Saturday, July 6, 2013

La Ballade de Narayama...

I first saw this film when I was in grad school here in Paris. I went often to the cinema and saw everything I could...it was a grungy little theatre with maybe ten of us there, but it was memorable. La Ballade de Narayama... It's a film that came out in 1983 by Imamura. It is on the list of my 10 favorite films ever. If you haven't see it, rent it and give it a try. When the old people of this Japanese village turn 70, it is up to their children to carry them up to the top of the mountain and leave them there to die. I won't tell you anymore because it is beautiful, humorous and poignant. The images are sublime. So what made me think of this? I observe these beautiful old people every day in Paris...they are out on the street. Dapper men on the arm of their 50 yr old sons. Great watches, good shoes. Love in their eyes. Having an ice cream. Impeccably dressed silver-haired women shopping with their 60 yr old twin daughters and grand daughters. And then there are just people aging gracefully...long-white-haired men...they don't need to have a Texas buzz cut:) They wear bracelets and read Levy-Strauss and Sartre and have their "petit canon" at the café each day. There is the 80 yr old woman in a chic black dress and hose with matching bag that does her grocery shopping everyday and dresses for it. Sweat pants?!! Non. So I want to grow old in France...in La Ballade de Narayama: the 70 yr old woman is vibrant and alive but has sworn to herself that she needs to go up the mountain. Her son resists. Please watch it. Having had children at 47, where the fuck will I be at 70? If not alive, hopefully, a beautiful memory of at least their time of summers in Paris if not at my sewing machine everyday. Bonne nuit...

1 comment:

kblakecash said...

It almost sounds as if you regret having children "so late in life". This weekend I am reminded of how short life is, and how we should enjoy every moment that we can. I am also reminded that we regret the things we have not done far more than the things we have.

You have the opportunity, as I and other watch youth in our grandchildren, to be presented daily with the wonders of a your viewpoint. Enjoy your good fortune, there is happiness in all things.