On New Years Day my remote control T. Rex attacked the cake with a fork, while my friends took photos and videos with their phones.
Later that evening I watched the end of The Bad Sleep Well from my Box O' Kurosawa. The movie was made when I was three, and stars Toshiro Mufune as a buttoned down corporate Hamlet in horn rimmed glasses.
I can still remember a time when the only place you could see movies was projected on a screen or on broadcast television. If you were lucky you could see occasionally see a Kurosawa movie after the theatrical run on PBS or as part of a college film program or at one of the few commercial art theaters that showed that kind of thing.
Now we're living in the future, and you can own 25 Kurosawa movies in a package somewhat smaller than a shoebox. Since Christmas I've been chewing through Kurosawa movies I've never seen before: Sanshiro Sugata, Drunken Angel, Stray Dog and The Bad Sleep Well. I also rewatched The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tale, a wonderfully economical low budget wartime production that I saw once before years ago.
Even in his very earliest works Kurosawa could be a superb humanist storyteller in film when his heart was in the story, and Shimura begins his long string of strong performances in Kurosawa movies in Kurosawa's first film. How rich we are to live in a culture where so much is so available to us.
Still no flying cars or anthropomorphic robot maids, but I actually like this future better.
Earlier, Darth Vader opened the New York Stock Exchange. Not the man I would have picked.