Monday, May 30, 2005
I´m on the middle of Daria´s fifth season and I´m really impressed by the evolution of the show. The sarcastic character-driven animation shifts to a more dynamic plot-driven style. The end of the fourth season and the season finale movie were fantastic because the creators had the guts to break from the typical stand alone episodes and stepping on the land of the cliffhangers.
I recently watched Mean Girls (2004) because it was written by SNL´s Tina Fey (I always ask my brother to call me when the Weekend Update starts). Unfortunately, another blasé teen school movie. The problem with these films and TV shows is that they all seem to be just a mixture of lots of stereotype jokes with a weak plot to link them all. Even Daria pisses me off sometimes with the necessity of always showing the Kevin-Brittany (stupid jock and dumb cheerleader) routine. They work too much on the high school subculture instead of a good story.
The best films that work inside the teenage environment I´ve seen up til now are Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and Rushmore (1998). The best TV shows are Daria (1997) and Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo (1998).
Friday, May 27, 2005
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Another request. I´ll have to do changes on their clothes and reajust the wrong proportions.
Watched Battle Royale (2000). It was fun, but should I really be laughing throughout the movie? Although I don´t like this new wave of Japanese cinema, it´s good to see that writers and directors are able to do something Americans can´t.
Games that look like films. Films that look like games. Battle Royale is probably one of the few watchable titles until now. BR is better than the rest because although it inherits a game logic, it fits as a non-interactive media since it is interesting to watch the fate of each one - something that couldn´t be done in the game. You´ve got a problem when you think that playing the game should be more fun. Like in 28 Days Later (2002), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Resident Evil (2002), Tomb Raider (2001), Mortal Kombat (1995), and Street Fighter (1994). There should be less crap like these and more games like GTA3.
BR´s necklaces reminded me of Wedlock (1991).
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I´m sick. My body is weak. Give me a break.
Watched Appleseed (2004) yesterday. A cel-shaded Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). They didn´t even try to change the story much. I don´t get why films like Appleseed, Final Fantasy, and Spriggan (1998) are directed like your typical American Action movies. If Appleseed was a person, it would be somenone with no substance who is trying to impress you by it´s looks.
It makes me scared that this was based on Masamune Shirow manga.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Based on a photo a saw on the Tokyo Street Style website.
Got a cold. Sore throat. Bad hair day. No work done yesterday.
Used my spare time to watch the Galaxy Express 999 (1979) movie. This is a good example of why it´s important to watch the so called classics. At Japan, I watched The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), Some Like it Hot (1959), Spartacus (1960), and The Apartment (1960). A small and incomplete list but probably huge to many people of the echo boomer or the X and Y generations. They call themselves cinephiles and go to the movie theaters every week to watch industrialized movies that have no idea of the concept of originality. Most are almost the exact copy of the copy of the copy of the copy.
I need a metaphor. I´ll use the Star Wars DVDs that my brother bought as an example. By the way, Star Wars and The Animatrix have the best DVD extras I´ve seen until now. The yellow introduction rolling towards the infinite. I thought it was George Lucas´ idea but the extras show it is actually based on the Buck Rogers (1939) TV series. I read that originality is to know how to hide your sources. It didn´t diminish George Lucas on my perspective, it just made me think how ignorant I am on the science fiction genre. It kinda made me admire him a bit more for having the guts to show his references.
While watching Galaxy Express 999, I could notice that lots of animes use it as a reference. Direct parodies on Daicon 3 & 4 (1981-83), Excel Saga (1999), Furi Kuri (2000), and Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai (2002). It is a landmark of the anime space science fiction genre and I guess I could notice references on Nadesico (1996), Cowboy Bebop (1998) Vandread (2000), and on Samurai Champloo (2004).
