Diary of a Separation

A Japanese film festival, musings on Depardieu and poetry in cinema

Mario López-Goicoechea


Stuck in a rut, with the world still turning around you. Photo by the author

Saturday 2nd February 2019

I went to see The Scythian Lamb today with Ao. It was part of the Japanese Film Festival at the ICA. Interesting premise. If people were ignorant of your past, how would they treat you? What if they knew what you’d got up to in a previous chapter of your life, however? Six strangers arrive in a port town, in northern Japan and blend in the local community straight away. But, things take a turn for the worse, when the official in charge of them becomes suspicious and elements of their back stories emerge.

After the movie, Ao and I went to the Indian Veggie Buffet in Islington, one of my favourite restaurants in London. Was it Depardieu who said something once about women, food and wine? I forget now.

I’m teetotal, though.

Thursday 7th February 2019

In the film Pumpkin and Mayonnaise, young Tsuchida slaves away at a seedy, host club in order to support her unemployed, musician boyfriend. A chance encounter with a previous partner makes her reconsider life and its priorities. It was a good movie, but a bit too simple. By contrast My Friend “A” threw up a few questions about ethics and journalism. A reporter winds up in a small factory as punishment for writing a piece that causes unintentional damage. There he strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young man. Is this, however, the same guy who was behind a spate of murders years before? And if so, what should the journalist do?

The main character reminded me of my own A. I miss being with my children. I miss both the highs and lows.

Sunday 10th February 2019

My first 19-mile-run this year in preparation for the Brighton Marathon. I was knackered and if truth be told not up for too much but Ao insisted on coming around. It was a pleasant night, though, full of aches and niggles, and… Depardieu again.

Wednesday 20th February 2019

Perhaps the most beautiful and poetic scene in Mektoub, My Love, is the one in which Amin witnesses the birth of the two lambs.