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letters from iwo jima…

December 28, 2006

when i learned that clint eastwood was making a japanese version of “flags of our fathers”, i was very skeptical… although it was a very good movie but since i knew that clint eastwood was able to make such a soppy cliché-ridden movie like “mystic river”… can i just tell you that i absolutely HATE that movie with passion…
however while watching “letters from iwo jima” last night at landmark sunshine cinema, one of the best theaters in new york, i was so sucked into the movie and the characters and their emotions, i almost forgot that i was actually watching a movie… it felt so real and intimate… all the characters, i mean every single characters was so real and felt sincere, it didn’t look like they were acting by any means but just being themselves… then even though the movie was written by japanese-american iris yamashita (her first screen play!) in english, then translated into japanese, the dialogue seemed so authentic and true to the culture… not to claim to know so much about japanese culture but as korean, there are definitely many similarities… also even though paul haggis who wrote “crash”, another movie i couldn’t stand, co-wrote the story, the movie didn’t have so many clichés… it really showed japanese soldiers in a dignified and respectful but not glamorized way… without resorting back to the stereotype of what japanese people, especially male, are supposed to be like… you know, “oh, they don’t show any emotions” or “they were all ready to kill themselves for the country”… and also showed how horrifying the wars are… when you see the bombs dropping from the sky in the movie among many other things, just remember that’s what many people still have to deal with everyday…
what i appreciated the most about this movie is that it really showed that we all are the same when you strip down the color, nationality and ideology… we all have the same feelings, needs and will to live… nobody chose to be born into a certain country… it’s only after we are born, we get conditioned and brain washed and forced to fit into the society to function as a part of bigger machine… and how did they do it…? using fear and stereo types and hatred… and unfortunately back in the time, it was probably ever harder to get away from that mentality and think for oneself… it’s so difficult even now when we have so many resources…
a must see for everyone… and please do watch it on a big screen… even the music didn’t bother me that much this time…


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  1. So am I right in thinking that ‘flags..’ is to illustrate the American perspective and ‘letters from iwo jima’ to depict the Japanese perspective? Or have I totally missed the point? Just been so busy with work that havn’t been able to keep up…

  2. Gotta see this… been eyeing it.Oh hey, nice to see you today by the way, always good to see you and hear you play!

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