On FLCL, Naota asks Haruko who is she after discovering the mechanized version of his father. She answers: "I am the youthful illusion of childhood in your heart." (according to the subtitles). It is a reference to what Maetel tells Tetsuro: "From now on, I will be a woman who lives in your memories only. I will be nothing more than an illusion of your young boy´s heart, a phantom of your youth." (also according to the subtitles). On Nadesico and Samurai Champloo it is the singer in the bar. On Vandread the logic behind the enemy. On Cowboy Bebop, Vicious uses a mixed reference of Lupin III´s Goemon and Captain Harlock (coincidentally they have the same voice actor, Makio Inoue). Tochiro´s bird (phisically it has the same characteristics as Vicious´ bird) ends on Harlock´s shoulder in the end of the movie. It looks very much like Vicious and his bird.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Based on FLCL´s Haruko. I´m watching Furi Kuri once again after a long time. After reading some interesting texts about it, I started paying more attention to the images. Sometimes I even forget of following the subtitles.
Just to remember, just like the first, the second season finale of Daria is also outstanding. I guess I like "Write Where it Hurts" because it deals with the evolution of the characters.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Another challenge. I´ll try to do a trimmed top, but I still don´t know how. This should be as troublesome as knitting.
Thursday I watched Rocco e i suoi Fratelli (1960). Interesting to compare the different the levels of "innocence" in Italian and American motion picture stories from similar periods. I was remebering Rebel without a Cause (1955) when viewing Rocco. It was also very long - 177 min - which reminded me of another James Dean movie, Giant (1956) - 201 min.
Friday I watched Irréversible (2002). Jaw dropping. This is the third French movie in a row that impresses me. After watching C´est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous (1992) and Le Fils (2002), I´m beginning to wonder how far French cinema is ahead of American in terms of innovation. On the American side, only David Lynch seems to be trying place the motion picture once again in the art category. Just like Train de Vie (1998) was everything La Vita è Bella (1997) should have been, Irréversible is the movie Memento (2000) dreamed to be. This shocking French movie is world wide known because of Bellucci´s rape scene - and this is bad. Sometimes this can even take the focus from the film itself. Monster´s Ball (2001) is well known because of the sex scene with Billy Bob Thorton and Halle Berry. That scene was completely unnecessary. You could cut that scene off and the film would still work normally. The movie has a good story, but blurred because of that specific scene. The film is then built from that scene on the minds of the audience. Fortunatelly this isn´t the case for Irréversible. It just had to be that way.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
This afro hair should be a challenge alone to draw on the computer. I had the urge to draw it because of Jodie Landon, character of MTV´s Daria. I´ve been downloading Daria and I must admit I was afraid of not liking it again. Thankfully she alone is an unique character. Probably the strongest icon of sarcasm of animated programs. I´m on the end of the second season. It is a good show but the scripts are unstable. There are good, average, and weak episodes. Only 3 outstanding out of 23 til now: "Pinch Sitter", "The Misery Chick", and "Gifted". I pray that there is some kind of evolution of the relationships and personalities on the episodes to come. There is nothing worse than to be stuck on a stale loophole. Like the Simpsons.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
Last week I watched "Le Fils" (2002) from the Dardenne. One of the best films I´ve ever seen. Thinking back, I never payed much attention to european films. Lately I´ve been really curious about it. The best French movies I´ve seen were the popular "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" (2001) and "Train de Vie" (1999) plus "Un Chien Andalou" (1929) and "C'est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous" (1992).
