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Posts Tagged ‘old age’

These are observations that I as an old man have concluded as valid. Equally valid observations anyone may make and it need not agree point by point with mine. After all my life experience is not of another. Think how static and boring this world would be had it been a single standard? There would be no give and take and only a one way street. Rule of the Old fogey on the basis of life experience counted in years. No I shall stick to mine.

Life is non-dimensional where your experience outs you -it gives away where you are going and you are placed in time and place by others. My father despaired that I have totally wasted my life while I disagreed with his conclusion. Only I can, looking back see what despaired my father was based on his experience, that was within a set of rules. While I can see what were my failures, I mean in his eyes, could be turned around to advantage. He was appalled by my passion for art,literature,music etc and he rightly concluded it impeded me in my pursuit of my carer. My career ended at the age of retirement while all the strengths I invested in my art and intellect are still in full flow and each day I am raring to go. Of course this too shall pass.
I was never a joiner. While politics interested me in a way the extent people could behave downright foolish and believe in promises of some blackguards who in the name of public service have chosen to use them for their own purposes.Some of these rogues have gone from strength to strength and did all to wreck their country. Yet I have seen them having the audacity to appear in public asking for votes and getting away with it. Even in liberal and affluent nations man on the street is naive yet work of their hands keep the country from going under; these hard-working citizenry working against great many hardships hold the nation going. What makes them still stand ? They have hopes. Hope that these politicians are steadily chipping away. I understand that it is still as strong as ever. Whether in India or in the US politics as played will remain lopsided but shall not wreck it. Isn’t it a mystery? Mystery of life.
Then why do we need the politicians? Simply because hope needs a heart that will keep on beating even if the head is somewhat rotten. Like the immune system the ability of the body to survive the perils of one part of the body is much more than sum of the parts.
Thank God I don’t have to rebuild society to which my claim has been at its best a nodding acquaintance. Had I involved too much into it under a mistaken notion my will or efforts would have made the difference, I would have thrown away the better part of my life. By inclination and disposition I was almost a recluse I have kept my own counsel at the same time devoting my energies I had to spare, on a few friends.That suited me then while now love of a woman and making it bear fruits on day to day basis is fine with me.
benny

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Oliver St. John Gogarty(1878-1957)  is the original for Buck Mulligan in James Joyce’s Ulysses. He was an unusual character and he, as a surgeon, poet and conversationalist impressed his contemporaries as an original. There are quite a few anecdotes. In 1939 shortly after the outbreak of war  he went to live in the USA. Till 1957 he remained there and he didn’t quite enjoy there. But it was the exciting time what with music becoming livelier. Rock and Roll, Elvis, Chubby Checker took over the music scene while jukeboxes (‘ Wurlitzer’) kept many a teenager on the toes. Ah to be young and in America!

On one occasion Oliver St. John Gogarty was sitting in a bar on Third Avenue, in New York with some six other fellows. Gogarty kept them amused and in rapture with some wonderful stories. ( Story tellers get their second wind at the reception they  get and he was raring to go.) ‘Now l want to tell you this,’ and he started with another story. At that time a teenager went over to the jukebox and dropped a coin. All hell broke loose. The story teller’s face changed and he became sad, and with a touch of regret and anger he said,’Oh dear God in heaven, that I should find myself thousands of miles from home, an old man at the mercy of every retarded  son of  bitch who has a nickel to drop in that bloody illuminated coal scuttle.'(Ack: Brian Aherne)

benny

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Aka. Tokyo Monogatari, 1953 is one among the best 100 films. It is directed by Ozu. Any film of Ozu suffers considerably in retelling. He is a master of understatement which for a film maker would mean a visual narrative that somewhere hovers between make-believe and reality so finely pared to an extent life and art becomes almost interchangeable. Ozu’s use of camera I had already touched upon in my appreciation of his Late Spring. Indoors points of view are fixed at the eye level of characters from a low angle. Yet within each framed composition, Ozu’s camera does not move. While creating an intimate, familial atmosphere, in the case of presenting the lives of the Hirayama family, he prefers subtle gestures and mannerisms, prosaic conversations, daily rituals, and simple acts of kindness that are natural to them. Throughout the film, there is a pervasive sound of movement: ticking clocks, churning steamboats, passing trains. Beauty of life that Ozu describes is to be experienced than described.

2.

It is a story about generational divide all the more sharp considering how vital culture, tradition Aesthetics are for the Japanese. In a post-war Japan all that was truly unique to them are being eroded. Modernization is the culprit and against it growing old has its insidious effect. An elderly couple, Shukichi (Chishu Ryu) and Tomi Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama), venture forth from a small coastal village in southern Japan to visit their married children in Tokyo. Their eldest son, Koichi (So Yamamura), a doctor running a clinic in a working-class part of town, is too busy to show them around town, and their eldest daughter is occupied with her beauty salon. Is their condition anything extraordinary? In literature we may find examples most notably from King Lear and Pere Goriot of fathers treated vilely by their offsprings. Ozu has no use for such drama to paint the sad truth of human condition. It has been so then as it is now. Crabbed age and youth cannot march in step. Where life ceases to hold meaning for the former as was hinted in their youth, for the latter significance of life is entirely of another context and language. It is as strange as the argot or a coded language the youth would employ to baffle their peers. It is a misalliance if fathers and their offsprings are set upon finding a single yarstick to measure the beat of their lives.

