10 Years of 21_21

I have lots of fond memories of the 21_21 Design Sight, from the excitement when it was first announced — I mean, a building designed by Tadao Ando, and led by Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, and Naoto Fukasawa, holy shit — to getting to work with them a couple of times through PechaKucha, by way of a kids workshop and event as part of the “Design Ah!” exhibition and Roppongi Art Night 2013, and then another event the following year. Not only are they celebrating 10 years — time sure flies — but they’re also converting the restaurant space that was on the left side of the main entrance to a new gallery space. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Pizzicato Related

Patrick’s Tokyo’s Coolest Sound site has a few Pizzicato Five-related updates, including a new 7″ singles collection called Ace that is curated by Yasuharu Konishi (including the P5 singles pictured), some new singles by Maki Nomiya that are accompanied by a couple of events, and a new remaster of Pizzicato Five’s Pizzicatomania. It’s a stereoscopic sound spectacular!

Le Samourai

For my second film of 1967, I look again towards France — there just happens to be a bunch of French films from that year that I’d like to watch, either again or for the first time. This one, Le Samourai, is something I had never seen, but I had long heard of it, and it sounded like something I’d enjoy. I did indeed quite like it, from the meticulous build-up to the crime that takes place, and then what follows, until the unexpected ending (at least for me).

Nocturnal Animals

The second part of my Amy Adams double bill was Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, and wow, I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. I liked Ford’s first film, A Single Man, quite a bit, but mostly for its luscious look. This film also looks quite nice, but it’s not what really grabbed me about it — I was surprisingly quite invested in what ends up being a “story within a story.” It’s in fact those sequences that I enjoyed the most, with fantastic work by Jake Gyllenhaal (an actor I quite like in general) and Michael Shannon.

Arrival

Without even planning it, I ended up doing an Amy Adams double bill last night, starting with Arrival. I was quite looking forward to watching this — not only because I’ve had so many friends tell me they enjoyed it, but also because I am such a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s films (especially Enemy). And yes, I enjoyed the fuck out of this. It’s smart, beautifully shot, with a story that keeps you guessing until the very end — and it really does all come together nicely. Very much recommended, and it makes me that much more excited for Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049.

Belle de Jour

So it didn’t take long after finishing my 1985 movie marathon that I got in the mood to explore another year’s releases, and this time I’ve decided to go back even further, to 1967 — I picked ’67 for the simple reason that it marks a 50 year jump back. I’m definitely not going to shoot for 30 movies this time, probably 10-15, and I started with a movie I remember quite enjoying, and that’s Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour. I’m glad to say I enjoyed it just as much as I remembered (the last time I watched it was probably 20 years ago). It’s deliciously weird and odd, with an ending I still quite like.

Katherine Ryan: In Trouble

I’d never heard of Katherine Ryan, but I saw her Netflix comedy special, In Trouble, pop up while I was browsing for something to watch and was in the mood for some laughs. I ended up really enjoying her routine — I definitely do tend to enjoy crass comedy from female comics (think Sarah Silverman, Ali Wong, Amy Schumer). Ends up she’s Canadian and has been based in the UK for a few years, which probably explains why I hadn’t heard of her. Definitely worth watching, very funny.