Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Girl in the Mirror in the Calendar on the Wall

My computer has a calendar and my phone has a calendar, but my wall also has a calendar because I find it convenient to glance up and quickly check the date or when the next Friday the thirteenth is coming. (It’s this week, by the way.) Also, I constantly worry that my machines will develop late-onset Y2K and make me think that 1900 has returned and I haven’t been born yet. So handy though it might be, my physical, hanging-on-the-wall calendar has recently stopped making me so happy. Every month gives me a new work of Japanese art, and August has arrived with Kitagawa Utamaro’s “Girl With a Mirror.” It looks like this:

And every time I see it, I think of this:

(image via

Creepy Anna Morgan from The Ring, brushing her hair in front of a similar oval mirror in and then turning to the camera and glaring. I could think of better associations to make whenever I look up from my computer screen. Because The Ring was a remake of a Japanese movie that also featured a woman grooming herself in an oval mirror, I wonder if “Girl With a Mirror” might have inspired the composition of the original scene and, indirectly, the remake too. Utamaro is remembered today as one of the more important Japanese artists, so the creative people behind Ringu would have likely known his work. Yes, I’m probably overthinking this, but you try staring at an image every time you struggle to find the right phrasing. Besides, this would not be the first time I’ve noticed Ring-like happenings in real life, because my roommate once did an inadvertently accurate impression of Amber Tamblyn’s corpse. (Note that I refrained from using the word mirrored to complete that last thought. I’ve also stopped myself from referring to anything coming full circle. You’re welcome.)

Bonus Ring trivia: Shannon Cochran, the actress who played creepy Anna Morgan, also played Pam’s mom on The Office exactly once, before the role was recast last season. I’d like to think she lost the job by insisting that she play the role as creepy.

Things are like other things, previously:

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