I’m excited for Monsters University and now getting the opportunity to see the this short in full, hopefully this will be a return to form for Pixar.
How do you follow up one of the defining television series over the past 20 years? Fortunately for us lesser beings, it’s not a dilemma we’ll ever have to face. David Chase, on the other hand, does. Five years after the televisual phenomenon that was The Sopranos, Chase is about to release his latest opus: Not Fade Away.
Set in the 1960s, and titled after a Rolling Stones song, it already sounds painfully hip. It would be understandable if well-trodden path of photogenic young cast, themes of coming of age, music and love all alongside added trendiness, make you want to barf in your rucksack.
But, with this being David Chase, the man who brought us the conflicted, flawed, but scarily relatable Tony Soprano and his brood, you’d like to think you can trust him to bring us some memorable characters. Partly autobiographical, I am personally hoping it can echo Dazed and Confused, and bring us believable teens and that same sense of nostalgia for a time I never lived that Dazed and American Graffiti engendered.
The Sopranos was more than a TV series about gangsters, using a violent criminal subculture as a prism through which to view society was a masterstroke. Can Chase do it again?
Sadly, early buzz coming out of the film festivals has been mixed, but if one of the GODS OF TELEVISION can’t benefit from the doubt, then I don’t know who can. Check out the trailer below.
American filmmaker David Gelb’s first feature length documentary is an educational insight into the skill and discipline of sushi preparation, a craft that not many of us are familiar with in the west. In Japan, 86 year old sushi chef Jiro Ono is a culinary legend, a man so devoted and focused on his work who has been seeking perfection in his craft for over 70 years. He runs a small immaculate 10 seater restaurant called Sukiyabashi Jiro in the Ginza district of Tokyo which is reputed to make the best Sushi in the world earning him three Michelin stars.
Jiro is a workaholic and takes the utmost care and precision with preparing the sushi before serving and insists his trainee chefs undertake a tough ten year apprenticeship under his supervision. He is a strict perfectionist but also works in a state of calmness which is fascinating to watch. His two sons who are almost as good as Jiro and have worked in the restaurant virtually all their lives are frustrated with their father’s lack of desire to retire, thus the youngest son has no choice but to open another Sushi restaurant in the fashionable area of Roppongi. However Jiro trusts both his sons to source the best quality fish daily from the local fish market and he samples all the sushi before serving every day until it tastes exactly right.
This is an informative piece of filmmaking and one cannot help but feel that you have learnt something by watching this well executed and enlightening documentary. The score mostly comprising of compositions by Philip Glass adds a sophisticated tone.
Even if you’re not into eating fish at all or, like many, morally concerned about the long term effects of the amount of overfishing in the ocean due to mass sushi and fish consumption globally, Gelb’s documentary is essentially an accolade to a man you cannot help but admire, a man who has come from nothing and by sheer hard work, by loving and devoting his life to his craft has become very successful is nothing short of inspiring.