Archive for the 'Japanese Film' Category

Salyu – Arabesque (Japan)

Friday, January 13th, 2006

japanese indie; salyu; arabesque; all about lily chou chou; soundtrack; kokyuu

Artist: Salyu
Song: Arabesque
From album: “Kokyu” (Her songs from the All About Lily Chou Chou soundtrack)
Genre: Dreamy Comfortonica
[buy this album] [Salyu Site (jp)]

When I listen to this song I think of slowly falling while in a dream. I’m sailing through clouds without a sound or feeling but this song, and its voice. Together we slide, effortless glide, through soft warm spaces of sky. Everywhere it’s sunset and the clouds go on forever. I can see though my eyes are closed, and between layers of clouds are cloud-vistas and shifting cloud-landscapes in orange and lemon and white, brightness all around. We are safe and sound in the endless air; for there are no sharp edges anywhere in the world.

Salyu plays the titular Lily Chou Chou in the movie below, and sings all her songs. Lily is the singer/idol that the characters connect through, retreat to, love, and obsess about. She apparently sings this song in an Okinawan dialect. Approximate translation in comments.

All About Lily Chou Chou

Friday, January 13th, 2006

japanese movie; cinema; all about lily chou chou

All About Lily Chou Chou is a beautiful film about pain, isolation, inspiration, and living. It’s about not getting along with the harshness of reality, and escaping into music and obsession. The characters struggle to understand the world around them, and people, and themselves. They try to connect, but are crushed by circumstances and repeatedly hurt by one another. Their stories are told in snapshot slices of life, panoramas of experience themselves stark and isolated.

The music, ranging from the solo piano of Debussy’s Arabesque, to Salyu’s ethereal song of the same name, paints vivid swathes of emotion from start to finish. It makes the brilliant greens greener and the country sky wider and bluer. It speaks for the characters when they aren’t able to. It’s music as a friend and confidante when no one else will be: It comforts and reassures, it inspires reckless abandon one moment, and appreciation of simple existence the next. In this movie, the music is as much a character as anyone else.

I apologize for being pretty bad at movie reviews, but what I will say, is that this is well worth seeing for anyone who can enjoy a challenging film with real human emotion and lush, expressive atmosphere.

[Site][2][Buy on Amazon]