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90. "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion/Kinkakuji" Stage Report

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Jul. 30th, 2011 | 08:36 pm
music: BT - All That Makes Us Human Continues
posted by: sociologique in sasurai

So you'll forgive me if I'm moderately spazzy and a little less than eloquent in this: I adore this book, I adore V6, and this was my first actual Johnny's stage play. I'm going to try to do both the book and the play justice. You'll also forgive me for being overly verbose.

Kinkakuji is the story of Mizoguchi, the son of a dying priest in a remote cape town whose interactions are marred by his uncontrollable stutter. The play begins roughly 10 minutes before actual showtime with each of the actors slowly coming onstage and sitting at various spots near the front of the stage. Some have mics and books, some don't. 2 or 3 minutes before showtime, Go comes out and sits front and center. Right at 8PM, Go picks up his mic, opens his book (AND CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT HOW HE BENDS HIS BOOK COVERS BACK? OH, HONEY, STOP RUINING YOUR BOOKS ;____; SCRIPTS, OK, SURE, BUT NOT BOOKS!) and begins:

Ever since I was a child, Father had often spoken to me about the Golden Temple


And from there, you get a tl;dr version of how he lived in Maizuru and his stutter was the rusty key that prevented him from opening the door between his inner world (filled with words) and his outer world (interactions with others). I hadn't read any other reports about the play before going to see it and wondered how they were going to handle Mizoguchi's dialogue, since his thought process and neuroses are so integral to the story; you can't understand his descent into madness without it, but they worked it in well. At the beginning, everyone is narrating, but throughout the play, he has soliloquies or is aided by narration from other actors, most often Shunsuke (seated stage right and mostly during act 2) or Sousuke (seated stage left and mostly during act 1).

The stage itself is set up like a large classroom with lockers, a couple exits, tables, chairs, and a huge chalkboard in the centre. At the beginning, the actor who plays Mizoguchi's father writes "金閣" on the bottom half of the board. Thus, the Golden Temple is forever there in the back of our minds, just as it is in Mizoguchi's. (actually, you know what, here: I took a stealth picture of the stage on Saturday night, so you can see how it was set up (and how close we sat~!))

And just like the book, the play begins with the incident with Mizoguchi and the sailor returning home on leave taunting Mizoguchi for his stutter. When told he should enter the navy, because they'll flog the stutter right out of him, Mizoguchi jumps from the chair in which he was sitting during the narration and yells, without a stutter, that he will not -- he's going to become a priest. As the young men surrounding the naval officer wrestle in semi-tableau in the background, Mizoguchi defiantly carves a line in the handle of the officer's short sword. Across the stage, as Mizoguchi carves, appears a red line. The young men stop wrestling and Mizoguchi runs.

He is restless and can't sleep. In the early dawn, he comes across Uiko on her bike going to work. Mizoguchi, though infatuated, almost obsessed with Uiko, can say almost nothing. She is first taken aback, and then simply frustrated that Mizoguchi won't let go of the handles of her bike and let her pass. Insulting him, she rides out through the door, stage right.

Throughout both the book and the play, Uiko haunts Mizoguchi. After she insults him, he wishes day and night for her death. In his mind, he constantly plays out revenge fantasies on those who wrong him, but has neither the motivation nor the wherewithal to follow through. The play gives you an idea from the beginning of his character -- timid, unmotivated, fixated on words but unable to act -- but the book, obviously told from Mizoguchi's point of view, is much more lucid in that respect. Regardless, the play does cover all the important events of the book enough that the audience can get a good grip on Mizoguchi. But I digress.

