Always '64


Back in 1964, Japan was hosting the Olympics, and the Shinkansen bullet trains were introduced from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka, and colour television was a novelty. The clever people over at Toho, the film company, just released another film with the Always cast, moving on from 1959, as we get to enjoy the characters who make a living in an imaginary Sanchome part of Tokyo, back then, in the sunset, when everything was still possible.

In the new '64 film, the Blue Impulse jets draw five rings in the sky. It is shown live on TV, but of course it is even more vivid if you step out and watch it for real, above. Bansai shouts are confused with victory in volleyball, and a precocious high school boy is found out to be a succesful manga writer. A young medical doctor is not what he seems, either.

Always - I like how they keep it real. These films are funny, the stories make me cry, and they make me wonder how a great city like this could go from that to such utter madness. Back in 1964, Japan was still not "the world's second largest economy" and now, we are back to square one. I wonder what the next sequel will focus on!

I wish there was a video on Youtube that I could add to this post, that makes justice to the 2 1/2 hours of the film. It was that good, but the clips that are called PR or promotion or whatever do in no way justice to the film. Trailers, what is that? A complete waste of my time. If you want people to go and watch your film, provide clips that actually promote your film. Not just brief cuttings that make no sense at all. Who invented "trailers" as a way to promote motion picture films? They do nothing for me. So, go and see this film, and here is to hoping that Toho and others in the film industry will make better use of Youtube and the Internet.

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