David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono wakes at 4am – the hour of death – to meditate on the death of his monster. The greatest reverence a man can show to his monster is to eat the monster raw.

Jiro Ono takes a bath and scrubs any vulgar or false odor from his body. In his mind he removes the bones from his skeleton and scrubs each one in milk. When he is profoundly pure he gets out of the bath and stands naked beside an open window. Children passing on their way to school say, “The Master is drying.”

Jiro Ono eats eight raw oysters for breakfast. All night he dreamed of them sleeping in the refrigerator in their salt brine. All night they dreamed of Jiro Ono’s tongue.

Jiro Ono flaps to the subway station on a pair of wooden wings and flippers. As he touches down before the terminal the angels kneel and kiss the ground.

Jiro Ono speaks to the tuna – god of the sea – and touches his forehead to Its forehead. He says, “Here I thought I was teaching you to be a tuna. But really you were teaching me to be a man.”

Yoshikazu Ono makes sushi for six hours. At the end of six hours he takes all the sushi he made and throws it away. Then he wakes and makes sushi for twelve hours.

Neither Jiro Ono nor Yoshikazu Ono were born of WOMAN. There are no women in this film. But if there were their portions would be smaller. The Onos were born like Venus, swaddled in sea kelp, suckled in sea foam.

Jiro Ono eats the monster raw. From the moment the monster died until the moment it touched his lips there were minimal changes. Perhaps six hours. Perhaps six minutes separates them from being THE SAME ANIMAL. It is safe to say the monster nearly lived inside Jiro Ono.

Jiro Ono takes the day’s earnings. If ten people ate sushi that day it is 300,000 yen. He constructs a paper boat with the head of a swan. He sails the boat back home. Then he burns the boat.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi . . . $13

 

Li’l Fatass’s Top 5 of 2011: Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre

#2: Do you believe in ghosts?

What is a ghost?

Is it a spirit? Is it a spirit that seems to be caught in bed sheet? And it hacks in the night and often is sort of hovering?

A ghost can be many things. For example when you have a mentally-unstable wife that you chain up in your attic. Chain her up non-sexually I mean. Chain her up so you can kind of go downstairs and forget about her. When you chain her up, chain her real good so she won’t get away and maybe set the house on fire. That is sort of like a ghost.

When you have someone you do not love. When you suspect there is someone who loves you and you think you should love them. But you are always thinking, “She has kind of a little rat face.” And so you do not love them or envision them sexually. Sometimes you imagine a rat face on Fergie’s body but that is more hilarious than anything. But there is a lot of pressure riding on your love. When there is so much pressure and your friends are often trying to get both of you to the same party but you keep saying you have the flu. That is sort of like a ghost.

When someone loves you. When they love you but they are blind so they cannot see your beautiful face. They are deprived of your beauty and so that love is so sad and dependent on smell. And they have a gangly beard or overgrown eyebrows because it is now too dangerous to shave with an actual sharp edge. That is sort of like a ghost.

When you are in love. When you love a man but they do not live in the same city. They live in a different city from where they write letters. They write letters saying they are setting aside money so as visit soon. So every night they just sprawl out in bed and imagine your body. They imagine they have not just one penis but five to match your equally-magical five vaginas. And when you have sex it is like a puzzle piece being penetrated on all sides – a perfect alignment. They are saving and soon they will be flying and checking into a nearby hotel room. But there are so many bills that get in their way. Like last month they were getting behind on paying the installments for their dog’s chemotherapy. But it is worth it. He is looking better all the time, old Rex, he is a fighter. But then another setback. Last week Rex escaped from the backyard and got raped. And now he is traumatized. Now there are psychotherapy bills to pay. But still, little by little, they are getting closer to the cost of the plane and the hotel suite. A suite! So do not betray their love! That is sort of like a ghost.

Cary Fukunaga believes in ghosts. Moira Buffini believes in ghosts. Mia Wasikowska believes in ghosts. Michael Fassbender believes in ghosts . . . $13

If you heart Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre:

Recommendations by Li’l Fatass
John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt
Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love
Pedro Almodovar’s Hable Con Ella

Li’l Fatass’s Top 5 of 2011: John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard

#3: The problem with Western cinema is it’s difficult to say retard or homo anymore without the audience using that slur to characterize the speaker. Yes, the SPEAKER not the SUBJECT. The audience member thinks, “Oh that Chinese woman just called her Jewish neighbor a money-grubbing kike. I guess they are trying to tell me she is a racist bigot.” While it COULD be the case it is NOT NECESSARILY so. That Chinese woman could totally be a very nice lady. She probably recycles and gives her leftovers to homeless people. Her neighbor might be Bernie Madoff.

Let’s say we have a character with a shaved head and wearing an army uniform. If he calls one of his bunkmates a “faggot” does it necessarily mean that character is a redneck? No. That character could be a Black or a Mexican for all we know. The use of pejorative slurs rarely gives a good indication of background or education or grooming. I myself went to a private university (cum laude) and I call my friends “queers” and “fairies” all the time. This is not because I am a bigot or even that my friends are homosexuals. It is because they like it. We laugh about it! They sometimes call me a “cocksucker” even though I’ve never even touched an erect penis when it wasn’t a dare in High School (and even then it was just with a tree branch and not my actual mouth). Sometimes slurs are just good for producing confusion. Like the time someone on the street asked me for spare change and I said, “No I hate stupid Chinks.” The homeless guy was Black!

