Derik Badman's Journal

2019-10-14 08:13

Ended up watching Hiroshi Shimizu's The Masseurs and a Woman from 1938. I've had the Criterion Eclipse set Travels with Hiroshi Shimizu yet never got around to watching all the movies in it. This is a rather short (66 minutes) film that takes place at a mountain resort. Two blind masseurs show up for the season and one of them falls in a love with a woman from Tokyo. Lots of tracking shots, which apparently was a Shimizu tradmark. The film starts with a series of long tracking shots in front of the two masseurs as they walk along the road. Shimizu also uses a lot of long take long shots, where you watch people walking or moving about from a distance, like a long scene where the masseur and the woman are standing on a small bridge over some water. They are both in the background, and then, the woman gets up and walks along the bridge. The bridge turns towards the camera at the right of frame, and thus the woman walks into the foreground of the frame.

An enjoyable simple film. It dangled a number of plotlines, and then left most of them unresolved as the characters leaved the resort, but it didn't feel incomplete, as it fit the setting of a place people travel to away from home for short periods. They have some brief moments with new acquaintances, but then their real lives reassert themselves.

Yesterday I also started the "Discovery Tour" mode of Assassin's Creed Odysssey. Basically, it removes all the enemies and quests from the game and you run around taking tours and learning about locations and Ancient Greek history and myth. The various tours take you through guided paths to different monuments/locations and then at each one you get a little cut scene with narration about the location and then some text you can read for more information. It's a pretty cool idea. The developers did it for the previous game in the series, but I never got around to trying it.

That also reminds me I never finished writing about Code Vein. I finished the game last week at some point. Based on what I'm seeing online I got the "medium" ending, mostly because early on there was an aspect I didn't totally understand and thus didn't do 1 thing I was supposed to to get the "good" ending. The ending was actually rather underwhelming, and after all the build-up of NPC stories via interactive memoirs, it feels like I never got any story for my actual character. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think I ever discovered what made my character have these special abilities.

Overall, I enjoyed the game. It was a really successful variation on the Dark Souls style in a way that was tons more enjoyable for the simple fact that I did not struggle with every single boss, and actually did get to the end without just wanting to quit (I never did finish Dark Souls 3).