I’ve had Japan and Korea on my mind a lot lately. Places that are important to me because they have done so much to fuel my imagination and inspiration for so long now. When I am unable to travel, books, film, and TV are the best ways for me to get lost without leaving home. A couple of weeks ago I saw a Japanese film called Midnight Diner that I really enjoyed watching. It’s a film based on a TV show based on a manga comic, I think.
The basic premise is there is a small diner, only big enough to fit maybe eight people inside, on a back alley street in a neighborhood in Tokyo which only opens from 12 midnight until 6am in the morning. The man that runs it has a backstory that is never fully explored, he is left to be an understated presence in the lives of those who visit his shop which is what the film is really about, the late night visitors. There are three different stories that loosely tie together in the overall arch of the plot but in my opinion the film is held together and made enjoyable by an overall calmness that I admired quite a bit. It promotes positive choices and looking out for one another within a community, no matter how big or small. There is an underlying sense of joy and acceptance that left me feeling good after watching.
It made me feel naively hopeful that somehow or another we are all equally capable of looking out for each other and respecting each others beliefs, ideals, and personalities. A joyful life contains a delicate balance of self preservation and a mutual respect for others that work hand in hand. It’s easy to forget that we as individuals are not islands and the way we treat each other is paramount to building a sustainable future.
One way or another, this is where my thoughts took me after seeing Midnight Diner and I could easily recommend it to anyone looking for something easy going to watch. That is if you can manage to find a copy of it… Japanese films that aren’t anime or award winning sure are hard to come by in the US. I first saw it on a flight to California and later again after finding it through alternative means. Good luck with the search.
The wallpaper was shot will in Japan at the end of 2014 during a weeklong trip to Kyoto with YoungDoo. I have been hoarding images from that trip for a full year now and I’m starting to feel a bit guilty about it! Expect a nice Kyoto wallpaper pack int the future.