After being insulted, like I said, he curses her, wishing for her death with every inch of his body. His wish is granted when a friend runs up to him and tells him she's been found hiding a deserter from the armed forces in a temple. Uiko, pregnant and with no other options, is going to have to turn him in to the Military Police. Mizoguchi, stage right, watches as Uiko and the MP, centre stage, appear and she is told to show them where she's been hiding him. She points to a window stage left, in the back of the set nearer the stage left exit. A light comes on and Uiko begins climbing the stairs of the temple. The stairs here, I should note, are tables, bookshelves, filing cabinets; the actors, throughout the play, are constantly moving these around to create different settings. Mizoguchi has followed Uiko and now hides just off centre stage as Uiko climbs the stairs and calls out to the officer. He crawls through the window and steps out of the "temple" to embrace Uiko. When he discovers her treachery, she screams that she had no other choice; she's so sorry. Uiko begins to run down the stairs, but the officer shoots her in the back and she falls back behind the stage (into the waiting arms of one of the actors), followed by the soldier, who shoots himself and falls backward off the top shelf. Mizoguchi, his curse realized, is devastated. Not because Uiko died, but because his wish for her death was actually granted.

To move the play along, Mizoguchi runs to his father, in the middle of prayers who, upon seeing his son's distress, suggests they go to the Golden Temple. Mizoguchi is elated, and the two make their sad train ride from Maizuru to Kyoto. The other actors move two tables just off center stage right and facing the audience offset at about a 30 degree angle, to create the illusion of a train car. As the two make their way to Kyoto, two rectangular beams of light continually pass over them, as the sound of the rumbling of the train and its horn accompany them the entire way. Another table is used as a projector screen when they pass the Hozu River. The two alight from the table as the final whistle blows and the noise of the city signals their arrival in Kyoto.

Mizoguchi's father and the Superior of the Golden Temple are homies from back in the day, and Mizoguchi's father introduces him to the Superior partially in hopes that, after his death, the Superior will take Mizoguchi as an acolyte. The Superior agrees and, while Mizoguchi's father and the Superior talk, the Deacon takes Mizoguchi down to see the Golden Temple. I actually really liked the way they staged this part -- in the book, Mizoguchi's first glimpse of the temple is a huge disappointment; he feels as if he's seeing the Golden Temple not as it is in front of his eyes but as through it were in a snow globe and, with an adorable little sound effect, the projection of the temple becomes just that. While the Deacon goes off about the names of each floor, the style in which is was created, and your basic trivia, Mizoguchi is bending his head this way and that, trying to see the temple as he has seen it in his dreams. He asks the temple if it's adopting some kind of disguise, trying to hide its beauty from him. If you've seen the shop photos of Go doing the play, this is the scene where he's turning his head all confused.

The two return home where his father quickly dies. Mizoguchi is back in the Golden Temple and begins his life as an acolyte. The stage direction during this part was fantastic. Through carefully choreographed movements, we're shown Mizoguchi beginning his life as an acolyte, where each day passes the same way, as the actors move in almost a dance: wake at 5, bring the Superior his newspaper, pray, eat, clean, weed, school or military drills, come back, eat, sermons from the Superior, sleep, repeat. Tsurukawa (Daito Shunsuke) is quietly introduced here, and he and Mizoguchi just sort of stare at each other as they go about their routine. It isn't until Mizoguchi is outside sweeping that Tsurukawa first even speaks to him, lovingly chastising him for being so dilligent in his cleaning.

I appreciated the way Shunsuke played Tsurukawa. Tsurukawa was, for all intents and purposes, Mizoguchi's angel on his shoulder. He accepts Mizoguchi, his stutter, his neurosis, his obsession with the Golden Temple. Even when he misunderstands the reason why Mizoguchi is obsessed with the temple and his feelings about his father, he is gregarious and this intrigues Mizoguchi. It might have come off as overacting to some, but that's honestly how Tsurukawa was -- just a shiny, happy person. The two sit on a hillside and Mizoguchi, in a soliloquoy, wonders if perhaps he, too, shines brightly like the sun on Tsurukawa's white shirt.

It is here that Mizoguchi becomes obsessed with and fixated on the idea that the Golden Temple will be burned to the ground. When delivering the paper to the Superior, from behind the folding screens, we see the shadows of the Superior and the Deacon discussing the possibility of air raids in Kyoto while Mizoguchi surreptitiously listens in. When Tsurukawa approaches him and suggests they go to a movie, Mizoguchi explains he'd rather look at the temple as it very well may be destroyed in an air raid very soon. And even through Mizoguchi's ramblings, Tsurukawa is still like, "lol kay let's look at the temple, that's cool." The two do end up going to a movie anyway, on the way to which the other actors march across the stage in formation, cheering and carrying imperial flags as, behind them, images of the war, the city, and period movies are projected onto all sides of the stage. The two sit front and center (their backs to the audience) and watch a silly movie.

