Making movie memories
HIROSHIMA (Jan. 26, 2023) — While traveling around the world, Bob San likes to visit the places where scenes from his favorite movies were filmed. It adds a bit of fun to the visits in addition to enjoying the culture, cuisine and people of the locations.
San is retired from the University of Minneapolis – Twin Cities, where he would serve as a food and film critic for the Asian American Press. Retirement has afforded more time to complete a bucket list of items – of which the final one on the list is to visit Hiroshima and in particular, the Atomic Dome and Museum. He had been to Japan several times but was usually en route to another country in Asia and didn’t make time to visit Hiroshima, until recently.
Prior to the trip, back in 2021, San watched the Academy Award winning movie, “Drive My Car,” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. San was captivated by the film, most of which was shot in Hiroshima, which helped give San the impetus to travel to Japan on Jan. 22 and spent five days in Hiroshima.
After visiting the atomic bomb sites and museum, San embarked on visiting some of the sites where “Drive My Car” was filmed. One picture is from the boardwalk scene behind the Hiroshima City Naka Incineration Plant. In the movie, the two main characters, Kafuku, the actor/director who lost his wife, and Misaki, his driver in Hiroshima, visited this plant. They walked through the atrium, settled on the bank of the ocean and started opening up about each other’s internal grief.
San and his sister, Pauline Hu, re-enacted the scene. San played the role of Kafuku, standing by a boardwalk railing, while Hu snapped the photo of he and Hagiko Wettles, who recreated the role of Misaki in the film. Wettles is a native of Japan who now lives in Kent, Ohio.
The photo was taken by Pauline Hu on Jan. 25, 2023. Hu is also a former Minneapolis resident and a graduate of the College of St. Catherine and the University of Minnesota.
San has visited many places around the United States and the world. He enjoys visiting movie locations when they are nearby his travels.
Dyersville, Iowa was not that far a drive from his Minneapolis home to visit the farm where “Field of Dreams” was filmed. The Twin Cities were also the sites of some of his other favorite films, “Jingle All The Way,” and the surprise hit, “Untamed Heart.”
San drove through Utah to visit the location where Tom Hanks stops his cross-country run in “Forrest Gump,” and also while in the Southwest he visited some of the RV campground locations that were used along the lonely desert highways in “Nomadland.” He visited Badlands National Park, South Dakota to see where “Dances With Wolves” was filmed, along with “Fargo” in North Dakota. He frequents Chicago and has visited various scene locations from the “Untouchables”
While in Los Angeles san visited spots where “LA LA Land” was filmed, as he did while driving through Ohio when he stopped at the historic state reformatory in Mansfield, to see where some of the prison scenes of “Shawshank Redemption” were filmed. While Hawaii, he visited the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii, on Hanalei Bay to see where George Clooney filmed parts of “The Descendants.”
San has also been to every American League baseball park.