Perfume started life as an electronica oriented art-rock band back when they lived in Shibuya, and they have evolved wonderfully in the past decade. They have a tasty new tune to share, and although the versions available for posting online are short, they illustrate the power the full version brings to the table.
Mugenmirai, in English Flash, is the theme song of CHIHAYAFURU, a movie about the card game that is at the core of so many Asian games, and of the spirit of competition it brings. It can look a little confusing to western eyes at first, until you look at the cards and realize they are not the standard 52 card deck. Each card is actually a fragment of a poem; if you can see the poem hidden within the hand you have been dealt, you only have to remove all the cards that are not part of it from your hand before your opponent does the same with theirs. If you rethink anything, if you hesitate, if you even take a breath before acting, you have lost; only the swiftest and smartest have a chance at winning this game.
And don’t think this is a team sport. The huge crowd bent down on the gymnasium floor may be broken into two groups, each wearing their school colors, but the similarity ends there. You start out going up against members of the opposing school, but when you have thinned them out you play against your classmates, until a single person is victorious. There is no team in this sport, only a winner and a few thousand losers.
The second track is a visual variation of that same song, and since I went that far, throwing in a trailer for the movie seemed only fair. The songs were posted on February 14th, soundtrack will be released on March 14th, and the movie itself comes out on Saturday March 17th (if I am reading the information correctly).
For the second week in a row we get a movie worth checking out. Annihilation is based on the multiple award winning book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, and since it is the first book of a trilogy there may be more coming if this one does well. As with most books turned into movies, there are differences between the two, but hopefully not too many.
There hasn’t been anything worth mentioning for a while, but this week there are a couple of good choices. Top of the list is Marvel’s Black Panther, possible the only Marvel superhero to address the U.N. periodically as part of his day job. As near as I can recall, anyone else that went before the U.N. did it as part of their superhero persona, or worked for a U.N. agency. Also this week, Early Man from Aardman is a comedy about the Stone Age getting overrun by the Bronze Age, with all the highly detailed stop motion animation they made famous with Wallace & Gromit.
The winner this week has to be The Shape of Water, a story by Guillermo del Toro that seems to be an evolution of one of the characters from his Hellboy films. I am looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen.
There are a number of choices this weekend, but top of the list in my mind is Pixar’s Coco, which just looks like too much fun to miss. It actually starts playing on Wednesday, to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. John Cusack’s new film Singularity could be interesting, but the trailer makes me think I have already seen this movie through a few dozen earlier iterations. I will have to see the documentary Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, but I don’t think it requires the big screen to make it worthwhile, so I will catch it when it streams. Firangi on the other hand may need the larger venue, so I might have to check that one out this weekend as well.