We're back. Don't expect any long posts about the trip just yet; I'm off on another conference in a couple of days and it's going to be a while until I've scanned or processed the pictures I've taken. And of course we timed the trip to one of the most interesting events in recent Japanese political history, with Ozawa finally making a direct run for the prime minister post, possibly breaking up his own party in the process. To me it feels like a combination of an old warhorse doing a final charge, and a cornered politician trying the Italian gambit of getting immunity from his crimes by assuming high office.
The flight to Paris is about 13 hours, and the flight back is a bit less than 12. An eternity when strapped into an airplane seat. I feel like I've been stuck in a sack and beaten with sticks for a whole day. The Air France flight was a bit of a letdown; you'd think that if any airline would get the food right it would be this one, but frankly, none of it was very good. Both Finnair and Lufthansa are much better in this regard.
On the other hand, they have a good selection of French movies, including Adèle Blanc-Sec. I'm quite ready to forgive them the food just because of this. Adèle is a French adventure comic set in the early 20th century - steampunk before the term was invented, with a cynical and dark tone. A few of them have been translated to Swedish, and I read them over and over in our city library as a child. It was turned into a movie by Luc Besson recently. Normally I'd be quite wary of such adaptations, but hey, it's Luc Besson - how could it go wrong1? And he pulls it off.
It's a film adaptation, so of course there's less material there than in a comic. But the lead character is spot on, and the story and cinematography has much the same blend of the mundane and the fantastic. There's less of the grotesque darkness than in the comic, but there's enough of a hint to make it work without (I guess) falling afoul of film censorship laws and making it an adults-only movie. Fun movie, if a bit uneven. Worth seeing.