3.

The elderly couple are naturally disappointed since their children are as removed from their lives by their routine as their village is as backward as Tokyo is most advanced. Only their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko, played memorably by Setsuko Hara, is willing to take time off work to show the couple the sights of Tokyo. The older children arrange for their parents to visit Atami Hot Springs, but the unimpressed couple soon returns to Tokyo. Tomi stays with her daughter-in-law while Shukichi goes out drinking with some of his buddies, and the bunch complains about their vague sense of disappointment toward their children. Not knowing how to entertain their parents (and to save money), the siblings decide to send them to a noisy, crowded spa. Unable to enjoy themselves, the elderly couple return early, only to be sent away for the evening when their unexpected arrival interferes with Shige’s scheduled club meeting. Consequently, Mrs. Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama) spends a final evening with Noriko before heading back to Onomichi, and Mr. Hirayama (Chishu Ryu) finds some old friends in town, hoping to be invited to spend the evening, but in the process, gets hopelessly drunk. On the following day, Mrs. Hirayama offers the adult children some words of reassurance at the train station, and the couple leave. (ack: Synopsis- Jonathan Crow/ http://www.allmovie.com) .

September/October 2006 Directed by Yasujiro Ozu Produced by Takeshi Yamamoto Written by Kôgo Noda Yasujiro Ozu Starring Chishu Ryu Chieko Higashiyama Setsuko Hara Music by Kojun Saitô Cinematography Yuuharu Atsuta Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura Distributed by Shochiku (Japan theatrical) Release date(s) 3 November 1953 (Japan) Running time 136 min. Language Japanese (wikipedia) Similar Movies Late Spring (1949, Yasujiro Ozu) The Trip to Bountiful (1985, Peter Masterson) The Joy Luck Club (1993, Wayne Wang) Maborosi (1995, Hirokazu Kore-eda) The Ceremony (1971, Nagisa Oshima) Café Lumiere (2004, Hou Hsiao-Hsien) Kurosudo Nooto (2007, Isao Yukisada) Gone is the One Who Held Me the Dearest in the World (2002, Ma Xiaoying) A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2007, Wayne Wang) Movies with the Same Personnel Early Summer (1951, Yasujiro Ozu) Late Autumn (1960, Yasujiro Ozu) Late Spring (1949, Yasujiro Ozu) Floating Weeds (1959, Yasujiro Ozu) An Autumn Afternoon (1962, Yasujiro Ozu) Good Morning (1959, Yasujiro Ozu) Early Autumn (1961, Yasujiro Ozu) No Regrets for Our Youth (1946, Akira Kurosawa) Other Related Movies is related to: The Funeral (1984, Juzo Itami) influenced: Cherry Blossoms: Hanami (2008, Doris Dörrie) all movie

Memorable Quotes:

Kyoko: Isn’t life disappointing?

Noriko: [smiles] Yes, it is.

Trivia

# Voted #7 in Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005). # The original negative was lost soon after the film was completed, due to a fire at the vault of the lab in Yokohama city. The film had to be released using prints made from a dupe protective negative. (Imdb)

compiler:benny

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Why old people are more ready with their advices?  Is it because they have wealth of experience to pass on? If so what makes them think others will take their advice untested? Those who became old without benefiting their own experience are like a pharmacist’s wife who writes out prescriptions merely on the strength of her husband’s knowledge.

benny

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Now that I am by age declar’d
As redundant, a number added to
List of senior citizens do I think
Myself rusticated? Not so much as
A panjandrum left to rust.

Now that I turned irreverent age
Keep indifferent rhythms,-
Sleep is not dreaming;
Nor is eating any indulgence:
‘Keep your bowels moving
And hold plenty of greens to eat
I’m advised by abundant caution:
That speaks for my lot.

Now that I turned irreverent age,
I may well analyse my Past:
What do I of these ashes make,-
Best intentions put to cinder?
Sad fate of Lot left with a Pillar of salt?

Now that I turned irreverent age
Don’t for a moment think, I care.
benny

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A Cruel Joke 

Nothing cheers up folks as Old Ichabod
Who has no fixed abode.
He doesn’t live here or there
But everywhere folks watch out
For a sight of Old Ichabod.

We have care and tear of living
On the edge without satisfaction;
Make us laugh, no matter what.
Sight of you is an unction.

Nothing cheers up folks as Old Ichabod
Who is set in ways very odd;
He is gaunt and in much want.
So much was plain, and death came
Without notice to Old Ichabod.

Old folks and infants passing
The pauper’s last resting place
Took that as a cruel joke:
‘There was none to take his place.’
benny
12-25-06

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