Saturday, 29 September 2007
There's only one current film critic whose work I read regularly, Mark Schilling. His reviews of new Japanese movies for the Japan Times are what interest me, though he writes for Variety as well. I met him last night at the Japan Society, where he introduced the first film in a series of Nikkatsu action movies. He has a book about these movies coming out in December, but those of us at the A Colt Is My Passport screening last night were able to buy one then and have Schilling sign it.
Star Jo Shishido also wrote a letter to the film's audience. It was projected on screen before and after the movie.
This book arrived in the mail for me today. That's not usually a big deal. I frequently order books, CDs, DVDs and who knows what else and they show up sooner or later. This is an extreme case of later, though.
When Tim Lucas started taking pre-orders for his biography of Mario Bava, I sent him a check. That was sometime in the last century. Looking back over my records, I find a cancelled check from November 1999 that could have been my Bava book pre-order. I can't remember, though, and it doesn't matter. It's here now!
As a result of shelling out the cash on faith — the price was around $100 — I and many others are included in a list of "Patrons" at the back of the book.
My only concern now is with its size. The thing is huge, as you can see if the jars of cumin and other spices provide a useful reference. It weighs about twelve pounds and is too big to fit on most book shelves. Will I be able physically to read this book? To pick it up and hold it?
It brings to mind Martin Amis's review of Isaac Asimov's two volumes of autobiography, "considerably longer than War and Peace". "I went along to meet Asimov having just let In Memory Yet Green crash to the floor, and having just winched In Joy Still Felt on to the lectern."
Furthermore, I can remember eating all three: Big Wheels, Ding Dongs and King Dons. Here's a drawing from life I made when I was a teenager.
But where are they? I've been to over a dozen stores and found only Ring Dings, no Ding Dongs. Is there a new Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict? Perhaps the story is one for which the world is not yet prepared.
I've just read the Wikipedia entry on Ding Dongs. Fascinating. The best part is this paragraph:
I will fall alseep tonight thinking of the phrase "Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict".
The Wikipedia entry includes some television shows and movies in which Ding Dongs have been mentioned but fails to include the Ding Dong motif in Bill Griffith's Zippy the Pinhead. It's been going on for decades! Maybe I'll edit the entry to include this.