The Public Baths in Japan

During my stay in Japan several decades ago when I was a bar hostess, I lived in a room over a club. The place had only a toilet and sink downstairs. To bathe properly, I had to use the public bath (sento) nearby. This was a new experience for me, and I was very self-conscious at first, like my protagonist, Dorothy. This communal bathing eventually became an enjoyable ritual that allowed me to de-stress from my work as well as keep clean. "Ofuro," collage by Belle Brett (2019) “The bath building, which was around the corner from Suki’s, looked from the front like any other building on the street. If any signs existed, they were too small to be noticeable. Maybe you just had to know. After pa

Odd Couples: The Many Faces of Jack Lemmon's Film Relationships

On this Valentine’s Day, not long before the Oscar ceremony, I was thinking about films that portray complex relationships of various kinds, not just romantic love. The prolific and talented late actor, Jack Lemmon (1925-2000), who hailed from the Boston area, sprung to mind. Although he made films over a 50-year period, in the decade between 1959 and 1968, he created some of his most memorable and critically-acclaimed roles, including five of my favorites that explore themes (albeit in different ways) found in my recently published novel, "Gina in the Floating World." Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, Director, 1959). Learning in disguise. Arguably one of the best movie comedies of all time,

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