Blog and Book Reviews
March 1, 2014
I saw this movie little while ago. Gloria (Poulina Garcia) is a “woman of a certain age”-2 grown up children and has an office job, but still feels/wants to feel young. The story is based in the life in Santiago. Though lonely after the divorce, she makes the best of her situation and fills her night seeking love at social dance clubs for single adults. She is NOT shy at all. She goes!! Her life changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion (it looked to me as very Latino culture.. It may not happen in Japan so often) and love affair moves very quickly. She hopes and she is devastated. Going through this affair she discovers her strength. At the end she acts triumphantly. It is directed by Sebastian Lelio. It is a fun movie!
March 1, 2014
Los Angeles has been having a big rain. The city is not made for rain so anytime we have some rain it causes some troubles. Anyway I was practicing Debussy’s L’Isle joyouse in my piano studio at Occidental College yesterday. I love my studio there. The building is old (I discovered many century old music in my recent cleaning ups in studio!) and very cozy As I was practicing L’Isle joyouse, which is associated with composer’s flight with Emma Bardac to the isle of Jersey and portraits their new love affair, the rain outside was getting harder and harder. I was so inspired and so excited to play this piece. It was rare experience to have. The music and the sound of rain was going together to make a huge crescendo toward the climactic moment in the piece. So fun!!
February 10, 2014
It is just an amazing movie, one of the strongest movies I ever seen. This movies portraits every single side of human, ugliness, beauty, irrational mind, courageous, love, hate, sex, addiction, bias, humanity…. Of course Matthew McConaughey is doing, to me, more than any human can do as an actor, and a co-star, Jared Leto is doing exceptional work. This is the kind of movie that makes you feel good after leaving a theatre even though the ingredients are often very tough to watch and accept. If you have not seen Dallas Buyers Club you must see it.
February 1, 2014
LA Phil’s Green Umbrella Concert on Tuesday January 28 included a wonderful program of Boulez, Carter, and Van der AA. I mostly went to listen Van der AA’s Up-close, but I enjoyed all of the pieces. First of all the conductor, Grad Lubman, is amazing, technically and musically. His hands were very musical. They were really parts of music making. Boulez created a beautiful atmosphere and interesting conversation between the instruments. Carter was very interlectual and technical. And after the intermission Up-close, a cello concerto with string ensemble and video, was played. I loved this piece. The soloist, Johannes Moser, offered everything, even he acted and became a part of video story. Multi-media compositions are trendy, but this piece is so cohesive between music and video story and that effect makes Up-close so strong. Moser is the first male cellist to play this piece because the character in video is a female.
February 1, 2014
January 11, 2014
January 10, 2014
Last week I had few hours to spend before the flight to take so I chose to watch a movie! I usually avoid real (!) Hollywood movies, except Woody Allen and Ben Stiller, but I did not have much to choose in this circumstance. Actually I enjoyed this movie more than I expected :) Great acting and casting! This movie tells the story of a brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), along with his partner, a seductive and beautiful British (!) Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). There are many twists in the script, and we are constantly tricked! The story will include the FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers, Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) as a passionate New Jersey politician, and Irving’s wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), who could be the one to pull the thread to crash down the world. American Hustle depicts raw emotion and life.
January 9, 2014
I am a great fan of Ben Stiller! I can’t miss any Stiller movie! Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) often lives in a day-dream which makes him escape from his real life into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance, and action! We all do, right?? Stiller is an amazing artist creating a fantasy world with his typical cynical wit and humor. Also he is an extraordinary actor. I am always impressed by a great casting, and this movie is not an exception. When Walter’s job along with his co-workers was threatened by the new management, he took action to embark on a global journey searching an answer. It is a great movie. You should not miss it!
January 9, 2014
First of all this book is the size of an encyclopedia, and I won’t be able to finish for a long time. I have been reading since Christmas, but I still on page. 173… It is an entertaining book! Rubinstein was another piano giant from 20c, and often compared with Horowitz. They were so different! It is amazing to read, if it is all true (!), he had so many relationship with ladies! He was truly a lady man. He was lucky to live in a good time… Also it is very impressive and interesting to learn about his close relationship with composers who wrote pieces for Rubinstein. He loved fancy life, women, good food, night life, gambling, nice clothing.. His humor and wit is evident, and he is a happy man! I will continue his journey wherever he goes.
January 9, 2014
This book has been in my list to read for several years and finally I had a chance to read during this past Christmas break! He is HOROWITZ!! Of course all of us grew up listening Horowitz, and explored his special sound. I was curious to hear the voices from many first class pianists about Horowitz, and they satisfied me in many aspects of his life. Some studied with Horowitz, and have seen his private life closely. Some heard him only from his concerts, and got great impression. Most of them are positive, but some are negative toward him. There are so many anecdotes we enjoy in this book! My story with Horowitz is that I had a chance to play on his famous piano when it was circulating after he passed away. I still remember I was nervous and excited to touch and feel his special piano, and tried to hear his sound. He will live in his legacy forever.