My point is INSENSITIVITY does not just have a single function. But it is rarely used for purposes other than characterization. The Guard is changing all that. The Guard is changing a lot of things. The very idea of A HERO for one. Brendan Gleeson, too busy fucking around, too busy getting fucked-up at the moment. Or villains. When was the last time you saw the antagonists of a film given equally sharp, snappy lines as the protagonists? It is an unfair world where the most morally righteous (usually played by the most famous actors) are also in possession of the sharpest wits, the keenest intuitions, the cleverest comebacks. Did no one ever question why Humphrey Bogart coveted all the best lines? You think this is actually how it works in real life? Take a look at Mother Teresa; does she look like a woman that could make you laugh? Give me a fucking break.

The only brothers who rival the Coens for their strange, brutal and aggressively humorous renditions of film noirs are Martin and John McDonagh . . . $13

If you heart The Guard:

Recommendations by Li’l Fatass
Beat Takeshi’s Sonatine
Wong Kar-wai’s Fallen Angels
Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy

Li’l Fatass’s Top 5 of 2011: Paul Feig & Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids

#4: It is hard seeing your friends growing older. Not keeping old friends. But literally SEEING them. Looking into their fat faces. Pretending not to notice their coarse, gray hairs jangling around up there. You think, God they are so disgusting. How can they live with themselves? Why aren’t they crying? I am crying for you! You think, am I really such a piece of garbage to them they don’t even put on decent clothes when they answer their door? Look, he’s wearing the same sweatpants he wore three days ago when we went to Cold Stone Creamery and he ate enough cake-batter ice cream to fill up a sleeping bag.

Then of course there’s the other side to it. Where it’s hard for your friends to see you. Hard for them to say your name without wincing. Hard for them because you won’t eat anywhere you don’t have a coupon for. Hard for them because the last time you stayed over at their house you got drunk and suggested an orgy. And when they wouldn’t take their clothes off you got belligerent and told them to get you a gauntlet so you could slap them in the face with it.

Kristen Wiig is getting older. There is no denying she is getting older and will someday be dead. But before that happens she is going to make a little noise. She is bringing her Jets with her and her Jets are making a little noise. Do you think Tina Fey hates Kristen Wiig’s guts? Because they are both funny and oddly pretty in the same way? There is such fierce competition out there between smart but awkward, Jewy women. But I like to dream they are pals. I like to dream Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler are great pals with each other. And they go to lunches together and eat yogurt or whatever funny women eat. And they say, we are really just as good as men at being friends. At being friends and at being funny. And even though everyone knows that is not true – we let them believe it is true. In that moment. Over a lunch of yogurts and possibly some grapefruit. Friendships are worth fighting for. Fighting for it until you are rolling on the floor, throwing fistfuls of sand in your enemy’s eyes! That is what this movie and every movie is about. Except Walt Disney’s African Cats. That movie is about lions. And rape . . . $13

Paul Feig & Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids

If you like wasting your money and your life and your brain particles and your soul then you should probably go watch Thor or Priest or the newest iteration in the Pirates franchise. Most adult Americans are severely impaired which is why fairy tale movies are the highest grossing at the box office. Foreigners who keep abreast of our film statistics visit American theaters expecting to see droves of full-grown men and women wearing helmets and diapers and attended by “helpers” – the “helper’s” main duty being to dab drool from an American’s spastic limbs.

But the problem with most Americans is not that they are retarded. The problem is they are misinformed and sometimes Redneck (there are always going to be a few Rednecks to anchor down our curve – that cannot be helped and therefore we shouldn’t apologize for it). A lot of money – billions of dollars in fact – have been spent trying to convince you that Thor and Pirates will satisfy all your entertainment and spiritual needs. But I fail to see how that is even remotely possible. How does the average American, especially one that is fat, unemployed, uneducated, impotent, etc. relate to a viking from outer space who dresses like he is going to Halloween party where he bought both the Tron and Power Rangers costumes? Why do Americans love the idea of pirates? And why is our most beloved interpretation of a pirate a hobo Johnny Depp decked-out in garb from the Renaissance Fair and a bandana he stole from a Mexican basketball player? Real pirates look like Ethiopian rapists because they are. If an Ethiopian rapist and Captain Jack Sparrow ever came face to face I’m pretty sure we know who is taking a walk on the brown side.

This is a ridiculously long tangent to get to why Bridesmaids is the best movie this year so far. Not only because it is the most entertaining film – but because a tremendous sincerity is paid to the treatment of friendship and sex and romance and frankly – the socioeconomic divide. Now I know what some of you are thinking – how can sincerity be paid to the topic of female friendship when we all know attractive women are incapable of maintaining genuine friendships, especially with other women?

First of all – the women in Bridesmaids are not so attractive. I mean they are pretty in that slightly overripe, white-girl way. But now you are thinking – well I even know ugly women who can’t hold down a single true friend. Forget that myth. Forget the trite, unrealistic portrayals of female friendships (i.e. Sex in the City – portrayals probably written by gay guys and women who don’t have any friends) that came before.

Bridesmaids is wholly original in its focus on a competitive but ultimately enduring female camaraderie. And if your friends were as funny or as winning or as fiercely loyal as the ladies here – you would never doubt female friendship again. Kristen Wiig is also the best thing in panties on the big or small screen today . . . $13

If you heart Bridesmaids:

Recommendations by Quispy
Lovely and Amazing
Adventureland
Whip It


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