Tale Of Two Cities

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This tape contains two episodes of a Japanese program entitled "A Tale of two Cities." The program showcases two short films on each episode, one made in New York, the other in Tokyo. The films featured on each episode seem to be linked by a common theme or story.

On episode one, the first film, the one from New York, is entitled The Lunch Date. It is about a snobbish, judgmental woman who, after a day of shopping, misses her train. While waiting for the next train she goes to a cafeteria where she orders lunch. The woman gets up from her table to fetch a fork, and upon returning, finds a ragged-looking man sitting at her table eating her lunch. After the man refuses to let her have her lunch, he agrees to share it with her. Afterward, they share a pleasant cup of coffee. When the woman leaves the table again, this time to catch her train, she forgets her shopping bags. When she returns for them, they are gone. Did the man steal them? No! She (and we) realizes that when she returned the first time, with the fork, she returned to the wrong table. And the man, whom she had judged as a no-good thief, had really shared HIS lunch with her. She finds her bags (right where she had originally placed them) and marches back to the train, continuing to ignore the homeless that beg for money. Has she reformed her ways? In English, no subtitles. In the second film in Episode one, from Tokyo, a prim, judgmental nun is seated at a restaurant. When a boorish man is seated across from her, all she can do is choke down her food in condemnatory silence. After lunch she realizes that she has forgotten her wallet; the man, without saying a word, pays for her lunch. Upon leaving, the nun finds that the man has left behind a beaded necklace (?), and searches to find him, so she can return it. When she does find him, before she can return the necklace, she trips, shattering the necklace, and spilling its beads into a nearby stream. Instead of being angry, the man kisses her cheek. Somewhat confusingly, she then washes her cheek. Has she reformed her ways? This story is in Japanese, with no subtitles.

In the second Episode, the first film, from New York, is entitled Truman. In this film, the title character is a runt-ish boy who is being picked on by his gym teacher for not wanting to participate in the intimidating, but required, rope climbing. After sentencing the entire class to run a mile because of Truman’s inability to climb, the teacher gives Truman a firm scolding. So enraged is Truman by the scolding, that he runs to the rope, and climbs all the way to the top without stopping. When Truman’s classmate find out what he has done, they rejoice; the teacher receives his “just deserts” when a nauseous Truman vomits on him…ahh…sweet revenge. In English with Japanese subtitles.

The second film in the second episode, from Tokyo, concerns a similar story about a mean boss picking on a milquetoast office worker. The office worker seems to release his frustration with his boss by obsessively cutting up pieces of paper with scissors. This story, however, is difficult to decipher because it relies much mo re heavily on dialogue to convey the story; and, like the second film from the first episode, it is in Japanese with no subtitles.

On both episodes, between the films, there seems to be a discussion between two Japanese women about the film that has just been shown. This is only speculation as the women are speaking Japanese, and there are no subtitles.

01:18 The New York film begins.

13:33 The Tokyo film begins.

23:57 Episode 1 ends.

23:58 Episode 3 begins.

25:01 The New York film begins.

37:38 The Tokyo film begins.



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