April 23, 2009
The credit crunch is biting down hard and as I fill out yet another job application to send out into the ether, I’m feeling decidedly stuck in a proverbial rut. It’s easy to become complacent, disgruntled, imagining days gone by and those stretching out as relentlessly similar, a blur of my own tedious thoughts and prosaic goings on. Yet it’s Spring, and as clichéd as it all sounds, it remains the ultimate symbol of new life after all those months of winter darkness. It gets harder to be complacent and to hibernate because Spring is a reminder that life will keep moving on-and it won’t stop to check if you’re keeping up.
So is the case in Doris Dörrie’s Cherry Blossoms, or Kirschblüten – Hanami in German and Japanese respectively. As is explained in the film, Spring cherry blossoms are to the Japanese the most beautiful symbol of impermanence. For one or two months only they flower in resplendent abundance then fall like flurries of delicate pink snow, attracting hoards of admirers who gather underneath to share picnics and general merriment, or to take photographs, paint or write poetry, inspired by this natural muse. Dörrie uses principally this notion of impermanence along with the basic plot blueprint of Ozu’s Tokyo Story to conduct the narrative of her film finding Trudi and Rudi (yes really), a married couple deciding to visit their grown-up children following the discovery that Rudi’s health is seriously deteriorating. Read the rest of this entry »