Tsuyako is a sad film about a young woman in post-WWII Japan. She long ago fell in love with a school friend, but has gotten married and had children since they last saw each other. When the friend shows up to visit, Tsuyako's traditional life and family obligations clash with her personal feelings and desires:
The Maiden and the Princess is an extremely different film, set half in modern-day London and half in an ill-defined world consisting of rigidly controlled storytellers who produce the tales normal folks (e.g., folks in modern-day London) read/hear/etc. The heroine is a little girl named Emmy -- maybe 11 years old -- who kisses another girl on the playground one day, inspiring much angst and drama and wailing and mockery, including her own parents urging her to rewrite history by insisting that the kiss was obviously "an accident." The other main character is one of the fantasy-element storytellers (excellently played by David Anders, who is well known for his roles on "Alias" and "Heroes") who doesn't want to tell the same old tired stories that have always been told. He wants to tell Emmy's story, for example, differently, much to the fury of the "Grand High Council of Fairy Tale Rules and Standards" (run by a character played by Julian Sands, who I remember mostly from A Room with A View). So both Emmy and the storyteller are "bucking the system," and they're both getting pressure to conform, and it's a really neat way of turning fairy tales on their heads, as well as exploring how stories impact us and our ways of looking at the world, and how damaging it can be to make "acceptable" stories such a narrow category that children actually can't see themselves represented in them.
My favorite of the "boys" shorts was Shabbat Dinner, which didn't bowl me over like "Tsuyako" and "The Maiden and the Princess," but which I still liked a lot. Just your basic modern-day coming-of-age story with a couple Jewish teen boys getting to know each other Biblically while their parents sip wine and engage in pretentious conversation in the dining room. Quite funny, but also touching.
Then, on Sunday, Shannon and I took the bus up to Tilden Park and hung out for a few hours, hiking trails, admiring Jewel Lake, watching dogs playing, clambering over rocks, pointing out attractive trees, etc. We don't make it out there very often, so it was particularly enjoyable due to its rareness.
The weekend left me pretty wiped, though, and I've been spending a lot of my spare time sleeping since. I'm feeling mostly caught up tonight, so maybe I can finally get back to my To Do list tomorrow. At least I finally finished writing this journal entry! (Only took me 50 hours or so.)