ハウルの動く城にうっとりさせられなかった


Howls
日本で上演してから一年間たって、ハウルの動く城やっとオーストラリアに来ました。

英語題名はHowl’s Moving Castleになってる

僕にとってのハウルの一番すばらしいところは、
キムタクの声はいつもと違うところとか
強い女性を見せてくれるところ
サリマン魔女、荒地の魔女、
特に主人公おばちゃん。

しかし

僕のジブリのアニメ好きな理由は、
いつも予想外な世界に僕を連れってってくれて、
うっとりさせてくれたけど

ハウルには今までのジブリの名作と同じ様にうっとりさせられなかった

むしろ

ハウルは今までのジブリを振り返ってるような感じがした
(リミックスのような感じ)

なんとなく、ハウルの世界に出てきたキャラクターや、物、背景
は前のジブリの作品に似てるようなきがして。

僕にはウワーーウを感じなかったんです

天空の城ラピュタに出てたトンボ型な飛行機
ジブリのいつものスライム(粘液物)生物
18-19世紀と魔法の背景も魔女の宅急便に似てる。
主人公のソフィーも何となく、千と千尋に似てる
ってか
おばちゃんソフィーの顔も湯婆似だし
大国の戦争はナオシカにも出てた

まぁそれでも面白かったけど
やっぱりいい映画は何回みても面白い
このジブリリミックスも悪くない。

しかし、ジブリには一つだけ共通の弱点があります。
始まりが強く、終わりに弱い。

ジブリは非現実的な世界を背景にしてるから
映画の始まりに背景を紹介するのは一番面白い!!
話が進んで行って観客がその世界になれて来たところに
ジブリの力が無くなってしまう。
しかも話を上手くまとめないまま、終わっているようなきがする

魔女の宅急便は特にその問題があった

ハウルに終わりが弱いの問題、得意の背景紹介は新しいものなくって、始まりもあまり強くなかった。

ハウルは総合的にジブリに慣れてる僕をうっっとりさせられなかった

以上がハウルのスタイルについての僕の意見

ハウルのストーリ自体はよかったと思う

魔法、戦争、恋、過去現在、妙な生物と道具、ライバル

でもジブリは今回その素敵なストーリーを上手く表現出来てなかったような気がする。

なんか、ストーリーをしっかり伝えてないような気がした。

最終的に

ハウルは一つの商品ですから

商品としてはよかった
元々欧米のクラシックを使ってジブリリミックスして
ジブリに慣れてない人にとってはうっとりするし、とても惹かれると思う。

商品として、ビジネス戦略で考えたら、ハウルは結構ターゲット命中と思います。

その外国狙いな戦略は、グリーン・ディスティニーキルビル使ってたと考えます。

その狙い通り、ハウルは外国の評論家には大人気
ROTTENTOMATO映画評論サイトには
色んな評論家からハウルに対する賛美を集めた

宮崎の作品に慣れてる人は、別に見なくても損しない
慣れてない人特に外国の方は、ハウルは宮崎世界の紹介として一番いい映画かも

注:この文は僕の友達に日本語を直して貰ったものです、有難う!

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Sweet revenge: a review of Old Boy


Wow! I have not seen a movie like this since David Fincher’s Fight Club. Yes it is that good. I love it and so does the critics. Old Boy won Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival, 2004.

This movie is pure coolness, which makes up both its strength and opens it up to criticism for not being able to transcend the genre that it perfected. Keep an eye out for a couple really long continuouse shots, particular the hall way fighting scene, they are just way cool.

If you like Fight Club or any of Quentin Tarantino’s film you will love this multi-award winning cult masterwork from director Chan-wook Park.

If you like films that is able to reflect and relate to current affairs and society, this movie is not for you.

neouto

Geography and the American Empire


I wrote the following article in the second half of 2002. I argue geopolitical landscape in Eurasia is a stabilizing factor reinforcing the American led status quo and peace amount great powers of European union, Russia Chin and India. Without a doubt this paper is less relevant to the current fashion to focus on non-state actors such as Al Queda. Nevertheless it is still able to let light into how geography shapes the great power politic that still shadow over North East Asian and Trans-Atlantic relations. India is added into the mix in this version.

“First of all, Eurasia the biggest continent, most of the largest economies and military spenders but United States are not there or in close proximity, it also account for 75 percent of the world’s population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. The current geostrategic design in Eurasian consists of four emerging major political entities, European Union, Russia, Greater China and India. United state serves as a balancer similar to Britons role in the concert of Europe.

EU together with NATO stretches its sphere to influence till the Baltic states of Eastern Europe, Russian retain influence alone formal soviet republics, China excise it’s weight through out most of continental east Asia, India centers around South Asia and US continue to dominate in both Pacific and Atlantic oceans.”

Although the NATO is not as health as it was in the 2002, America can nevertheless assert its voice in the Eurasian heartland through some of the new pro American EU members like Poland and it’s new establish friendship in Central Asia and Ukraine.