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Watched Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (1984) yesterday. Lately I´ve been trying to watch some japanese animations indicated on 2001´s 100 most important anime ever list from Animage Magazine, the oldest and most respected anime magazine in Japan:
1. Hakujaden (Tale of the White Serpent), movie, 1958
2. Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy), TV, 1963
3. Horus, Prince of the Sun, movie, 1968
4. Kumotochuribu, 1943
8. Ashita no Joe, TV, 1970
9. Lupin III, TV, 1971
10. Gatchaman, TV, 1972
11. Mazinger Z, TV, 1972
13. Space Battleship Yamato, TV, 1974
19. Space Battleship Yamato, movie, 1978
20. Future Boy Conan, TV, 1978
22. Aim for the Ace, TV, 1979
23. Akage no Anne, TV, 1979
24. Mobile Suit Gundam, TV, 1979
25. The Ideon: Be Invoked, Movie, 1982
27. Armored Trooper Votoms, TV, 1983
28. Galaxy Express 999, movie, 1979
29. Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, movie, 1979
30. Urusei Yatsura, TV, 1981
31. SDF Macross, TV, 1982
35. Daicon Films, (fan produced anime), 1983
38. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, movie, 1984
39. Macross: Do You Remember, Love?, movie, 1984
42. Wings of the Honneamise, movie, 1987
43. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, movie, 1984
44. Laputa: Castle in the Sky, movie, 1986
45. Tonari no Totoro, movie, 1988
46. Grave of the Fireflies, movie, 1988
47. Princess Mononoke, movie, 1997
48. Dr. Slump, TV, 1981
49. Captain Tsubasa, TV, 1983
50. Fist of the North Star, TV, 1984
51. Touch, TV, 1985
52. Dragonball, TV, 1986
53. Saint Seiya, TV, 1986
55. Yu Yu Hakusho, TV, 1992
56. Yoju Toshi (Wicked City), OVA/movie, 1987
57. Akira, movie, 1988
58. Ghost in the Shell, movie, 1995
60. Gunbuster, OAV, 1988
61. Patlabor, OAV, 1988
62. Giant Robo, OAV, 1992
63. Tenchi Muyo, OAV, 1992
64. Ah! Megami-sama, OAV, 1993
65. Patlabor 2 movie, 1993
66. Tokyo Babylon 2, OAV, 1994
67. Macross Plus, OAV, 1994
68. Memories, movie, 1996
69. Mahou Tsukai Tai, OAV, 1996
70. Blue Submarine No. 6, OAV, 1998
71. Sailor Moon, TV, 1992
72. Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, TV, 1990
73. Crayon Shin-chan, TV, 1992
74. Mobile Suit G Gundam, TV, 1994
76. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, TV, 1995
77. Kodomo no Omocha, TV, 1996
78. Escaflowne, TV, 1996
79. Slayers Try, TV, 1997
80. Revolutionary Girl Utena, TV, 1997
82. Pokemon, TV, 1997
83. Cowboy Bebop, TV, 1998
85. Serial Experiments Lain, TV, 1998
88. Digimon: The Movie, 2000
89. Jin-Roh, movie, 2000
90. Blood: The Last Vampire, movie, 2000
91. Card Captor Sakura, TV, 1998
93. Neon Genesis Evangelion, TV, 1995
94. Hunter X Hunter, TV, 1999
95. One Piece, TV, 1999
96. Detective Conan, TV, 1996
97. Love Hina, TV, 2000
98. Sakura Taisen, TV, 2000
99. Martian Successor Nadesico, TV, 1996
100. Doraemon, TV, 1979
I certainly don´t agree with this list because I´d first like to read the reasons for a few specific titles to be included. I watched 46 of the animes mentioned but my notion of what is important before the 90s is blurred since I didn´t watch much from then. This is probably one of the reasons of why the critic is so important. This list functions more like "guidelines". There is a bunch of crap out there and I just don´t want to waste my time. I´d like this list more if they sticked to the oldest to newest arrangement instead of this troublesome criteria of theirs.
Four years should classify this list as outdated since some breakthrough animations have been released since 2001 (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, Millennium Actress, Azumanga Daio, Mindgame, Paranoia Agent, etc.). A bit controversial but I also believe that titles such as the Animatrix shorts and the flashback short of Kill Bill should also be considered landmarks.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Last page of the sketch notebook. The idea I had when I started it was to first fill it to then draw something seriously. To re-learn how to draw after one year of hybernation. Fortunately my perspective shifted on the middle of this project. Posting the sketches on a blog changed things dramatically. Not that anyone comes around here. But just the possibility of someone criticizing you publically made things more serious. At least for me.