The two then slip away to the Sammon Gate overlooking the city, where the famous thief, Ishikawa Goemon, once stood. Tsurukawa does his best impression of him and tries to get Mizoguchi to do the same. Mizoguchi stutters and completely messes up the word, but Tsurukawa just laughs lovingly and encourages Mizoguchi to follow him. The two climb to the top on bookshelves and the backs of actors to hide behind a table and peer into the Nanzen Temple. In a tea room, the two see a woman in full kimono serving tea to a soldier. While at first they wonder if she is even alive at all or merely a doll, Mizoguchi, upon glimpsing her face, is convinced she is Uiko. He turns away (back toward the audience) and pulls his knees to his chest and hides his face from the scene behind them. The woman serves the soldier his tea (in the proper manner one does during tea ceremony, just bee tee dubs), but he shoves the cup back in her face. Without a word, the woman turns from the audience and we see Tsurukawa telling Mizoguchi to hurry up and look. Projected stage left is an image of milk as it is poured into tea. The two wonder if she is pregnant with his child and he's about to leave to go to the war.

The two return from school a few days later to find Mizoguchi's mother has come to Kyoto to have the Superior chant some sutras for his father. Contrite and humble to everyone (except Tsurukawa), she apologizes for her intrusion and asks to speak to Mizoguchi alone, telling him of her hardships now that his father is gone and how she has had to go live with his uncle (whom Mizoguchi hates. At this point in the book, we find out the reason for his stutter but this isn't revealed in the play until much later). His mother informs him he no longer has a temple of his own and should thus try to succeed the Superior of the Golden Temple. He tells her he's unsure that can even happen, as he may get called into service (to which she responds that if the army takes stutterers like him, then Japan is surely doomed) and that the Golden Temple may burn down in an air raid anytime now. She laughs off his paranoia, stating that the Americans are far too smart to burn Kyoto to the ground (Fun Fact: anthropologists working with the American Armed Forces during World War II actually helped convince the Allies to spare Kyoto from firebombings).

The war ends and all are summoned centre stage to listen to the Emperor's announcement of unconditional surrender (which they actually played). Some weep; one actor commits ritual suicide. Mizoguchi is devastated that the Golden Temple was left untouched, standing as timeless as it had for centuries, his dream of seeing it turned to ash unfulfilled. As they sit on a hill, the two share some candy Tsurukawa's mother has sent him and they discuss why he's even there to begin with (it's an ascetic exercise, as he already knows he has a well-to-do temple to return to in Tokyo). Mizoguchi asks Tsurukawa if he has any plans or aspirations for the future. "No," Tsurukawa responds. "Besides, what would be the point?"

The silence is broken by the sound of an approaching Jeep. An Allied soldier wants to be shown around the temple, demanding to know "who's the guy?" and as Mizoguchi is the only one who can speak any English, he is shoved front and center. Reading from a crumpled piece of paper, Mizoguchi begins, "The Golden Temple is a 3-storey--" before he's cut off by the prostitute emerging from the Jeep and coming onstage, declaring that it's too cold (in English). Before we move on, can we please take this moment to talk about how cute it is to hear Go speak in English? Because it is and because he did. Moving on, the woman calls out, "Jack! Jack! Too cold!" over and over. The soldier and the woman get in an argument and the woman is knocked to the ground. Turning to Mizoguchi, the soldier tells him to step on her. "Step on her," he says, "you have to." In Japanese, the woman chastises him, stating that she'll never forgive them. Reluctant at first, Mizoguchi stomps on the woman's stomach; again and again, he kicks and stomps until the soldier is satisfied. For his reward, he gives Mizoguchi a carton of American cigarettes. And though only slightly remorseful, Mizoguchi is bewitched by the way the woman's stomach felt under his foot as he stomped. The cigarettes he gives to the Superior, who tells him he'll be sending him to Otani University to train for the priesthood.