“This is arguably a desirable landscape which reinforce the current status quo of international relations, for a number of reasons, firstly, no one single power have a decisive influence over the heartland, secondly the sphere of influence is split up in a way that all major powers are generally satisfy and relative comfortable with the space between major center of powers Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Delhi and Washington, thirdly the US is able to channel its influence via NATO, giving it share of power in Eurasia. Fourthly all of three Eurasian powers are land focused, where they cannot devote enough resource to challenge US maritime power in either Atlantic or Pacific. Fifthly because US is a non-Eurasian power, it’s incapable of excessively abusing its power in Eurasia, thus highlight its benign attitude towards Eurasian (American straggle in Iraq is a perfect demonstration of this incapability). Sixthly, because of US’s maritime projection capability it’s able to excises great power status in all three spheres of influence. Seventhly, all three power need to cooperate with US regards to international affairs outside of Eurasia, which gives US political leverage. Lastly, for the foreseeable future, emergence of alternative power to challenge any of the five powers is unlikely, provided that the five powers stays internally stable, therefore to maintain the status quo, all five powers are encourage to not undermine each other internally.

However the picture is not complete, Central Asia and the Middle East where 400 million people lives, in some twenty-five states. Almost all of them are ethnically and religiously diverse, practically none of them politically stable, its an area where no one power have decisive influence and where US lacks a significant cooperative ally. However this is not a region to be ignored, it holds massive petroleum reserves and it has the potential to destabilize Eurasia and the world. One other gray area is the Africa, where it’s just as diverse, unstable and capable of causing enough environmental problems to subsequently affect great powers, therefore it is also not a region to ignore.”

Obviously the last paragraph is very out of date. American invasion on Afghanistan and Iraq and gave it the opportunity to establish its presents in both the Middle East and Central Asia.

Maybe this paper is not so good after all…
Check out these two paper on geopolitic of East Asia and Eurasia

The Geography of Peace: East Asia in the Twenty-first Century by Rober S. ROSS in International Securituy, vol. 23 n. 4

A Geostrategy for Eurasia by Zbigniew BRZEZINSKI in Forign Affiers, Sep/Oct 1997

Next Challenge for Japan


key: Red = Koizumi led coalition / Blue = Oppositions
Source: Asahi.com

Now that Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has won, Japan Post privatization bill is secured and Japan’s future is looking brightest since the burst of economic bubble after Cold War.

Although the weaken Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has now lost its pressure on the governing LDP it has since the 1996 electoral reform, this does not necessary mean LDP will go back to its old pork barrel politics as it is infused with a group of new non-establishment politician, new constituency and a new mandate to carry out reform. However LDP’s reinvigoration also meant the prospect of a dual/multi-party politic is delayed.

What is next for Japan is to continue reform in education, finance and trade; foreign relation wise its needs a progressive policy toward its Chinese and Korean neighbor and finally it needs to find a Koizumi replacement and draw up a shopping list to spend its new fortune from selling Japan Post.

neouto

Basic glossory: Cheat Sheet: Japan’s Elections
Supplement view: With Koizumi at the Theatre
Related GS article: Sacrificial legacy of Koizumi Junichirou and Lee Teng Hui

The Beauty of Birds: a review of Winged Migration


I really don’t watch enough documentary films as I like to. I don’t pay enough attention to them because documentaries don’t get enough airwave (marketing, press, etc.) when compare to Hollywood feature films. A lame excuse. I did get the see one this weekend, its called “Travelling Birds” or “Winged Migration”. I have to say it is one of the most beautiful nature documentaries I have ever seen. Than again I don’t watch a lot of nature documentaries. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 and won a basket of many other awards and praise from reviewers.

The film covers migrating birds of different species to and from different continents. The film has great respect for the birds and display a hint of distaste for human interference into bird’s natural life. Althought there is only few seconds of narrative in this film, but the director speaks valumes with his camara.

More than anything I was fascinated with the way it was filmed. The production team used a host of different aircrafts (Glider, Balloon, Ultra light motorised aircraft, helicopter delta wing) to fly with the birds over long distance allowing cameras to move with the birds side by side. Directed by Jacques Perrin, this film is a must for its sheer beauty.

neouto

The End of American Republic?


Are we heading towards the end of Americans republic as Chalmers Johnson have argue in his Conversation with History? If its happening, the journalistic freedom will surely be one of the first vanguard of democracy to go.

Below is a top ten list of overlooked news in 2005 over the past year compiled by Project censored:

#1 Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government

#2 Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Deathtoll

#3 Another Year of Distorted Election Coverage

#4 Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In

#5 U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia

#6 The Real Oil for Food Scam

#7 Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood

#8 Iraqi Farmers Threatened By Bremer’s Mandates

#9 Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency

#10 Mountaintop Removal Threatens Ecosystem and Economy

The whole list composes of 25 censored news in total

San Francisco Bay Guardian did an article on this.

After reading the San Francisco Bay Guardian article, I could not help thinking about what Chalmers Johnson said in Conversation with History about militarism and American power and its comparison with the demise of Roman Republic(watch video). He in that interview argues that the current militarism of the American empire is slowly eroding American democracy, which will eventually led to public backlashes. Lets hope that the backlash comes earlier not later or maybe citizen journalism (i.e bloggers) can save us.

neouto

UK empire 1905 and US empire 2005; and Confused battle of ideas


In his article Timothy Garton Ash made a comparison between UK empire 1905 and US empire 2005 and urge the US to start thinking about the world after the American century. This is a sometime forgotten vision amid all the rage about the current American hegemony.

David Rieff voice the inadequateness of US’s ability to battle Global Islamiist in his article, he clearly understand that the battle of idea between American Democratic ideal and Global Islamiist ideal is not the same as the battle between the East and West during the Cold War. However, I think he failed to understand that the battle is still ideological but it is just not in the realm of governance and economic like the Cold War was, instead it is the battle of ideas in the realm of social values. Which I talked about in an earlier article.