Thumbs Up

"No Country For Old Men" just opened here in Japan last Saturday. The title is shortened here to just "No Country." I went to see it on Wednesday night with Rie. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the Coen's "Fargo," which I can watch over and over.

On March 11, Javier Bardem came to Japan to promote the film. For some inexplicable reason, the actor was paired up on stage with Edo Harumi, a 40-something-old (?) comedian who recently won a TV comedy contest and has been showing up everywhere on variety shows. Her schtick is always the same. She wears a black suit-dress, then proceeds to rip it off to reveal some kind of red leotard underneath, then the song "My Sharona" starts to play, and she dances to the beat while reciting phrases that all end with the sound "gu." The "gu" sound means "good," and every time she says it, she gives a double thumbs-up to the cameras. I don't really see what's funny about it except for the fact that it's so bad it's funny. . . sort of.

I saw a bit of the press conference on morning TV news, and Bardem seemed somewhat amused, if a bit confused, by Harumi's presence. Yet he still went along with it and posed with her, both holding up their thumbs. Unfortunately, Rie couldn't get this image out of her mind, and it kind of ruined the movie experience for her. For some reason, I had forgotten about it, but I did think the first shot of Bardem looked a lot like Bananaman Himura. He's got the same bowl haircut!