21 February 2015

Boyhood | 6才のボクが、大人になるまで。

Director/Writer: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

I missed this film when it was released last summer and always wanted to see it. Thanks to its Oscar nomination, it is showing at a lot of cinemas at the moment and I didn't miss the chance this time.

Boyhood is written and directed by Richard Linklater who's also written and directed the "Before" trilogy. In the trilogy, the films depict one day in the life of a man and a woman every nine years. In this film, we see a boy growing from six years old to eighteen years old and actual shooting was over twelve years. The boy and his family are getting older and their faces gradually change. It feels like the film is showing time itself. Seeing his life story in this context and witnessing him going from being confused by adults around him to finding his dream and getting up on his legs makes me feel like I'm his auntie or something.


ビフォア・シリーズでは2人の男女の1日を9年ごとに切り取っていますが、 この映画では、6歳の少年が18歳になるまで(まさに Boyhood!)を12年かけて撮影しています。

16 February 2015

Waiting for spring (nearly there) | 早春の森

My work finished a bit earlier than I expected yesterday, so I decided to go for a walk to the woods. It'd been a long time.


The sun was shining and the air felt milder...the winter is leaving soon.


Snowdrops were in full bloom.There were a lot of daffodil shoots. They grow much faster than the ones in our garden...they get more nutrients in the woods perhaps?

13 February 2015

Paris in winter 2015 (3) | 冬のパリへ 2015 ③

I met up with a friend of mine M who's having working holiday in Paris for lunch. We headed off to Pierre Sang in Oberkampf. As you can see in the photo above, there was no restaurant sign but just scribbled restaurant's name on the door (we nearly pass there). I'd heard this restaurant was very popular, so we went in the restaurant as soon as it opened at noon. It was a small place with an open plan kitchen and a counter and it was full by the time we had our starters. The lunch menu is fixed and 20 EUR for 2 courses and 25 EUR for 3 courses. They ask about your food allergies.

この日のランチはパリでワーホリ中の M 嬢と一緒にオベルカンフの Pierre Sang in Oberkampf へ。


Look at this starter...how beautiful! They don't explain about the dish; you can enjoy guessing what are on the plate. When you finish, they give you the answer. This starter was made up with scallops (warm but raw) with slightly milky flavour, butternut squash sauce, raw vegetables and pistachios. Scallops were so sweet and heavenly. I had them bit by bit so that I could enjoy them as long as possible. The main course was pan fried meat which was marinated with something tasting like miso with mushroom sauce, Japanese curry like sauce and Korean chilli miso like paste. The meat was pink in the middle and I was guessing it was veal but it was pork. The chef is Korean French and I thought this dish was most Koreany (I almost ask for a bowl of rice!)




メインには、味噌漬け焼きのようなお肉が茸のソース、日本のカレーのような味のソース、コチュジャンのようなペースト、と一緒にやって来ました。お肉は中心がほんのりピンク色に焼かれていて仔牛肉かと思いきや、 豚肉でした。シェフは韓国系フランス人だそうで、このお料理が一番韓国っぽかったです。ご飯ください、って感じ。

The dessert was also beautiful. Lychee sorbet, chestnut mousse, passion fruit espuma (perhaps), caramelized hazelnuts and financier...After richly flavoured main course, this light dessert was spot on. During our lunch there, we could see what was going on in the kitchen and the chef was training his apprentice, so we got some cooking tips. The chef was very cheerful and created a good vibe inside the restaurant. I'll definitely go back! 



At the opposite of the restaurant was a cute cheese shop. We went there after lunch and it was closed for lunch...pity!

Pierre Sang
55 rue Oberkampf 75011 Paris

I found a new cafe called Rachel's in the north Marais. According to My friend M, this place is famous for its cheesecakes. My husband and I popped in there one afternoon to try famous cheesecake. The decor reminded me of Orla Kiely. We went there around 14.00 and it was nearly full and buzzy.
北マレの滞在先近くに昨年はなかった Rachel's なるカフェを発見。
M 嬢より、ここのチーズケーキが美味しいという情報を得て、行ってみることに。
14 時前くらいに行ったのですが、ほぼ満席で賑わってました。

There were four kinds of cheesecake that day. I chose the key lime cheese cake in the pic above and my husband's choice was the raspberry cream cheesecake. I started eating from the pointy bit and puzzled why this was called key lime, then after passing the middle of the cake, there was key lime cream. It was not too sweet and very creamy. I was shocked by the size of the dishes the other customers had, so huge! The tea cup held by a gentleman next to me was as big as his head...hmmm, very American. I'd like to try their savoury dish perhaps sharing with other one or two people next time.



