Tuesday, January 23, 2007


or "Things I've Been Enjoying Recently"

Japanese Animation

Over the weekend I watched 'Howl's Moving Castle', a classic work by Miyazaki featuring his trademark obsessions of flight, magic and European architecture and design from the first half of the 20th century. Despite the conspicuously caucasian tint to the characters, there's a deep Japanese sensibility in the movie. The most memorable scene for me was one of our heroine, Sophie, standing by a lake, watching the wavelets rise and fall against the shore. The colours of the water as it ebbs and flows, the outlining of the little stones in the sand, the ripples around the contours in the shoreline... they're all as peaceful and perfectly structured as a Japanese garden.

I also saw 'Final Fantasy VII', which didn't make a blind bit of sense, and seemed to feature a lot of silly characters who just got in the way of some powerful and brilliantly rendered backgrounds. If I'd been directing we could have just had ninety minutes of looking at beautifully ruined buildings and bioluminescent trees.

The Shins

They sound, in some ways, a little like Modest Mouse, if Modest Mouse had a producer with a big threatening stick, who could balance their creativity with a bit of discipline. The song 'Australia' on their new album has a lot of banjo in it, since of course the banjo is as Australian as Mom and apple pie.


They are in season right now and I was only charged $20 a kilo for them at the supermarket last week. That may sound like a lot until you remember that they usually charge $60 or $70 a kilo. I like to sprinkle them over a fruit salad or mix them into a tub of yoghurt. Also they are an official Super Food, and thus I am adding back onto my life all the time I've taken off by eating KFC or seeing photographs of Jocelyn Wildenstein.

Jeremy Clarkson

Some say that he has bile instead of blood, and that he grumped for England in the 1984 Olympics. All we know is, he's called The Clarkson.


Blogger an9ie said...

I am a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki, but I am an even bigger fan of Diana Wynne Jones. Although I liked the movie, I was somewhat disappointed with it as he had taken out so much from the book, and changed the ending AND the message to boot. Sigh. And he needn't have. It's a fantsatic book that would have been great, just as it was, on film.

Also, apparently Ursula le Guin is not happy at all with what he has done with her Earthsea series. It seems she was promised that Hayao himself would work on it, but then was told he had retired and his son, Goro, would make the film. Apparently poor Goro is not as talented as his father and the result is disappointing. Also, it turns out Miyazaki Senior had not retired after all. It seems so corporate and deceitful. You can read her full response here (http://www.ursulakleguin.com/GedoSenkiResponse.html)

I do like Miyazaki's work very much, but after reading Ms le Guin's response I didn't know what to think. Sigh.

2:13 PM  

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