Before Tsurukawa and Mizoguchi begin university, Tsurukawa gently confronts Mizoguchi about the rumour he has heard: a woman came to the Temple demanding payment from the Superior because a young acolyte stomped on her stomach and caused her to have a miscarriage. If the Superior would not pay her, she would tell the story to the media and expose the Superior and the Golden Temple. Mizoguchi was the only person who showed the soldier around the temple that day, but Tsurukawa doesn't believe Mizoguchi could do something so heinous. Mizoguchi denies any wrongdoing and asks if the Superior believes it to be true. Tsurukawa says he'll speak to the Superior for Mizoguchi, but Mizoguchi asks Tsurukawa to please not speak to the Superior on his behalf; he doesn't care what the others think of him, but to speak to the Superior about the issue would create more unnecessary suspicion, especially if the Superior doesn't believe it, though the Superior had, in fact, asked that no one mention the matter to him.

Let's pause for a moment: you've made it this far, and Go is proud of you.



Moving on...

After entering university, Tsurukawa, during their lunch break, suggests to Mizoguchi that he go find other friends; there's no point in the two of them keeping only to themselves. Mizoguchi hesitantly agrees (he's much more timid in the play than in the book, but in the book you obviously see more of his psychosis through his dialogue). As Mizoguchi walks through campus, the tables on the stage are also shuffled to create the illusion of a changing set and we get our first glimpse of Kashiwagi, the club-footed devil on Mizoguchi's shoulder, eating his box lunch and brashly declaring that he knows exactly who Mizoguchi is; he sees right through Mizoguchi's ploy: because they're both crippled, he declares, Mizoguchi believes they'll naturally be friends. "Stutter away!" he yells, yet still moves over to make room for Mizoguchi to sit next to him.

I'll be honest with you guys: I really liked the way Sousuke played Kashiwagi. Every time I read the book, my feelings for Kashiwagi vacillated between wanting to sock him and curbstomp him. There's nothing cute or endearing about your sociopathy, dude. Oooh, look at me, I'm Kashiwagi! I've turned my back on the world! I use my club feet to manipulate women! I'm so ~edgy~ And for his part, Sousuke did a fantastic job of pissing me off just as Kashiwagi in the book did. Plus, swaggering around on his ankles must have been murder on them.

So Mizoguchi meets Kashiwagi and I kind of start to zone out, because, as I said, I hate Kashiwagi and I just kind of want to get to the part where Mizoguchi loses what's left of his shit. But the play continues as Kashiwagi brags to Mizoguchi about his sexual exploits or how he can figure out exactly what type of girl will take pity on him for his clubfeet (complete with a demonstration during which he makes Mizoguchi fall off a rotating set of tables in front of a girl so he can also fall and then berate the girl for being ~heartless and demand medical care) and get some action.

Tsurukawa, however, doesn't approve of Mizoguchi's friendship with Kashiwagi. He's worried for Mizoguchi, who is convinced this life suits him better; that he's just not suited to live in Tsurukawa's transparent world with all his bright, shiny, happy new friends. And then Tsurukawa drops the bomb on him -- his mother is terminally ill and he has to return to Tokyo on the first train the next morning. They likely won't see each other for some time. Mizoguchi is heartbroken.

Kashiwagi takes Mizoguchi along on a double-date kind of thing, to a picnic up in the mountains past some random-ass grave (can you tell I really just give no fuck about Kashiwagi?). Kashiwagi is going to try to set him up with a friend of the girl in front of whom he fell. They set up their blanket and, when the girl chastises Kashiwagi for drinking too much of her father's whiskey, he screams in pain that his legs are in pain. OH GOD, THE PAIN, THE PAIN and while she's distracted trying to rub them and make them feel better, he chugs down Mizoguchi's glass of whiskey. Because he's a total prick.

