Monday, December 18, 2006
Even it's cold, it doesn't damp my determination to stay in line at the Embarcadero Theatre tonight for the pre-screening of Clint Eastwood's second World War II saga this year "Letters from Iwo Jima." (It will open on Dec. 20, 2006).
Almost entirely played by Japanese actors (with English subtitle), from the Japanese soldier's perspective, "Letters from Iwo Jima" tells a story of the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II when the Japanese soldiers tried to defense the island from American's invasion in 1944.
Clint Eastwood is a great artist and it's simply an exhilarative experience watching his work. The use of the color in this film gives the images an archived feel. With the terrific performance, this is a piece of masterful filmmaking work and story telling.
In "Letters from Iwo Jima," we get to know some of the Japanese soldiers not only just as the enemy, we also get to know them as human beings. We get to know their love for their families, we also know that they are loyal to the emperor and proud to perform their duty to the country. It's fascinating to see how Clint Eastwood humanizes these characters through the brutality of war.
When I was watching it, I can't help but to think of these American soldiers in Iraq at this moment. It doesn't matter which side you are in a war battle, one thing is sure that you are in hell.
The Japanese general is played by Ken Watanabe (渡辺 謙) and the adorable Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮和也). I think Zhang Yimou should take notes to learn how Clint Eastwood successfully casting a big star and a famous singer. Lets remake "Curse of the Golden Flower" with these two.
My rating: 8 out of 10.