25, rue du Pont aux Choux, Paris, France
Tel +33 (0)1 44 61 69 68

There's no photo of this restaurant where my friend couple who were newly married took us, but this cosy bistro Les Canailles  was something. Their food was very pleasant bistro type of cuisine and their soufflé fluffed up fantastically. The staff were friendly and professional. I would go there every week if this was in my neighbourhood!

So this is the end of my travel journal (food journal more like) in Paris.

あと、写真はないのだけれど、新婚ホヤホヤの友人夫妻に連れて行ってもらったビストロ Les Canailles も美味しかったなぁ。ザ・ビストロ料理、って感じで。さらにデザートのスフレの膨らみっぷりは特筆すべきものがありました。




11 February 2015

Paris in winter 2015 (2) | 冬のパリへ 2015 ②

One of the greatest highlights of Paris is its food (no wonder!) We visited several lovely restaurants, mainly French this time.


Right next to Marché des Enfants Rouges in the north Marais, there is this little cosy restaurant Les Enfants Rouges. When we arrived at 20.00ish, there were some empty tables, but by the time we had our main courses the place was packed. The dishes by a Japanese chef are very French with a hint of Japanese ingredients. The three course meal was 40 EUR and our choices were...

{My husband}
Boudin noir terrine
Roast veal
Blue cheese cheesecake with salted caramel ice cream

Pie of risotto with celeriac and crab meat, lobster sauce
Croquette of pettitoes
Chocolate mousse cake with blackcurrant sauce and sheep milk ice cream

Everything was so delicious! Especially I loved the lobster sauce from my starter which was full of lobster flavour and the cheesecake. It was bonus for me to have a lot of vegetable with the main course.

I've heard there are quite a few Japanese chefs in French restaurants in Paris. They must be very good to be recognised. Also I admire the Parisian's fairness as it doesn't matter for them where the chef is from so long as his food is good.

北マレのアンファン・ルージュ市場のすぐ隣にある小さなレストラン Les Enfants Rouges。

ブルーチーズケーキ 塩キャラメルのアイスクリーム

根セロリとカニのリゾットのパイ包み オマール海老のソース
チョコレートムースのケーキ カシス・ソース 羊乳のアイスクリーム

特に前菜の「根セロリとカニのリゾットのパイ包み オマール海老のソース」の海老の風味がギュッとつまったソースとデザートのブルーチーズケーキが絶品。


Les Enfants Rouges
9 rue de Beauce 75003 Paris
Tel +33 (0)1 48 87 80 61

We had a lunch at our "a must go" bistro Chez Janou. Booking is essential for dinner but it was OK just popping in for lunch that day. Their set menu for lunch doesn't offer a lot of choices but very reasonably priced; 15 EUR for 2 course and 22 EUR for 3 courses.

ある日のランチに向かったのは、わたし達の定番ビストロ Chez Janou。

The starter from the set menu was salad with duck gizzards. I'd never had duck gizzards before and its texture was very meaty and completely different from chicken gizzards. It had rich duck flavour and encouraged me to have more red wine. The main course was lamb steak with Parmigiana. Although it was tasty, it was quite well done as I asked medium rare. I should say pink next time.


メインは「ラム モモ肉のステーキ 茄子グラタン」

And my husband's favourite dessert chocolate mousse. A huge bowl of mousse was left on our table and we were allowed to help ourselves as much as we wanted! This mousse must be famous as I saw many other customers ordered it too. The food here had tasted a little bit too salty to me until our last visit but this time it was spot on. Every dish felt even tastier.



Chez Janou
2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris, France
Tel +33 1 42 72 28 41

To be continued...


7 February 2015

Paris in winter 2015 (1) | 冬のパリへ 2015 ①

A trip to Paris in the middle of winter is becoming an annual event for my husband and I. We stayed in Paris for five days and visited a couple of new museums.