At Kashiwagi's suggestion, the two couples split up to find somewhere more ~private, the girl with whom Mizoguchi is paired complaining about Kashiwagi's trick. She used to fuck with Kashiwagi and knows all about his game. His eyes, however, are lovely, she says. Mizoguchi, too, has lovely eyes. She suggests they take a walk. At this point, the two are walking back and forth across the stage as lights suspended on clear strips of ... something drop from the ceiling. The girl leads the way through the woods, singing some tune, with Mizoguchi hesitatingly following behind. Through four long rows of "trees" they walk, the girl gracefully falling to the floor, legs splayed, lifting her skirt. Still hesitant but intrigued, Mizoguchi reaches out to touch her leg...

The Golden Temple. The lights flicker on and off and a noise between a buzzing and a scream rings through the theatre. Mizoguchi screams and clutches his head in his hands. It is the temple, controlling him, standing between him and the flesh, between him and beauty. The girl disappears, taking off at a run, leaving Mizoguchi to his psychosis.

His psychosis is further compounded when, upon returning home that night, the Superior tells Mizoguchi he has just received a telegram: Tsurukawa was hit by a truck. He's dead. Mizoguchi is in hysterics, screaming that his angel, his light, is gone forever. Why did he have to abandon him? It was, after all, Tsurukawa who suggested he get out and make new friends. A tempest erupts over Kyoto, and Mizoguchi screams at the storm to blow harder, stronger, faster. Defiantly, he stands before the temple and screams that he will have his revenge on it. This was easily one of the most powerful moments of the play. Go was magnificent.

IT'S INTERMISSION!



Funny story: During my first showing on Friday night, everyone was really confused -- was the play over? Was it just intermission? There were actually a couple people who didn't return for the second act. We laughed at them.

. act ii .
For a year, he mourned Tsurukawa, hardly speaking to Kashiwagi. And yet, one night, Kashiwagi shows up at the Golden Temple, the moon conjuring in him a sense of nostalgia and inspiring him to stand outside the temple and serenade it on an old flute. He's been taking flower arrangement classes and, if Mizoguchi can get him some irises, he'll give him the flute, making a snide remark about Mizoguchi playing the flute with a stutter. Here, Shunsuke does the narration (considering his character is, y'know, dead) and it is from the hands of Shunsuke the Flower Bush that Mizoguchi picks out the irises and follows Kashiwagi to his house.

Once there, Kashiwagi's flower arrangement teacher is waiting, but Kashiwagi, complete schmuck that he is, tells her repeatedly that he has no more need for her. Confused, incredulous, heartbroken, she tries to argue with him, but he will have none of it. She runs, and Kashiwagi urges him to follow her and comfort her. The actors seemlessly move tables, chairs, shelves as Mizoguchi chases the teacher through the streets of Kyoto. She rebukes him a couple times on the way, but once there, invites him inside. She asks if he's ever cursed someone and wished for their death. He has, he says. And he realizes that this woman is the same one he and Tsurukawa saw at the temple that one day. He tells her the story, and, upon realizing he was watching, is fascinated by such an odd fate. She tells him that she was once pregnant with that soldier's child, but both it and he died and, while she doesn't have any more milk now, she'll do for him what she did for the soldier. They're the same, it's not strange at all (sorry to break it to you, gurl, but it's strange). She unfastens her sash belt just as she did before and moves the sleeve of her kimono down on her shoulder. She entreats him to touch it.

Just as before, the Golden Temple appears before him, the lights flicker on and off, the buzz and the scream ring through the theatre, and the woman screams at him to get out. In the midst of his delusion, he runs through the streets back toward the temple and comes upon the Superior in the pleasure quarters as he is about to get into a car with a prostitute. He gives chase for a hot minute, undetected, when a drunk man stumbles into him and yells and he is discovered. The Superior asks if he is trying to follow him, to make a fool out of him, but Mizoguchi can think of nothing pithy to say. The Superior turns, gets in the car and the scene is over.

