Silence from above,
struck dumb by mother nature
or awe-striking skill
Silence, the film based on the (very good) book by Shusaku Endo and which I’ve been waiting to see for a while and mentioned late last year , is finally coming out judging by the advertisements I’m seeing cropping up everywhere. It stars Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield as the two Portuguese priests who go to Japan to look for their persecuted fellow priest played by Liam Neeson, and is directed by Martin Scorsese. Ciaran Hinds, another Northern Irish actor, plays another big role. He’s a good choice I think. I watched a trailer for it today. I wonder how Scorsese settled on the first two actors here. Their Portuguese accents are actually ok from the trailer but will they hold up for a whole film? I hope it doesn’t turn out like the actor who played Sam in Lord of the Rings who, I thought anyway, couldn’t stick to the one accent!! Or Hollywood attempts at Irish accents. Cringe. If they chose actors with a natural non-native English accent, not necessarily Hispanic or Iberian, who also happened to have star appeal it might be better. Or just not have accents at all. Andrew Garfield actually looks good with a beard while Liam Neeson is looking super thin in his role (obviously given the conditions he ends up in he’s not going to be well fed but it’s so strange to see him so emaciated looking). The role of the Daimyo (feudal lord) whom the two young priests and Neeson’s Fr. Ferreira encounter was supposed to be played by either Ken Watanabe or Koji Yakusho but I didn’t spot either of them in the trailer. Maybe their schedules clashed but the man who seemed to be the Daimyo did look otherwise familiar as did another of the Japanese cast. If it had been either, I think Yakusho would have been better. He has more of a presence I think. Still, it’s good to see other actors getting to show their stuff.
In other good Japanese-related movie news, depending on how you see it, Toshiro Mifune has recently been given a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. I say depending on how you see it because if they can give one of these stars to a person like the US President Elect (which was actually vandalized during the elections), it makes it less meaningful to see it being given to a deserving film actor. He’s not the first Japanese actor or actor of Japanese origin to get one. George Takei and the late Pat Morita (Mr Miyage!) have one well-earned star apiece as well. George Takei has recently expressed a lot of concern about talk about camps for immigrants by the soon to be new White House resident, given that he himself had to enter one of the World War II American camps for Japanese immigrants as a boy. He really is going after immigrants it seems.
Japan is somewhat worried at the moment, for one thing because of the earthquake and tsunami that struck yesterday in the Fukushima coastal region – luckily no one died this time but it’s naturally a cause of concern – and on a political level because the aforementioned white house creature has announced he wants to pull out of the proposed TTP agreement. I don’t know the ins and outs of this agreement but it was something Barack Obama hoped to see ratified before he left office. Another project of Obama’s that T has no time for it seems.