Fondation Louis Vitton just opened in October 2014. This striking building was designed by Frank Gehry who also designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

昨年10月にオープンしたばかりのフォンダシオン ルイ・ヴィトン。

Luckily,  the Olafur Eliasson exhibition was on.


This exhibition ends on the 23rd Feb. The art work with mirrors and light outside the building created beautiful contrast with evening sky, so if you have the chance to see this, I recommend you to go there in the evening.

このオラファー・エリアソン コンタクト展は今月23日まで。

In the cafe on the ground floor, there were some fish swimming.

Musée du quai Branly opened in 2006. The "living wall" in the photo above was designed by Patrick Blanc and the colourful building in the photo below was designed by Jean Nouvel.


We saw Mayan exhibition which is closing soon. I love primitive art and it was like heaven. Especially I loved...



...this one! A man in a flower. He looks a bit like KITANO Takeshi. 

We went back to this museum to see the tattoo exhibition which showed a history of tattoos from all over the world. Very interesting. And the tickets for this exhibition were also for permanent collection which is composed of primitive arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and North and South America. The layout was like a maze (I actually got lost). There were so many objects to see that I couldn't see everything. I should go back! 

すごい量で見切れなかった~。 また行かねば。

I wish I could have them at home...

We saw a lovely sunset over Place de la Concorde outside Jeu de Paume where we saw Garry Winogrand exhibition. I like his viewpoint which is somewhere in between Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martin Parr.


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1 February 2015

Japanese Cinema and Encounters | 日本映画 3 本

Japanese cinema touring organized by Japan Foundation is something I look forward to every year. This year, I saw 3 films at ICA, London.

毎年楽しみにしている Japan Foundation 主催の日本映画上映イベント

Wood Job! | ウッジョブ!~神去なあなあ日常
Director/Writer: YAGUCHI Shinobu
Stars: SOMETANO Shota, NAGASAWA Masami, ITO Hideaki, Yuka

The first film was a forestry comedy based on a book by MIURA Shion. It was a laugh out loud film and I laughed my head off. Especially the lines were so funny!

After failing exams to enter university, Yuki happens to take a forestry course in a remote countryside where you can not get mobile signal. The life there was completely different from the one he had in a big city. Soon he gets tired of it and tries to run away... This film could've been a super sentimental drama but the director Yaguchi made it a very charming one. There was a very traditional festival scene at the end of the film in which the director made up a whole festival and I loved it.





My Little Sweet Pea | 麦子さんと
Director: YOSHIDA Keisuke
Writer: YOSHIDA Keisuke, NISHIHARA Ryou
Stars: HORIKITA Maki, MATSUDA Ryuhei, YO Kimiko, NUKUMIZU Yoichi, ASO Yumi

Mugiko is an "anime otaku" girl who works at an animation shop and lives with her brother. One day, their mum who left home years ago turns up out of the blue, and dies after a few days. Mugiko goes to her mum's hometown to bury her ashes where she learns her mum's past; she wanted to be a singer and she was an idol in the town. Mugiko didn't have any feeling towards her mum (or she had to ignore her feeling towards her). But people who know her mum when she was young,  gradually changes her attitude.

HORIKITA Maki performed Mugiko very well with her controlled acting.



Nobody to Watch Over Me | 誰も守ってくれない
Director: KIMIZUKA Ryoichi
Writer:  KIMIZUKA Ryoichi, SUZUKI Satoshi
Stars: SATO Koichi, SHIDA Mirai, MATSUDA Ryuhei, ISHIDA Yuriko, YANAGIBA Toshiro, SASAKI Kuranosuke

A fifteen year old girl Saori became a murder suspect's sister when her brother got arrested. A ditective Katsuura was ordered to protect the suspect's family from overwhelming media coverage and tries to take Saori to somewhere safe. But wherever they go, the media won't leave them alone and the information leaks on the internet. Katsuura decides to leave Tokyo and heads west... Saori becomes a murder suspect's sister all of a sudden. She gets confused and has difficulties catching up what's going on around her. SHIDA Mirai who played Saori left me a strong impression. Her big eyes showed all sorts of emotions without saying a word.

This film is based on Japanese reality where if your family member commits a crime, you as a family member will be punished socially. I felt the film was focused on character's emotions too much and was a bit too sentimental. If it had been more subtle then the film would have inspired me more.




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