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Mr. Kenji Muraoka, who is an expert on orbit calculations,
loves movies. I used to be a movie buff myself. I often went to see the
movies made around 1950. It was a decade preceding my comet discoveries
in the 1960s.
An especially memorable movie is the English film titled
"The Third Man" made around 1949. Unforgettable was the superiority
of the black-and-white film with war-devastated Vienna providing the backdrop.
I also dearly remember zither music superbly played by Anton Karas.
Among Japanese films I particularly liked "Jigoku no
kao" (the face of hell) made in 1947, which I saw in my junior high
school days. I have recently had another chance to see on video "Norainu"
(a stray dog) and " Yoidore tenshi" (a drunken angel) directed
by Akira Kurosawa. Around 1942 there was a horror film titled "Anatawa
nerawarete iru" (You are marked) directed by Hiroyuki Yamamoto. It
was set in the days of the Pacific War and I haven't seen many other movies
which contain as much thrill and suspense as this film does. I was an elementary
school student when I saw this film and so frightened by scary scenes I
hid myself under the seat. The movie begins with an intriguing scene where
late at night a man carrying a large suitcase gets off a train at a station
in a remote town and starts walking along the tracks. Who is this man?
Where is he going? You will continue to experience anticipation and suspense
from the start.
I could not get any details of this film on the Internet,
not much more than the title and cast. I would be excited if it was available
on video or DVD. During the war our family was operating a factory involved
in production of military equipment and spies were around us active behind
the scenes. (A man with a large suitcase was around us, too.) It was just
straight out of a horror movie or novel. I am going to write about this
in "The Story of a Comet Hunter's Life" later.
I am wondering if any reader knows the title of one particular
movie. It was probably made in the U.S. around 1950. It is a black-and-white
film set in the North Sea depicting a conflict between whaling ships and
friendship between men. I still remember the final scene where a man steers
the ship into an iceberg and blows himself up. My memory is not reliable,
but many older readers may have seen this film and remember it.
Mr. A, one of my guitar students, is a movie buff, too, and
has encyclopedic knowledge of movies. He is thoroughly familiar not only
with Japanese movies but also foreign movies. We spend a lot of time talking
about movies during the guitar lessons. He is about 10 years younger than
I and doesn't know about this movie. Incidentally, Mr. A must be a well-known
person in Kochi, as he discussed movies in a radio program with Mr. Akira
Kurosawa, a renowned Japanese director.