Amour’s vibrant light did shine
to a good old age
Emmanuèle Riva, the French star of Hiroshima mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais), has passed away at the age of 89. While she has been in more recent films, and theatre also, the only other film I have seen her in was Amour (2012), where she played an elderly woman in physical and mental decline who is cared for by her devoted husband. Her role earned her an Oscar nomination at the age of 85, the oldest to date for an actress. Jean-Louis Trignant and Isabelle Hubbert co-starred in that film as her husband and daughter and both were also excellent. I remember that film as one of the most moving films I’ve ever seen.
Hiroshima Mon Amour, with Eiji Okada playing her lover, as I’ve mentioned here before, was excellent and in a time of increasing nuclear danger around the world, it’s timely to remember it again.
Speaking of World War II, I happen to have recently seen The Wind Rises, a studio Ghibli animated film about the man who built the spitfire plane for the Japanese military in World War II. The version shown that I had recorded was dubbed in English and so one day I set down to watch it. It cut off prematurely just a half hour away from the end of the film which was really annoying but just by pure chance, the same channel showed it again just last week, this time in Japanese with English subtitles (as I prefer to watch it) so I recorded it again. I’m hoping to watch it right through this time. I must say I had presumed the character to be an unpleasant militaristic nationalist but he is portrayed as a very normal fair man who just happened to have been hired to build this plane as he was renowned for his engineering know-how. I’ll sit down and watch it again in a while.
A documentary shown on the same channel about the Ghibli production studio also aired last night but I recorded it as it was on too late (more the early morning than the night – why? Who knows). It refers specifically to The Wind Rises and another animated film of Ghibli’s, so who knows we might find out more about this character.
Things are pretty heated over in the US at the moment with nationalism of a different type and an equally scary type to that in Germany and Japan in World War II. Actually, even scarier considering how much the free world is supposed to have moved on. Trump must not be allowed get away with this ban, mainly directed at seven particular muslim-majority countries, even if he does have republican control of the White House. It’s crazy over there and very frightening undoubtedly for the immigrants trying to get into the country and for all legal and illegal immigrants of any nationality already over there. Bravo to the various city leaders and others who have defied his ban thus far, but there is a lot more to be done.