Review: わが愛の譜 滝廉太郎物語 (Waga ai no fu Taki Rentarō monogatari/Bloom in the Moonlight)

6 thoughts on “Review: わが愛の譜 滝廉太郎物語 (Waga ai no fu Taki Rentarō monogatari/Bloom in the Moonlight)”

  1. Oh my, oh my…..
    I’m sold. I have to see this movie, and will certainly buy the DVD. I love period movies/dramas (and in the Japanese history, the Meiji Era is the one that attracts me the most), and I love classical music. One tiny gripe would be that the lead actor looks a bit too old to play a 23 y/o (especially when you see Taki’s youthful face) but if he delivers such an impressive performance, I won’t mind!
    The story reminded me a bit of Mori Ogai’s novel, Dancing Girl. Not so much because of the plot than in the way his hero felt out of place in a Western country, in the 19th century.
    I listened to some of Taki’s compositions (thanks for the bonus ♪), and I’m moved beyond words by「荒城の月」. I don’t know when he composed it, (edit: in 1901!) but the melancholia, the longing for the bygone days are incredibly palpable. In Taki’s particular case, it’s as if he transcribed his despair (and resignation) of feeling that you’re supposed to be at the prime of your youth and yet life is leaving you. It’s overwhelmingly sad.
    Thank you, alua, for casting some light on this movie, and for introducing Taki’s work!

  2. Have you ever looked if the Japanese embassy in Paris does any similar events? I know that in some other locations they do screenings, although not necessarily the same ones.
    I agree with you, the actors don’t look the age. I didn’t know how old they were meant to be when I was watching the film, and at the beginning of the film Taki is meant to be even younger, but I got so caught up in watching that my only feeling at the end (when they mentioned his age) was “I can’t believe he composed such amazing things at only that age and achieved that much”. Some of his compositions get sung in schools in Japan (they were adopted into some national songbook or something).
    I think all the thanks go to the Japanese Embassy, they really know how to choose films to screen! I’m often lazy to watch old films and wouldn’t per se go for historical dramas either – as you know I’m always watching the modern, bleak ones, but they have really won me over with the two screenings I’ve been to.
    So happy to hear you love classical music! I do too! 🙂
    I’m going to have to look for that novel you mention.

  3. I don’t think the Japanese embassy host such events, but there is a big cultural institute (la Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris – MCJP) where regular screenings are held. I used to go there years ago, (play go, watch old movies) but it has become more difficult now that I’ve left the student life and entered the dreaded…..professional life!!
    But I have no excuses, as they also hold screenings during the week-end. I checked the current movies and realized it’s the 15th anniversary of the institute, so they’ll hold special events to celebrate.
    Now, I really, really have NO excuses.
    About Taki’s age, when I listened to「荒城の月」it was so intense, and powerful (and, as I said, overwhelmingly sad), that I couldn’t believe he was only 22 when he composed it. In a way, that made the whole thing even more sad, if you see that he knew such feelings of anguish at this age…It feels so unfair, but c’est la vie.

    1. Oh Himono! You should absolutely attend those screenings at the Maison de la Culture du Japon! No excuses!
      I know I’m lucky because I am still a student and a PhD student at that, which means I have just about the most flexible schedule ever (read: no schedule at all and work-for-money I do mostly on a flexible freelance basis as well). But I think with these things you just have to put them on your calendar and go. Force yourself if need be. You’ll feel tired but enriched.
      I know some 9 to 5 professionals that come for most screenings at the Korean Cultural Centre, even if it’s tough. Actually, one of my part-time jobs is on a Thursday form 6 am to 4 pm and I STILL go to the screenings at the Korean Cultural Centre on those days. Sometimes I nearly fall asleep though (depends on the film – Hyeongsa/Duelist was too gripping to fall asleep on, others were more of a struggle).
      I think Taki lived more of a life in his short 23 years than many people do in 80 years… I can’t help but wonder what else he would have gifted us with had he lived longer…

      1. argh….I know, I know! I’ll learn how to bend time, I’m pretty sure there must be a ehow about that one. Seriously, I read some good synopsis, so I think I can manage to clear my schedule. And I’m not saying that because I can feel your eyes on me, I swear!
        You perfectly summed it up. I’m an admirer of the stoic’s philosophy, and hold Seneca’s and Marcus Aurelius’ quote high in my heart:
        It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” (Marcus Aurelius)
        “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” (Seneca)

        1. Yes, my eyes will be on you… also because I want to read lots more of your awesome reviews!
          Just go… Or if you can’t quite convince yourself, make it an outing with someone else. When you have agreed to go with a second person, I find it’s sometimes easier to get out of the house as well (particularly on bad-weather days!).
          Nice quotes. Didn’t know you were philosophical! 😀

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