Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thermæ Romæ

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Thermæ Romæ
tags: ancient Rome, comedy, Japanese, time-travel, zany

from IMDB
  • Ancient Roman architect Lucius is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bathhouse to cheer him up, Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern-day public bath in Japan. There, he meets aspiring young manga artist Mami, along with others of the "flat-faced clan". Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan's bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garners tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern-day Japan, Lucius' reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow.
    Written by Production

The zany hilarious movie is based on a manga series. The main Roman characters, including Emperor Hadrian, are all played by Japanese actors and the movie is entirely in Japanese. Lucius speaks occasionally in Latin to the present day Japanese which adds to the goofiness of the movie. The soundtrack with several operatic arias is also a great addition to the movie.     

Some of the ideas from present-day Japanese bathing rituals and equipment Lucius brought to ancient Rome:
wash basins
fruit-flavored yogurt drink
head shields to use when shampooing hair
mural of Mt. Vesuvius 
massaging bubble jet a la Jacuzzi, but powered by slaves
natural hot springs

The DVD is available on Amazon; streaming is not available on both Amazon and Netflix. 

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