This film taught a happily irreverent few that Japan can be a very difficult place in which to live. Strange things like millet and live chickens fall from the sky with alarming regularity. While there does seem to be an abundance of young women willing to appear in various states of undress, most of them carry knives they’re all too willing to use to stab you in the kidney or spleen. Because the webs of deceit, ambition, and revenge are so entangled, often you are unknowingly working towards your own ultimate demise while actively believing that you’re advancing your agenda.
On the upside, it seems that almost everything of value pretty much equally exchangeable, but once you discover that letter cases, secret information, and even elite courtesans are all worth "a hundred gold pieces," the whole appraisal system takes on an almost Rainman-like quality.
And of course, everybody dies. Everybody.
Ok, I lied. Not everybody, but the only person who did survive to the end of the film was a madam who was pretty good at stabbing people in the spleen, liked tumbles with tattooed assassins, and was the previously-mentioned woman who was deemed worth a hundred gold pieces. She also had a thing for "the boss" and didn’t take too kindly to inquiries about "secret grottos."
Mmmm... secret grottos.
Breakfast was wonderful in the fortuitous and accidental sort of way that marks most of my adventures in the kitchen. I made a strawberry compote to go along with the planned challah French toast, and it was actually made better when mistakenly I cranked up the wrong burner for something else entirely. The result was a transformation from fruit in a rather thin sweet liquid to fruit in something that was more substantive and syrup-like. Given that c_m_i ended up mopping at the bowl with his toast, I’m guessing it was well received.
The festivities pretty well ended around 3PM, which wasn’t at all surprising considering that we had one of our first genuinely beautiful days this spring. I probably would have enjoyed having more company longer, but I can’t fault anyone’s restlessness.
I wanted to be outside, too.
1Yes, Virginia, we did make sure that the title was, in fact Hunter and not Haunter. As much as I enjoy Lovecraftian excess,2 I’m not sure that a story of madness and evidence of "things that should not be known" would have worked well with mimosas on a sunny April afternoon.
2I tend to think in this direction naturally anyway. There is a house across the street that was taken apart and thrown back together3 in the 1970’s that has always reminded me of R’lyeh’s not-naturally-occurring angles. If I ever make reference to the "House That Should Not Be" in directions, that’d be the place.
3Curiously, it was an accidental assemblage that came away looking like an early thought experiment by Frank Owen Gehry. For the record, I think Gehry’s work is just awful. I know, I know… since I know virtually nothing about design, who am I to judge when the design community has deemed Gehry a genius?4 To answer that, I can only say that I disagree vehemently with his apparent philosophy. I do not believe that a structure should be created to tear space apart just for the sheer joy of tearing that space apart. Gehry seems to try very hard to demonstrate just how very clever and unconventional he is. I think it’s a gimmick, and that it produces ugly work. Your results may likely vary.
4I’ve known more than a few architects who also think his work is crap. It’s been their contention that in the world of design, acclaim tends to build upon itself until it snowballs out of control. Once someone "in the know" praises a work, others tend to play along for fear of no longer being taken seriously in their art. It’s an interesting phenomenon, not unlike that discussed in A Reader’s Manifesto.