Just got out of the movie theater and still digesting what I watched. I heard a lot about it from my students especially the band’s first tour in Japan. As I prefer live performances like Broadway, concerts, stage plays, and even street tricks, I rarely go to cinemas. I think my adult students’ discussions of the latest movies they watched drove me to check a few of them for myself. Gotta dig how they interpret the movie and reflect its relevance to our lives — worth the talk and beyond the educational, intellectual aspect. 

Growing up, it’s a no-no to go to “dark places” like movie theaters. It’s like a big sin so I dare not question it.  I can still remember the first movie I watched with my best friend in high school. The story was interesting but the place is indeed not good to visit especially if there are rats or mice. 

In Japan, cinemas are clean but they’re a really expensive pastime. No wonder many movie outfits like Japan to show their productions — real big income here. One of my students is a movie director and work for a big production company connected to the Tokyo International Film Festival. We always talk about foreign filmmakers that would like to penetrate the Japanese market and they contact my student.

The Queen’s movie has been showing in Japan for nearly 3 months now. With tonight’s late showing, there were still a lot of moviegoers. Interestingly, I was asked my age when I bought my ticket. Happy to be given a discount even I’m not a senior citizen yet. Maybe the staff felt sorry for the big bags that I carried with me into the theater that he gave me the lowest price. It was not really in my plan to watch today but since 2 of my students canceled their lessons, I had plenty of time to do marketing for our students’ packs. I did a lot of errands in the afternoon and finished them at past 8 PM. By chance, I passed by a cinema and Bohemian Rhapsody will be shown 30 minutes later. I had a quick shopping for my evening meal at a convenience store. I wasn’t really sure if it’s okay to eat inside Japan’s cinema but, I thought, in case somebody’s eating, I’ll do it, too. 

Commercials were playing when I entered the cinema and it’s too dark for me to check my assigned seat. The first person I asked stood up, got my ticket and accompanied me to my seat — wonderful Japanese manner even in asking street directions here! I passed by a lady eating so I started munching “onigiri” (rice ball) then chips & chocolate-coated macadamia and drank cafe latte. 

The movie lasted for more than 2 hours and compared to my experiences in my home country, the moviegoers here remain seated until the lights were turned on. Back home, we rush out when movie credits are still showing to avoid long lines in the exits. I was like watching 2 things tonight: the movie and the locals’ manners. 

Quite a nostalgia watching the movie as the band became famous when I was in high school. I heard my classmates singing the songs but never sang them nor studied the lyrics as it’s another taboo growing up to sing “secular music,” specifically rock songs. In college, I was exposed to “backmasking” and one of the songs my group intentionally listened to was Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” All the more then I concentrated in singing hymns and only in my 20s that I started singing contemporary religious music.

Reading the comments of my friends who watched the movie, I agree with the lessons they learned: family ties, success in endeavors, loyalty to friends, etc. They didn’t mention about Freddie Mercury dying of Aids; maybe out of respect to him. I was reminded of my former student who’s a scientist researching for Aids medication. He joined a research team overseas and I hope they can find the solution soon.

Having watched the movie trailer and news reports about it and the remaining band members’ recent visit to Japan, I believe this movie is up for awards.

I sent a message to my student-movie director when I read the news that Bohemian Rhapsody won 2 awards (Best Performance by An Actor & Best Motion Picture – Drama) and received 16 major nominations. The life, theatrical performances & lifestyle of the main character and how it was portrayed by Rami Malek is indeed a good topic for discussion and soul-searching. Indeed, life is a gift by our Creator God and what we do with it is our gift/worship to Him.

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