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Perfect Days – lizetta loves
lizetta loves

Perfect Days

Last night we decided to watch the award winning film Perfect Days directed by Wim Wenders. It tells the story of Hirayama, a middle aged Tokyo toilet cleaner. He lives a modest and routine life which revolves around his job, reading and being a regular at a couple of eateries. As he drives to, from and between jobs, he listens to cassette tapes in his van, the music from which gives the film a fantastic soundtrack – including tracks from the Animals, Patti Smith and Lou Read.

Adam commented early on “is this one of your films where nothing happens?”, to which the answer is both yes and no. There is no major incident that provides the typical story arch, but the decisions of others impact on Hirayama’s routine. Yet he doesn’t really grumble. He seems happy with his life and his lot, smiling through his day job, even when ignored or treated inferior by people for whom his cleaning is getting in their way.

His life is not exciting or varied. He spends a lot of time alone. When he is with other people he is a man of few words. Yet he is content. The little things in life bring him joy, such as the light breaking through the leaves of the trees as he eats his lunch in the park.

I was also reminded last night of the brevity of life as I discovered that someone I have known for a couple of years had lost her battle with cancer. If ever there was a reminder to make the most of everyday, as she did, that would be it.

When I think about the expectations of modern day UK life and the things we all crave, often moaning about the day job getting in the way of doing what we want to do or counting down the days to our few weeks off work each year, I think we could all learn from characters like Hirayama.

Yes, routine life can be boring but we only get one short life. Life is not always exciting, but joy can be found in some of the most mundane parts of life and we need to look for those. We all have dreams and ambitions, but you also have to make the most of everyday.

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