Girlfriend has a modest degree of hearing
loss in both ears. It's a genetic thing but she
copes with it well.
Because of this frustrating quirk of DNA she needs to engage the magic of closed-captioning
as often as possible, especially when viewing DVDs and such. I don't mind this
myself as the dialogue in a good action flick will more often than not be drowned
out by one or more explosions, not to mention muddy sound mixes.
So then we got Netflix, which we stream
over the 'net through our Blu-Ray player.
This is a pretty sweet set-up but, unlike DVDs,
Netflix doesn't provide closed-captioning. Except
on foreign films, which are of course
captioned by default.
Which brings me to a delightful little film
we saw this past weekend called "Departures", winner of the
2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language
Film. (View the trailer here.)
It's a live-action Japanese story of a
concert cellist forced by misfortune to abandon
his life as a musician, so he and his wife return
to his home town to mull their future. Almost
by accident he takes
preparing the dead
To say the least, the way the Japanese treat
their dead is much different than the way it's
here in the States. I know this was just a movie
but I prefer their methodology to ours. (I won't
even try to describe the ritual but it's beautiful
The story is well-acted with charming, believable
characters. It's funny and fascinating but is
three-hankie weeper, though it comes by its melancholy
honestly. There's also a sub-plot about pebbles
that will break your heart.
I realize foreign films aren't everyone's cup
of chai tea but this is an extraordinary movie.