I don’t think my life is that big of a mess, but I constantly check what I have seen and what I have reviewed and when I find something that I haven’t reviewed, I wince, for I need to be doing a better job of this. Kind of like having GPS directing you to the Chipotle at the bottom of the Hudson River, it’s not all that helpful. Fortunately, I can recover and pass along to you an interesting movie, “Momo e no Tegami” (“A Letter to Momo”). Continue reading
Mary, “Mary”, Where You Goin’ To?
I never do Fathom Events. I find that they charge more for the activity than they need to, like $15 or $30 or $50 (and for that sum, I’d better be sitting in a hot tub of soda!) and it is usually in some out of the way venue at some godawful time, so I would have to drive to East Powdermilk, Wisconsin, to catch a 2 am showing of “The Incredible Stinking Blob from Galaxy X”….with director’s commentary! But when they did a recent offering of the latest anime movie, it wasn’t too costly, at a convenient location and at an acceptable time, so I grabbed it. But, before we can go into the review, a bit of history about the production house.
Studio Ghibli closed its doors in 2014, but a lot of the talent there felt they had more to give, so they started a new company from the ground up. This is Studio Ponoc. Hmmm….’Ponoc’ is not a Japanese name, and you are right. It’s Croatian and means ‘Midnight’. So why not use the Japanese term for it? Well, Studio Mayonaka sounds too much like ‘mayonnaise’, so that is out. But why Croatian? I guess Studio Minwi or Studio Phakathi Kwamabili just didn’t have the same ring. Then, why Studio Midnight? Aside from it being the witching hour, it is also the demarcation line between the end of the old day and the start of the new day, and everyone felt that they were on the cusp of a new day in what they wanted to do and show, so we have their first offering “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (“Meari to Majo no Hana”). Continue reading
Tuesday Check-In: August 15, 2017
I re-watched the first Battle Royale film, accompanied by a Giant Bomb subscriber-only audio supplement. (That website’s staff has enjoyed playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds a lot in recent months and that game has some noticeable Battle Royale influences.) I think I appreciated the movie more now compared to when I first saw it in college.
There is a flashback scene involving two students and one of them is reading manga while lying on a bunk bed. He’s holding a volume of Slam Dunk and there are a couple stacks of manga behind him. I was watching on a stream through Shudder so it was hard to make out some of the titles in those stacks, but I think the tall stack in the far back with red titles on a white background as a Young King Comics series, thanks to the gold “YK” at the top of the spines. Continue reading
Move Towards the “Light”
This ‘movie’ was a bit longer than other offerings, about 45 minutes, and is a self-contained tale. The only problem I had with “Hotarubi no Mori e” (“Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light”) is that I knew how it was going to end before I got there and that is always a grand disappointment. Continue reading
Megumi Momono, Movie Lover
The day after watching this year’s Oscars ceremony, I was still thinking about the romanticism that was expressed for motion pictures during it, particularly the opening musical number involving host Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jack Black.
My mind wandered to an anime character who loves watching movies, from a series I watched years ago – Megumi Momono from Mahoraba. Megumi has many DVDs in her room at Narutaki-sou. In episode 11 of the anime, she spends a day with main character Ryushi in a shopping district and they see a movie together, which reminds her of seeing films with her boyfriend. We find out that her boyfriend went overseas for cinema studies.
I have the first four volumes of the manga but I haven’t read much of it so I don’t know if Megumi and her boyfriend see each other again in person or what kind of send-off/wrap-up she has at the end of the manga.
I don’t consider myself a cinephile or a film expert but I do want to watch more movies and dive deeper into older ones to expand my visual culture literacy.
Three Books About Japanese Movie Posters
At Anime Expo 2011, I bought a book called Anime Poster Art for a discounted price of $5 from Akadot/DMP’s dealers hall booth. I looked through it at the time, intending to write something about it, but I didn’t get around to doing so.
Four years later, I found that two similar poster-focused books from the same cocoro books imprint – Japanese Movie Posters and Silver Screen Samurai – had cheap listings on digital storefronts such as Amazon’s Kindle store. I decided to buy both to go along the physical copy of Anime Poster Art that I still own.