Mizoguchi becomes obsessed with making the Superior show him that same type of hatred again and decides to take his revenge by purchasing a photo of the woman with whom he saw the Superior and slip it into the Superior's morning paper. It is at this point that Mizoguchi truly begins his descent into madness. He begins to neglect his studies, skipping class almost constantly and just wandering around the city. He wants nothing more than for the Superior to react to him, to show him hatred -- to show any emotion, really, but the Superior will not react. After returning late one evening, the Deacon rebukes him and the Superior states he will no longer support him to be his successor. The insolent Mizoguchi says the Superior knows all about him, but he also knows about the Superior. "And what if you do know?!" the Superior yells. Mizoguchi is left dumbfounded. With nothing else, he decides to run away.

In the middle of the night, he bangs on Kashiwagi's door, begging to borrow 3,000 yen; he just needs to go somewhere, anywhere. After a lecture by Kashiwagi in which he quotes Laertes's father from "Hamlet," he asks Mizoguchi, "Is the Golden Temple powerless?" "No," Mizoguchi responds, "it is everyone else who is powerless." Lecture aside, Kashiwagi loans him the money and says all Mizoguchi has to do is pay him back with interest and he'll be the happiest panda. Mizoguchi boards a train northwest, passing the Hozu River once more, disembarking at some unknown, remote town. By the gorgeous sea, the sea that birthed him, he comes across a funeral procession. As the casket is burned, he realizes he must destroy the Golden Temple. He must be the one to realize his fantasy, to bring about the temple's destruction and see it burned down, reduced to ashes.

After hiding for a month in an inn, the inkeeper calls the police and he is escorted back to Kyoto where his mother reprimands him, berating him for running away, demanding to know if he stole the money. Back in the temple, Mizoguchi's life goes on as before, except that Kashiwagi keeps hounding him to pay him back the money he borrowed. The interest, which, Kashiwagi says, isn't bad compared to loan sharks, has skyrocketed and, seeing no motivation on Mizoguchi's part to pay him back, demands money from the Superior himself (who only pays him back the original 3,000 yen Mizoguchi borrowed).

Kashiwagi is about to return home for the summer and, before he leaves, thought he should show Mizoguchi letters from Tsurukawa before his death. Mizoguchi is surprised the two were even pen pals; Tsurukawa apparently felt Kashiwagi was the only one who could understand his predicament and offer him advice. He was in love with someone of whom his parents did not approve. The story about the truck was a cover-up; Tsurukawa committed suicide. Kashiwagi insists he showed the letters to Mizoguchi because he believes knowledge is power and that only knowledge can transform the world. Mizoguchi disagrees. What can, then, Kashiwagi asks. "Action!" The two continue to argue, but the argument only strengthens Mizoguchi's resolve.

I PROMISE WE'RE ALMOST AT THE END. YOU SHOULD GET YO POPCORN READY, IT'S ABOUT TO GO DOWN.



HERE COMES GO'S BIG MOMENT.

Throughout Act II, as Mizoguchi descends further into madness, the stage, like his mind, opened up, the walls moving further back as the Act progressed. It wasn't as easy to see Friday night when I was sitting in the centre, but we sat more toward stage right on Saturday, which provided a much better vantage point. Here, the stage is at its widest as Mizoguchi is at his most vulnerable.

A former friend of his father's happens to come to the temple just before he decides to carry out his plan and he asks the priest what he thinks of him. The priest says that everything about him is written on his face. There is neither evil nor mailce within him; he is a good, serious student.

July 1st, 1950. From a hidden compartment in the floorboards in his room, he takes out matches, cigarettes, and a knife. The knife, the key to the rusty lock between his inner and outer worlds. Fuyuki Yamakawa plays the Phoenix, the symbol of the Golden Temple; it is he who makes all the sounds (we joked he was the Michael Winslow from "Police Academy"-like dude with fab hair) and who, throughout the play, emerges from the shadows to control Mizoguchi, touching him, laying hands on him, controlling him like a puppet master. During the final scene, he descends from the highest point in on the stage. (Really, the dude was seriously underappreciated and I know I haven't talked about him much at all to this point, but it's really one of those things you have to see. Without him, I doubt the play would have been half as moving or trippy. If you can't watch the play, watch some of the news clips about the play. He's astonishing, really).

