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October 2007

October 18
    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.
Copyright (C) 2007 Tsutomu Seki.