Ich bei Tag und du bei Nacht (1932)

A nightclub waiter and a manicurist share the small apartment room. Though they share the closet, the furniture, even sleep in the same bed, they have never met. Why? He has the room during the day and she the night. They hate each other and complain about other’s belongings in their hair all the time. The story gets complicated when they do meet each other and fall in love, without knowing who they are….

Located somewhere between “Lonesome (1929)” and “The Shop Around The Corner (1940)”, this UFA production is a sheer delight. Very smooth plot handling, nice art production and lovable characters played by von Nagy and Fritsch. Come to think of it, both “Lonesome” and “The Shop Around The Corner” were directed by Europeans, Paul Fejos (Hungary) and Ernst Lubitsch (German), respectively. Well, “The Apartment (1960)” is also by an Austria-Hungarian who wrote screenplays for German films until Hitler came along. I wonder if this “parallel love/hate relationships”, “sharing the apartment” or “not knowing she/he is your neighbor” has any particular origin in the pool of Austrian-Hungarian-German storytelling. Does anyone know?

Ich bei Tag und du bei Nacht (1932)

Directed by Ludwig Berger
Produced by Erich Pommer
Starring Käthe von Nagy, Willy Fritsch
Written by Robert Liebmann, Hans Székely
Original Music by Werner R. Heymann
Cinematography by Friedl Behn-Grund
Editing by Viktor Gertler, Heinz G. Janson
Production Design by Otto Hunte
Costume Design by Joe Strassner
Country Germany
Language German


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Into Eternity (2010)

A few weeks ago, I read the article in “American Scientist” about how modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals because they enabled efficient hunting using domesticated dogs. Its authors speculate that our ability to domesticate dogs may have to do with our white sclerae (other primates have darker sclerae). Dogs communicate with us through exchange of gazes, among other things, while other primates do not. White sclerae might have enhanced the communication through gazes. Fascinating. 
That was more than 40,000 years ago.

“Into Eternity” is the documentary film about the deep underground nuclear waste depository in Onkaro, Finland. The site is still under construction, but when it is completed, it will hold canisters of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants for very long time. Yes, it is designed to hold them for more than 100,000 years. The director Michael Madsen examines the issues surrounding such a long-term nuclear waste storage program. One of the critical problems is how to prevent our descendants from digging up this structure and coming into contact with content of the depository without knowing the danger of radioactive materials. Even the world of our so-called “ancient civilization”, which is only 4,000 years old, is already lost to us, so delivering the message 100,000 years into the future is beyond our imagination.
A series of over-exposed images of nuclear facilities, stillness and darkness of underground construction site, minimal design of frame composition and monotonic voices of interviewees, are orchestrated to hypnotize us into this unreal scenery of this unrealistic proposition. You see, it is rather ridiculous to assume it will be one of our descendants who will receive our Pandora’s Box at the other end of timeline. The new species may wonder what Plutonium has anything to do with homo sapiens. If they discovered what we have done, they would know why we are extinct; and it is not because of color of sclerae. 

Into Eternity (2010)

Directed by Michael Madsen

Produced by Lise Lense-Møller
Written by Michael Madsen
Starring Carl Reinhold Bråkenhjelm, Mikael Jensen, Berit Lundqvist
Cinematography Heikki Färm
Editing by Daniel Dencik, Stefan Sundlöf
Country Denmark
Language English
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“Bobtail” Reviews

Japanese Bobtail and normal tailed cat. (Wikipedia)

Here, in “Vermillion and One Nights”, most of the articles have been long and serialized. It is my habit to write long, big materials, which tend to end up unorganized.

Well, I decided to write those “capsule reviews” more often. Let those be compact and readable. Three paragraphs maximum. Some of the reviews will not be on Japanese cinema, but I will keep repertoire varied and less cinecon oriented.

I decided to call these reviews “bobtail reviews”, because “capsule reviews” sound too journalistic and professional. “Bobtail” is as in “Japanese Bobtail”, popular cat bleed in U.S. with distinctive short tails (some researchers believe those Japanese Bobtail cats in U.S. are more genetically pure-bred than Japanese domestic cats).

On-going “Films of 1949” will continue, though. Next up is about sexual revolution.