Ozu 小津

sochun The everyday office worker, the one of a million salary man: bored, disenchanted, he craves the freedom of his bar-owner friend, but the latter describes himself as simply another salary man paid by the general public. He envies people above him in the corporate ladder, but they tell him the only thing you get more of is disheartening backstabbing and political wars. His blue-collared friend wishes to be him because he was better at school and now has a job in a big corporation. But seeing the former’s joy in work juxtaposed with his own disillusions, he wonders exactly who is better off. Then there is his young office buddy lying in death bed, whose love for the boring corporate life has always amazed people around him. Immobilized for months, he is more passionate than ever to hear every trivial incidence at the office, eager but never again able to get back into that world from which so many others are trying to escape. It’s clear that everyone is dissatisfied with life — what one wants is never what one has at the moment. As the friends sat around a table passing time, they sipped sake and said, life is not very interesting these days, all we can do is try to have some fun.

Devoid of melodrama and sentimentalities, Ozu’s world is so calm, even funerals were depicted matter-of-factly. Yet he not only effortlessly depicted the life of Tokyo white-collar workers in the mid last century, but also made the perpetual struggles of the human condition constant to any generation felt poignantly through his artful way of story telling.



Rare Device
Apartment Therapy featured Rare Device today, and oh my, what a fantastic selection of unique, stylish home accessaries they have! The wallpaper prints remind me of Urban Outfitters, but they are by no mean restricted to the funky culture of the latter. Some of their pieces are cheerful and dreamy, such as the Jill Bliss Poster (left image), reminiscent of a boldly colorful fashion show I recently saw on Full Frontal Fashion — I’m dying to recall who the designer was: Indian-looking name with a “sh” somewhere, but the guy didn’t look Indian at all. His Spring 2007 collection is pure, visual marajuana. Others are cute and innovative like the Lumen Oil Lamp (right) which “when lit, throws a shadow onto the wall that flickers according to the air currents in the room.”

Only down side is that the store is in Brooklyn!…a distant and alien part of New York to me. Still, the temptation is just too great. I must check it out in the near future. One can really waste endless cycles of lives dwelling and indulging in the pleasure of such pretty little things…well, if only there is such thing as life cycles.

Update (September 10th, 2007): so I finally got to see this store in person, and it’s tiny! The storefront is tiny, the space is tiny, the selection is tiny, and even the Re-Surface lamp that I found irresistible on their website is tiny in reality! I’ll stick with the online store. One less reason to go to Brooklyn.