Sunday, March 11, 2007

Letters from Iwo Jima

Dir: Clint Eastwood (Flags of our Fathers, Mystic River, Pale Rider)
Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase, Shido Makamura
USA, 2007

Seen: January 24, 2007 at the Varsity

Reason to see: Oscar nominated for 4 Oscars: Director, Picture, Sound Editing (won) and Original Screenplay. As well, I'm working away on my third attempt of #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is my first film for week 5/52.

In general, I don't watch war movies. I usually find them too upsetting. I'm pretty much a 'why can't we all just get along' kinda person so I don't why anyone would want to harm anyone else. That being said I braved seeing this on account of the Oscar nod's as well as the direction of Clint Eastwood and involvement of Ken Watanabe.

After seeing it, I'm still not certain if I could say I liked it but more interesting I am not sure what the point they were trying to get across. I could think of two but one seemed overly simplistic and the other was a little unbelievable and although I could see both I didn't feel either. Maybe it doesn't have a message, maybe the goal was a historical representation and illustration of a culture - it that was the case then I think it was a success. I did feel that I learned something in terms of being exposed to some new ideas/concepts.

Although I found the message a little elusive, the story and cinematography were both captivating and the performances were excellent, especially Ken Watanabe, Shido Makamura and Kazunari Ninomiya.

Shannon's Overall View:
I'm not certain how I feel about this film
I might watch it 1 more time
I'd recommend it to those whom it likely already appeals to, people interest in history and/or the human condition

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4 comments:

Sacred Suzie said...

Is this the one about Japan's perspective of WW2? If so (so many war movies, hard to keep up) then I might watch it. We rarely get to hear any other perspectives on history and I must admit that I am curious about Japan in this context. Especially since it isn't even a Japanese movie which adds another layer of interpretation.

I'm not into war movies at all but see them because of R a lot and a lot of the time I am glad I saw them. This is one movie I think we will both eventually see.

Shannon said...

Weird, I coulda swore I already replied to this.

It is from the Japanese perspective and some people call it a companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers which was also directed by Clint Eastwood.

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh, that's right! Thank you Shannon. I was thinking the two were the same movie, they came out so close to each other. Or at least it feels like it.

Jamie said...

I'd like to see this one even though I'm often not a war movie fan. (So why have I seen so man?) It would be interesting to see a different viewpoint. And I'm fascinated by your description of the elusiveness of the message.