Face the outside, face the inside, and if you meet, kill instantly. When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. When you meet your ancestor, kill your ancestor. Only then will you achieve enlightenment.

The koan spurs Mizoguchi on. To free himself from the temple, he must kill the temple. He lights the match and sets fire to the temple. Bathed in red, the walls of the stage come slowly down as the temple is destroyed.

Alone, Mizoguchi sits and contemplates suicide. He lights a cigarette and watches the temple burn. "I want to live."

He stands.

"I want to live."

He descends the stairs stage right and sits in the seat closest to the stage.

-----

There were two curtain calls both nights. We stayed all through the first one Friday night, but ducked out early Saturday night. All the actors played their parts perfectly. I know it's unfair to go in with images in my head of how each character should look, act, sound, but everyone was perfect. You couldn't have asked for a more dickish Kashiwagi, a shinier or happier Tsurukawa, or a more moving Mizoguchi. I didn't sob like I expected to, but trust, I was close (and I don't cry easily, either). Still so proud of Go and so happy the Lincoln Centre brought this over. I would definitely travel cross-country to see it again.

---

SO! THERE YOU GO! I could have been less thorough and less verbose, but I figure this way I'm not having to entertain questions about how we get from point A to point B in the story. There's a great deal the play left out (naturally), so if I haven't ruined everything for you, then I suggest you get your ass to your local library or bookstore and find this book and read it. It's not even 300 pages, and it's well worth your time. I think a lot of the reason critics either didn't like or didn't get the play was because, while it used Mizoguchi's dialogue, it didn't rely on it in the same way the book did. And if that's not the reason why, then they're just uncultured cretins who can't understand Mizoguchi's struggle with the nature of beauty and the way in which it eventually drove him mad.

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Comments {11}

amarylliszai

(no subject)

from: amarylliszai
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your write-up is so easily understood for someone who didn't even read the book.

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HH

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from: hhnd_2002
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for the detailed reports ;) I haven't read all because I still have the book to read, but for sure I'll read the report again to compare the theatrical version with the original novel :D Wish I could have gone, I was out of the country until 2 days ago >"

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42detsune

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from: 42detsune
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
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This is fantastic! Thank you! I've only read a part of it, and I have to go, but I'll be BACK! :D

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Raine

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from: ra1nee
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
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and lucky I read the book b4 the repo XD they pretty covered almost whole of the book. I wanna watch this! *prays a dvd of some sort would miraculously appear*
and now i am inspired to challenge it in orignal text XD

Thanks for the lengthy repo. I LOVE reading it~

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21st century ninja

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from: soulpower
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
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That was very detailed! Congrats on your photographic memory!

It was great reading your perspective, especially since I didn't read the book myself. I really enjoyed the play and I'm definitely motivated to find the book now. I do love the production of the stage, the lights, and even the choreography. And yes, Go was amazing, and I completely agree about Takaoka Sousuke, whose portrayal of the character was just on point.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this! I lol-ed when I read the part about people not returning after intermission.

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eskarina77

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from: eskarina77
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
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I'll read your report later...I bought the book yesterday: I want to read t before xD

Thank you for writing such a long report!

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1foxmulder

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from: 1foxmulder
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
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I have to re-read the book. Your review is amazing. It's like being there! Thanks so much :D

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nara_heiwa

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from: nara_heiwa
date: Jul. 31st, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
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thank you very much for sharing this with us =D

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Rachel

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from: rachie241282
date: Aug. 1st, 2011 07:07 am (UTC)
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Thanks for your so detailed and so amazing report! I've borrowed the book to read (all just for this butai) and I've haven't completed it yet but I'm so appreciative of your report!

This butai probably would pull all emotions! And I'll be praying very hard for a DVD release!!

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Cynthia

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from: neivaxx
date: Aug. 1st, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)
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Sooooo jealous that you go to see Go! x) Thanks for the report - I really loved reading your thoughts and comments along with the summary!

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kuri

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from: wasabisushi404
date: Aug. 2nd, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
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you're amazing! xD thanks for sharing and going so into detail. =) *applauses*

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