpunk.  Before, I have seen the animated movie, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.  I know the famous Japanese comics, Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Koukaku Kidoutai).  I've ever read only one comic book of Ghost in the Shell series.  I've read the Japanese comics, AKIRA, too.  I found out that all of those were categorized as cyberpunk.

In Neuromancer, there are many various city images of Chiba City, the Eastern United States, Istanbul and a space colony.  All of them are very likely future scene.  The reason is that each smell of regions remains at the future of the cities in the novel.  I was excited at author's imagination of Chiba City, because I'm a Japanese.  Only the description of Chiba City will be able to shoot a two-hour movie.  Eventually Blade Runner was created by only one city of the future Los Angels that was to all intents and purposes Shinjyuku Tokyo.  I was overwhelmed by the enrichment of author's depiction of fiction.  The author wrote so many new ideas that the novel possibly enables to shot for almost six movies.

Anyhow,  Neuromancer was published on 1984 before The Matrix, Ghost in the Shell, AKIRA and Blade Runner.  If Neuromancer had been the first time experience of cyberpunk, I wouldn't have been able to follow the description of frequent and quick scene changes of cyberspace.  In fact, I've learned the cyberspace visualization without my knowing it.

No matter how colorful idea, I think that the theme of Neuromancer is serious.  The main character doesn't care about his body but he exchanges the body messages in cyberspace at the end part of Neuromancer.  How inconsistent human beings are!



NeuromancerNeuromancer
William Gibson

Ace Hardcover 2004-11-02
Sales Rank : 22087
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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence [Blu-ray]Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence [Blu-ray]
Artist Not Provided

Bandai 2009-01-13
Sales Rank : 9466
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Ghost In The Shell Volume 1 - 2nd Edition (v. 1)Ghost In The Shell Volume 1 - 2nd Edition (v. 1)
Masamune Shirow

Dark Horse 2004-11-17
Sales Rank : 95472
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Akira Volume 1 (Akira)Akira Volume 1 (Akira)
Katsuhiro Otomo

Kodansha Comics 2009-10-13
Sales Rank : 25290
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Blade Runner the F [Blu-ray]Blade Runner the F [Blu-ray]

2008-12-16
Sales Rank : 37264

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The Matrix [Blu-ray]The Matrix [Blu-ray]

Warner Home Video 2010-01-12
Sales Rank : 9155
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2010-07-06

Underground

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche Underground by Haruki Murakami (村上春樹 MURAKAMI Haruki)

Haruki Murakami is one of the most popular novelist in Japan and even all over the world.  However, I don't like him very much.  The characters in his novels are apt to turn inwards.  So, sometimes I started to get irritated.  When I read Hear The Wind Sing, Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, I often wanted to speak out to the characters "How precious and special you are!"  I thought these three books were enough for me and I couldn't get interested in any more.  I've not paid any attention when a new his book was released after that.

However, sarin gas attack by Aum Shirinkyo (オウム真理教) disturbed me.  It's a terrible discriminate murder.  Underground is about sarin gas attack by Haruki Murakami.  I don't like Haruki Murakami but I got interested in the incident of sarin gas attack.

In Japan, Underground was published in 1997 as a newly written book of Haruki Murakami.  It is a collection of interviews of victims of sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.  The Place That Was Promised - Underground2 was published in 1998 as a collection of serial interviews in a magazine.  At first, he didn't consider The Place That Was Promised - Underground2 .  Haruki Murakami might have felt need of another side of the people who belonged to Aum Shinrikyo.

Translation edition contains Underground and The Place That Was Promised  but some interviews of sarin attack victims in original Underground are omitted.  Japanese edition of The Place That Was Promised - Underground2 includes the conversation of Hayao Kawai (河合隼雄 KAWAI Hayao) and Haruki Murakami at the end of interviews.  Hayao Kawai is not only a famous psychotherapist but also a humorous essayist in Japan.  Hayao Kawai mentioned the distance of interviewer and interviewee.  It's a sort of technique of conversation.  From his experience of psychotherapist, he has a deep understanding of symptom and influences of talking.  It's very interesting and makes us relieved.  His words are full of affection but calm.  I'm not sure, but regarding of table contents, the conversation is omitted in English translation edition.  It's a pity.

Sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway was a shocking incident.  Aum Shirinkyo was a religious cult that got together highly educated people.  I could understand that some educated people kept something they couldn't resolve by themselves even if they studied harder.  If someone resolved their inside incongruity, they might have been possibly on Aum Shirinkyo side.  They couldn't exist in any area except for Aum Shinrikyo because of their pureness.  Haruki Murakami and Hayao Kawai worried that there was no place such people were able to keep alive at the present day.

Underground is not a mainstream work of Haruki Murakami.  But I can catch on to the meaning of a previous statement by Haruki Murakami, "I often consider 'commitment' recently. Even when writing, I feel 'commitment' is very important. Before, I felt 'detachment' was important..."  He seemed to change the style of writing after Kobe quake or sarin gas attack.  If so, I think I'm going to try After the Quake or 1Q84.

Underground (Japanese paperback edition)
アンダ-グラウンド (講談社文庫)アンダ-グラウンド (講談社文庫)
村上 春樹

講談社 1999-02-03
Sales Rank : 2406
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The Place That Was Promised - Underground2 (Japanese paperback edition)
約束された場所で―underground 2 (文春文庫)約束された場所で―underground 2 (文春文庫)
村上 春樹

文藝春秋 2001-07
Sales Rank : 6258
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2010-07-01

Funny Road Sign

What is the turtle on this road sign?

The sleepy turtle may imitate a sloppy student, though I'm not so sure.  Does a student of elementary school wear a top hat?  Turtleback is strange, too.  It's his belly rather than back.

The road sign shows "This road is school route. Drive slowly".  The road is placed at the side of off-street.  The place isn't busy at all.  Who put it there?  And why?
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