Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
DOC NYC ’16: 95 and 6 to Go
Takesue’s late grandfather had great taste in music. Thanks to his influence,
the soundtrack of her documentary includes renditions of “Autumn Leaves” by
Stan Getz, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire, and “Aren’t You Glad You’re
You” by Chet Baker. His influence extended beyond music, as viewers will see in
95 and 6 to Go (trailer here), her highly personal portrait of Tom Takesue, which
screens during DOC NYC 2016.
her grandmother’s death, Takesue returned to Honolulu to care for her
grandfather, but she found he was already ready to move on. As the first-generation
son of Japanese immigrants, he learned to be tough at an early age. He grew up
during the Depression, served during World War II, and regularly endured the
Hawaiian rains as a career USPS employee. Yet, the filmmaker’s probing
periodically reveals some of his bottled-up feelings.
the death of her lovely aunt while just in her early thirties remains a
difficult subject for him. He also seems to carry some guilt regarding his marriage
to her grandmother. Of course, he is obviously not the introspective type, so
some of our conclusions might be erroneous inferences from subjects evaded and
conversations cut short.
is a long tradition of exquisitely intimate documentary filmmaking in Japan,
including work by Naomi Kawase and Mami Sunada’s Death of a Salaryman. Yet, the poignancy of the latter film (which
follows the director’s recently retired father after he is diagnosed with
advanced stage cancer) is largely missing from 95 and 6 to Go (a title suggested by her grandfather, a football
fan, when given a six-month prognosis at the age of ninety-five).
a great deal is hashed out between the filmmaker and grandfather. It is also
fascinating to hear memories of what pre-war life was like for Hawaii’s
Japanese-American community. However, that still does not make it a strikingly
There is certainly value in taking stock in a
long, dignified, and productive life, but the film could easily be edited down
to an hour for a PBS broadcast. Nice but possibly too modest for the ticket
price, 95 and 6 to Go screens this
Saturday (11/12) as part of this year’s DOC NYC.
Labels: DOC NYC '16, Documentary