Mar 4, 2017

“Politically Correctness” and Clint Eastwood’s film “Gran Torino”

The film “Moonlight” won best picture at the 2017 Oscars. The story of this film is about a black LGBT boy, who grew up in a tough environment. Of course it is of great value to bring attention to such a life in order to eliminate discrimination. Black LGBT people are a quite minority, but at least attention has been paid to them.

Clint Eastwood’s film “Gran Torino” is about Hmong immigrants and an old Polish man living alone in Detroit. Hmong people is an ethnic group from mountain area of Chine, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, and many of them became refugees because of Vietnam War. I guess they would be most abandoned people in the USA.

Recently it was said that displaced white people supported Donald Trump in the presidential election, and the attention to them is increasing. Clint Eastwood made the film “Gran Torino” in 2008, when the attention to them wasn’t high. Even now the situation of Hmong people isn’t well known at all.

In the interview by Esquire magazine Clint Eastwood said as follows.

When I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, "This is a really good script, but it's politically incorrect." And I said, "Good. Let me read it tonight." The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, "We're starting this immediately." 

I wonder why “Gran Torino” is “politically incorrect”. I could understand that “Gran Torino”, whose story was about Hmong people and an old Polish man, would not make a profit, but why is it “politically incorrect?”

In this interview Clint Eastwood also said, “Secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness.” If “politically correctness” prevents the film about most abandoned people, what is “politically correctness” worth?

I don’t support Donald Trump, but at the same time I feel that “politically correctness” is quite shallow.

Mar 11, 2016

My Heart Has Been Bleeding for Five Years since March 11th, 2011

When I woke up, I found myself so depressed that I didn’t want to do anything at all.

I was watching a freezing rain falling through the window while wondering why I was so depressed.

And then, I suddenly came to realize that it was March 11th today. It is the day when the Great East Japan Earthquake happened.

In my entry “How Many More Tragedies Must I Accept?” last March 11th, I wrote, “Although I know that so many tragedies happened after the Great East Japan Earthquake in the world, I can’t even accept the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake.”

My heart has been bleeding for five years since March 11th, 2011.

Mar 11, 2015

How Many More Tragedies Must I Accept?

This is the fourth of March 11th since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In my entry “A Freezing Winter in Temporary Housing”  in March 11th, 2014, I wrote, “Although many programs about the earthquake are broadcasted on TV, I can’t stand watching them well, because I am too upset. I could watch them before, but recently I can’t.”

Even now, I can’t watch such programs well.

In my entry “The J. G. Ballard's World” in March 12th, 2011, I wrote, “I can understand what happens in my head, but I can't accept that it is real in my heart. I'm living in the surreal world now.”

I have not been able to accept the fact that it was real in my heart until now.

Although I know that so many tragedies happened after the Great East Japan Earthquake in the world, I can’t even accept the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

How many more tragedies must I accept? Where is the answer?

Jul 21, 2014

This is the Direction Science Fiction Should Take: My Impression of the Film “Her”

Somewhat belatedly, I managed to catch Spike Jonze’s great contemporary science fiction film“Her".

Before seeing it, I had believed that science fiction as a genre was dead.

Although the great novels and films in the history of science fiction have always depicted a new vision of the future, nowadays science fiction novels and films seem to be nothing more than imitations of what has gone before.

For example, in the film “Transcendence,” the consciousness of a scientific genius is transplanted into cyberspace. I read this idea in William Gibson’s novel “Neuromancer” which was first published back in 1984.

In "Transcendence", the transplanted consciousness attacks human beings. Again, I first came across this idea (computers attacking human beings) in the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

In contrast, the film, “Her”, envisions a future L.A., which is both similar to, and slightly different from, today's actual L.A. Spike Jonze's attention to every detail is what makes the film's vision so convincing.

The main character and an AI fall in love with each other. They constantly communicate with each other via PC and smartphone. While I find it hard to believe that computers would attack human beings in the near future, to me the idea that a human being and an AI could fall in love sounds entirely plausible.

I believe this film indicates a new direction for science fiction.

Every actor did a really good job. Scarlett Johansson, who voiced the role of the AI, was especially good. Watching "Her", I was once again struck by her talent.

Jun 10, 2014

Simple Is the Best: My Impression of Kindle 4th Generation

It took such a long time for (the Japanese branch of Amazon) to begin to sell Kindle, so I couldn’t wait it and bought “Kindle 4th generation” from

Finally, started selling “Kindle Paperwhite” and “Kindle Fire”, but they don’t sell “Kindle,” which does not support Japanese digital books. Now, I read English digital books with Kindle 4th Generation and Japanese ones with Kindle app on Nexus 7.

Kindle 4th generation has many restrictions. It is obviously inconvenient for me, as a native Japanese speaker, not to be able to read Japanese books. Its display is just black and white, and too low resolution for us to watch photos and read mangas. Unlike Kindle Paperwhite, it doesn’t even have a touchscreen and a light.

But it is really comfortable, when you just read a string of character on a book.

Firstly, it is very light in weight. It is quite important. Nexus 7 isn’t heavy as compared with other tablets, but I feel it is much heavier than Kindle 4th generation when I read digital books for a long time.

Secondly, it is just suitable for carrying out. I don’t have to be careful for running out of battery, because it isn’t necessary to recharge its battery almost for a week. It is just a right size to put in a jacket’s breast pocket.

When I flip a page with Kindle 4th generation, I have to push a button on its side. Pushing a button isn’t fashionable, but actually it is much more convenient for me just to push a button than to swipe a display.

Kindle 4th generation has nothing but functions just only to read digital books.

Simple is best.