Work. Wasn't really feeling like going out to the Mercury, so I headed up to the U-District to see Drunken Angel, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Set in post-war Japan amongst a city not yet rebuilt and controlled by yakuza, the film follows the relationship between an alcoholic doctor (Sanada) and his tubercular gangster patient (Matsunaga). Matsunaga does not wish to admit to weakness, and persists in maintaining behavior that will kill him. The doctor is beset with his own demons, and a ward who was formerly the mistress of one of the most powerful yakuza (Okada), now in prison. All their lives take a turn for the worse when Okada is released and begins to assume his former place in the Yakuza heirarchy, displacing Matsunaga and threatening Sanada's ward.
This is the first Kurosawa movie I have actually seen, in spite of the fact that I own Ran on DVD. I'll explain that some other time. Although poorly subtitled, I loved everything else about the movie. Despite the equipment and I'm sure lack of a budget (the movie was made in 1948), Kurosawa turns out a beautifully filmed movie. He uses a slimy pond as a frequent interlude between scenes. He alternately makes it look beautiful, with the wind rippling it's surface, and disgusting, showing the sewage and sludge bubbling to the surface. The actors are mostly masterful. Matsunaga has a wonderful swagger of a young yakuza. Okada is reserved and powerful in his bearing. Sanada shows the erratic emotional outbursts of an alcoholic.
Now I just need to find a chance to watch Ran.
Afterward, Josh said he was going to the Mercury, and asked if I wanted a ride. I had planned on going home and crashing, but apparently I was not really that intent on following the plan, and I went to the Mercury.
Played a bunch of games pool. 7 or 8 in all. Didn't lose once. I see the shots I need to take, even when I am playing poorly. My poor playing does not result from taking the wrong shots. When playing poorly, it is my execution that falters. Didn't have a problem with that on Friday though. Beat Tom, and then I was told by Judy that I had to beat the next 6 people on the board, all of whom were pretty bad. If they ended up playing each other, we would never get to play again. When poor pool players play, the games take a lot longer. Good players will end a game in 5 to 10 innings usually. A bad player will extend it to 10 to 15 innings. And two bad players could take 30 to 45 innings. Luckily, the first 3 players had disappeared. The next 3 were 3 girls who were celebrating a birthday. They were pretty drunk (well, and pretty pretty too). Judy was afraid I would be distracted (as I can be distracted by pretty girls) and wanted to make sure I wouldn't succumb and lose. Not too likely, as I don't really get distracted by pretty girls I am playing. It's the beautiful women who walk by, or who come up and flirt with me (in assorted ways) that can distract me from pool. Mostly cause then I am then thinking that I don't want to be playing pool. Now, if you can ever get me to quit my game in the middle, you know you have me distracted. Anyway, I beat all of them and then a few of the better players. I got tired and stopped playing.
The most intersting item of the night though happened after pool. Laura was at the club. Laura who decided that I was on her shit list and black listed me and talked smack about me. I was talking with spirochete and sirensanssmile and Joy and including Laura a little, but I haven't made a point to push because that's just not my way. Anyway, everyone wandered off and Laura turned to me and asked "So what happened with us?" My response was "I don't know, I was hoping you would tell me." So she did. I don't want to get into it too much here, as it is stuff from her head and not mine (and this is about my head). Mostly an accumulation of little things, perceived slights, miscommunications, and a situation that has persisted in her life. Not really over one thing, but all of these combined and she felt like I had hurt and betrayed her. I don't agree with it all, but I accomplish nothing by making an issue of being right. I let her ass-ream me for a half hour or so. I think she felt better getting it out of her system and realizing that, although I may not behave properly at all times, I truly do think of her as a friend. I got her new phone number and I talked with her on Saturday. Things look to be getting closer to normal with her.
Nuff said for now. Initially, I was gonna cover the whole weekend with this, but i have decided it is getting long and so I am gonna be posting my weekend in pieces.