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Speaking of movies..

Last week, me and Laura went to the movies to see Avengers in 3D. Usually, I don’t enjoy 3D movies because of the heavy 3D glasses that give me headache and leave red marks on my nose. However, I recently discovered really cute 3D glasses on the Internet that are not only fashionable but also light and can be worn as normal glasses. They don’t seem to be having that annoying film on the lenses that the normal 3D glasses have so you can’t really tell they are 3D but they totally work.

To see if there was any difference, Laura wore the usual 3D glasses provided by the theater and I wore mine and then we exchanged them several times during the movie. The result was the same!! Amazing! I quickly spread the word among my friends in Japan and Russia but was surprised to learn that fashionable 3D glasses were not a novelty at all in Saint Petersburg. My Russian friends were using their own original 3D glasses for some time now.. In Japan, there is no such thing which is sad because not only Japanese 3D glasses look hideous, the movie theater charges you for renting them.. I hope they will change their policy soon and offer cheaper tickets for those who bring their own glasses..

Anyway, the 3D glasses that I got on the internet are INGRI:DAHL and they come in several styles and colors. There are even clip-ons that you can use on your prescription glasses to turn them into 3D. At first, I was thinking of getting one of those because I do wear prescription glasses when watching movies with subtitles but then, those brainy movies that my husband makes me watch are never in 3D so I went for the frame ones that are super cute. ^-^ The INGRI:DAHL online shop offers international delivery and it only took 1 week to get them which is not bad at all.

The movie itself was OK. It wasn’t anything special but it was exactly what I needed after a long and stressful day at work – predictable plot with really hot actors and lots and lots of effects and pyrotechnics. That Thor guy is really yummy. I don’t like him on stills but in action he is amazing!!

Speaking of movies.. ^-^ Every year, Ridley Scott is challenging the public with a different project. Last year, it was a short movie competition that Laura participated in. You can watch her entry here. Even though her work wasn’t chosen, I think it is brilliant and much more original than those that won something. This year, Ridley Scott was looking for private videos from Japan that were taken on March 11th, 2012 – exactly one year since the Big Tohoku earthquake and Laura had plenty of those. In fact, he used tons of her footage of the disaster area in his new documentary “Japan in a day”. She went on a volunteer trip to Fukushima that day carrying food and other necessities to the refuge camps and shot a lot of unique scenes that were used in the movie. The documentary also used some of the scenes with Laura herself, even for the trailer that you can watch here. You can see it in Japan, in theaters from November 3rd and worldwide sometime later this year.

My other friend Dima who used to co-host NHK’s “Russian on TV” with me a couple of years ago has since moved to Hollywood to study cinematography. He is currently working on a project called “Sector”. The story is similar to “28 weeks later” but the project focuses on human emotions and interactions rather than bunch of messy bloody scenes and 3D effects. I am not a huge fan of such movies but I know him and I know that no matter what he decides to make, it will be brilliant.

At the moment, it is an indies project and they need a lot of support. If any of you guys are interested in donating to his project, you can do it here.

Fireworks in Odaiba

Last night, a friend of mine invited me over to Odaiba to watch Tokyo bay fireworks from the roof of her apartment building. Fireworks are held every week in mid-summer as part of long lasting tradition along with joining Matsuri (local festival) and wearing yukata (summer kimono). There are several major areas in Tokyo that produce beautiful fireworks shows but Tokyo bay is the most famous one because it is held against the breathtaking backdrop of Tokyo skyline with Rainbow bridge and Tokyo tower.

In Japan, every time you gather to view something, whether it is cherry blossoms, full moon, red leaves or fireworks, you throw a big party with food and drinks and then quickly forget the main reason for gathering after your second chu-hai (Japanese fruity alcohol drink). ^-^ Me and the girls decided to postpone the drinks till after the fireworks and focus on getting beautiful for the occasion.

I wanted to rent yukata in Shibuya’s famous “Aki” shop but apparently so did many others so the dresser was completely out of any by the time I called them. Fortunately, Hitomi found yukata for each of us and I got the prettiest one with yellow obi. ^-^ Gow took lessons in “kitsuke” – kimono dressing and has a license to perform it on other people (yeah, it is not that easy to dress someone in kimono, a lot of skill is required). She quickly wrapped all of us in yukata and arranged our “obi” – sashes in pretty bows.

Last year, the biggest fireworks event in Tokyo was canceled due to Fukushima crisis in efforts to save energy. This year, they went ballistic with 90 minutes non-stop procession of one blast after another. It was absolutely amazing. Each time the volley exploded in the air, the whole city turned either purple red or ghostly green. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the best moments with my camera, but here are some.

We were watching fireworks from the 33rd floor of tower building. It was guarded with fences and there were people in front of us who got their spots in the morning so I couldn’t get close enough to exclude the fence from my pictures but it didn’t bother us to watch fireworks. Some volleys went so high in the sky, they were half covered by the clouds. ^-^ The effect was amazing, like an alien ship appearing suddenly out of nowhere.

Our friend Lille got engaged last week so we were celebrating her engagement as well. The proposal was so romantic, there were a lot of Awwwwwws in the air. ^-^

It took place at Marina Bay hotel’s poolside in Singapore, that’s why our bubbly was blue. ^-^ Congratulations Lille for getting engaged to a really cool guy at the most trendiest spot in South-East Asia. ^-^