Critical Review: Achilles and the Tortoise – Coventry East Asian Film Society
Well, as part of my 101MC module I am required to critically review three screened films and this is my first. Being honest I was not looking forward to watching a Japanese film with subtitles. That may seem a bit ignorant but that was how I felt about the whole thing. However after arriving at the Ellen terry building a receiving some literature in reception explaining what was going to be happening I was a bit more open minded about the whole thing. Before the film viewing we had the pleasure of listening to a talk from Dr. John Berra who is a writer, researcher and film critic. I found this really interesting as I find it vital to listen and take on board any advice received from guest speakers. They understand where we are now, and more importantly, where we need to be. John’s speech was coinciding with the release of his edited book ‘World Cinema Directory: Japan’. His speech covered topics such as the history of the japanese studio system, contemporary japanese blockbusters and Takeshi Kitano. All in all, very interesting and it opened my eyes to a subject which I new nothing about previously.
Moving onto the movie. Its about a young artist Machisu who as a child shows great talent. He is orphaned and throughout his life he struggles. Throughout the film none of the artwork which he produces is ever good enough for the art dealer and he begins to question what exactly he should be painting. There is plenty of humour, love and death in the film so basically something for everyone. I dont know why, but I was expecting some camcorder style film knocked together by a couple of amateurs. I could not have been more wrong. This was a proper film with a gripping storyline. I am now genuinely looking forward to the next showing.
All in all a good show and great talk. Its a shame when people do not want to engage with the guest speaker. After the speech there was the opportunity for students to ask questions…cue tumbleweeds…..Not one question for the speaker from anybody. They could do with taking a few tips from Andrew Noakes and seeing how Andrew runs a talk with a speaker….