buh . . . but . . . WHY?

Just put in a DVD of a Japanese film (Ichi).

The music playing on the menu screen is a Japanese-language rendition* of “The Wind that Shakes the Barley.”

Just . . . what? The hell?

Aaaaand now it’s playing over the credits. I am very curious to see if the plot of the film somehow mirrors or makes use of the events in that song. (Minus, one presumes, the specific Irish context.)

Jesus! It doesn’t just sound like Lisa Gerrard, it is her voice!

Okay, I’ll stop live-blogging the movie’s musical choices now.

*I’m presuming that’s what they’re singing. Can’t understand the lyrics enough to be sure. The melody, however, is unmistakable.

0 Responses to “buh . . . but . . . WHY?”

  1. beccastareyes

    The anime Romeo x Juliet chose a Japanese-language rendition of “You Raise Me Up”, which kind of surprised me when I first heard it.

  2. Marie Brennan

    Nope. A semi-sequel to the Zatoichi stories, where a blind young woman who sings goze wanders around whacking yakuza with her walking stick/sword.

    • moonandserpent

      You have no idea how happy I am that you know the Zatoichi movies.

      And yeah, that threw me when I heard it, too.

      • Marie Brennan

        Haven’t watched them, but I know about them, yes.

        • moonandserpent

          We should TOTALLY watch at least the recent Takaehi Kitano one. Like, when/if we hang out. At your place.

          • Marie Brennan

            I’d suggest we should watch it IC, but I’m still trying to figure out how hostile I should be toward you. 🙂

          • moonandserpent


            That would be some epic irony right there.

            Other than her House and Dharma I know nothing about your character. Though between those two bits of info, my PC might be the Worst Thing in The World – or an interesting experiment.

          • Marie Brennan

            I’m going to try to balance it so I don’t violate genre by being all friendly-like, but also don’t make it annoying for you to play your PC in ACE.

            We’ll see how it goes.

          • moonandserpent

            If it helps, while he IS the worst thing in the world, he’s pretty good about it. In that the Devil Tigers make fun of him for being too like a Crane and he knows his place in the world. And he is pretty much by definition, the Enemy of your Enemy. 😛

    • marydell

      This blind-young-woman-fighting movie called Ichi (but not Ichi the killer? confusing) says it has Original Music by Lisa Gerrard, so if that’s the same film maybe she picked the song?

      I suppose it could be a generic “I’m going off to do battle” song, uh, if you leave out the whole girlfriend-getting-shot-amongst-the-barley part.

      • Marie Brennan

        I’d be surprised if it originated with her instead of the director — but maybe he heard her rendition of the song in English, and liked the sound.

  3. aliettedb

    Have you watched Utena? It has all those renditions of classical musics and songs (like “Donna Donna”), but they’re all off by a few tones. It’s very, very distracting if you happen to be a musician (my husband watched just a few eps, and then stopped because he was terminally traumatised).

    I strongly suspect it’s because the music appears as exotic to the Japanese as Japanese music appears to us…

    • Marie Brennan

      I’m sure there’s some of that, yes. I just wonder about the choice of that particular song, since (unlike the music borrowed in Utena) it comes with totally irrelevant lyrics.

  4. tchernabyelo

    IIRC, Lisa Gerrard sang it on a Dead Can Dance album, “Into The Labyrinth” (not one I own – I have “Spleen and Ideal” and “In The Realm Of A Dying Sun”).

    It appears (according to the Lisa Gerrard message board) that she aand Michael Edwards did the music for “Ichi” but IMDB douesn’t have a soundtrack listing so details are hard to find.

    I’ll have to watch this, now. While the blind martial artist motif is overused (saw a really bizarre one recently – The White Dragon), I should be able to switch the old brain off for long enough.

    • kurayami_hime

      Amazon.co.jp lists Lisa Gerrard as an artist on the soundtrack, but doesn’t provide much more information.

      Having not seen the movie or heard the soundtrack, I’m just going to guess that the song listed as “main theme” is the cross-cultural song in question. It’s not called “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” here; it’s “Journey to tomorrow” (明日への旅路).

    • Marie Brennan

      It was fairly good, though certain aspects of the ending disappointed me.

  5. eclectician

    Zatoichi movie…s. You have no idea how happy this makes me. Were the others sequels? Loosely connected? Same cast/aesthetic?

    • Marie Brennan

      “A total of 26 films were made from 1962 to 1989. From 1972 to 1974, a television series of the same name was made. One hundred and twelve episodes were aired before the “Zatoichi” television series was cancelled.”

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