Saturday, January 19, 2019


Guns N' Roses with Don't Cry. Album Use your illusion (1991).

I apologize profusely for the 90s hairdo's.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and his theme for the movie Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983).

A movie I would rate 6.5 on a scale of ten. It's an interesting topic, but I found Bowie's performance so outlandish and alien that it kind of spoiled it for me. At one point some character, I think it was Tom Conti in the role of Lt Col Lawrence, says that Major Celliers, Bowie's persona, is a kind of 'born leader' ... while Bowie's character struck me as so ut-ter-ly hyperindividualistic and incongruous in the man's world that is the military (at least back then) that there's no way Celliers could ever effectively lead and inspire men in combat.

What I found also weird, although perhaps not inconceivable in reality, is the homoerotic angle, with the camp commandant, Captain Yonoi, played by Sakamoto himself, developing an attraction for Celliers. This aspect made me sometimes wonder about how homosexuality is perceived in Japanese society. I may be wrong, but I kind of have the impression that the condition was throughout the island nation's history never treated with the same antagonism as it was in the West. The West has a long history of treating homosexuals very badly (and while I am absolutely against gay marriage and especially gay adoption, we would do well to acknowledge the abuse), but insofar as I gave the matter some attention, I missed the same negative sentiment among Japanese. IIRC, Mishima was a flaming homosexual, yet to the best of my knowledge he never had to endure a Wilde or Turing treatment.

Anyway, if I'd have to sum up aspects or projections I deemed realistic in the movie, it would have to be Jack Thompson's performance as RAAF Group Captain Hicksley, spokesman for the allied prisoners. The mental image I still retain of him, thirty years beyond my first viewing of the film, is that of a soldier's soldier, who fits so well in his uniform he might just as well have made a succesful career in the military. I hear that in Australia he was quite some actor, and played Breaker Morant in some drama about the Boer Wars - amongst others. But that's another topic altogether.



No comments: