Thursday, April 12, 2018

Isle of Dogs

In January, I took the Lord of Chaos to see the Pixar film Coco at the cinema. It held him transfixed, but I'd already given my heart to a trailer before it started. As always, there had been the cloyingly awful previews of films aimed at children and their poor parents - and then an astonished gasp from those sitting round me in the darkness. And from me as well.

'What the bloody hell was that'? people asked. 'Can we go see that?' I pleaded to my son.

Finally, this morning, we got to see Isle of Dogs, and I sat in stupefied wonder. It looks and sounds and feels amazing - a tale of a small and wounded boy doggedly searching for his lost dog, in a desolate and often cruel landscape. It had just the right mix of tension and jokes to keep his Lordship entertained, too - he enthused to his mum about it later.

I was getting a strong Kurosawa vibe already when the brilliant soundtrack (mostly by Alexandre Desplat) then included Hayasaka's "Kanbei & Katsushiro - Kikuchiyo's Mambo" from The Seven Samurai.

It could do with better, more prominent roles for female characters, and I'd have cut at least one of the couples pairing up at the end - it's all a bit male and straight and, looking at the cast, white. But it's an astounding film, even more so to see it on the big screen with that sound. It's been a long time since I've left a cinema so elated.

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