Ghibli Blog Updates

There are a few new additions to the Ghibli blog today. Basically, I'm just working to make things easier for everyone, from longtime fans to the newest visitors. Hopefully, this will make your stay here a better one.

First, I've been steadily working on adding tags to all of the posts. It's a long and slow process, because I have to edit each post, one at a time. But I think the effort will be worth it. Now, whenever I write about a topic - the Ghibli Riffs, for example - you can quickly see all the related posts. This should help you catch up more quickly, without having to read everything from the very beginning. We'll save that experience for the books.

Second, I've added links to more film reviews. The Pixar movies are given their own section now, since I've written about their last three feature films. I've also noticed that anytime I write about Pixar, I suddenly become very popular. Which means, naturally, that I'll have to write reviews for all of the Pixar movies, from Toy Story on down. Hey, an excuse to visit the video store!

I've also made sure to add links to my other anime film reviews, like Satoshi Kon's Paprika. I'm telling myself that I really should write something about my other favorite animation films, like last year's brilliant Persepolis (I'm also a great fan of the book) and the usual suspects. As always, my writing is pretty impulsive, without much long-range planning, so hopefully I won't become too distracted. But I do hope to get caught up.

Which reminds me - I really, really need to finish the rest of the Studio Ghibli reviews. I've been putting off a couple of them for years.

Finally, I've added links to general film reviews that I published on my old website, DanielThomas.org. I never wrote nearly often enough, and my plans for writing about every DVD I watched (and I've been a pretty obsessive movie fan) have never played out. Most of my writing was going into the animated movies, and that's what eventually led to this blog.

The most popular - or most infamous - review I wrote was the one for Boondock Saints. I absolutely hated it, detested it. And for the longest time, I would get hate mail every few days or weeks. Now that I think about it, I haven't received any new hate mail lately. Between this review and my rant, "Stryper Sucks," my inbox was always full.

So there you have it. Hopefully, the right column isn't becoming too crowded. I probably need a better template for this site. I'll need to hunt some computer nerds down one of these days.

4 comments:

Geoff Nickerson said...

Hey Daniel,

with your mention of other films, such as those by Kon, i was wondering if you have seen any of the three flicks by Makoto Shinkai?

I have seen them all and loved each one. They are not without their flaws, but the films nonetheless are enjoyable and very touching. His art style is different as he uses a CPU to di almost all of it (heck he made Voices of a Distant Star at home on his Mac) but I find his backgrounds and scenery to be absolutely beautiful. His storytelling needs to be tightened up and refined, but he has shown an excellent ability to establish relationships between characters that you end up caring about.

Considering the guy only turned 34 this year, I've been extremely impressed with what he has accomplished thus far and anticipate what he can do in the future.

So back to my original question, have you seen any of his films and if you have, what did you think?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

No, I'm afraid I've never heard of him. I'll be sure to Google around and learn what I can, though. I usually tend to discover these things almost by accident. I just wander around a lot, based on whatever my current fixation is.

Usually I have to stumble across something by fortune or chance before it clicks with me. I'm sure there are a lot of great artists out there - music, film - that I've yet to discover. Heck, that's my whole trip.

Thanks for pointing Shinkai out.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Actually, now that I've Googled his name, I do recognize a couple of his movies. The titles were interesting - The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Voices of a Distant Star.

I was intrigued by Early Days' poster of the two violinists. I was expecting a character drama ala Omohide Poro Poro or Mimi/Whisper. But then the plot seemed to revolve around typical anime sci-fi fare, and I lost interest. I really am a stubborn sort of Ghibli Freak; less of an anime fan in general.

I'll have to give these films a chance if I'm lucky enough to find them.

Geoff Nickerson said...

I understand your apprehension, I'm not a big Sci-Fi guy either. (Although I did enjoy both Ghost in the Shell's and Patlabor's)

I then recommend watching his most recent film which occurs in an entirely realistic world. It is called "5 Centimeters Per Second" (Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru) and has no Sci-Fi Element at all. It is arranged as 3 Short Segments from different perspectives over the span of around 8 years. (totaling 62 Minutes) Shinkai said when making this film he wanted to get away from any semblance of Sci-Fi and begin to focus on making "realistic" films. I bought it off Amazon, but the movie can be found on Youtube in both a Sub and a Dub. The character design is conventional and run-of-the-mill, but his environments and use of lighting is magnificent. All his films also have excellent Music, composed by a guy named Tenmon.

Here is a link to Part 1 of Segment 1.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJfuw6lHQ_k

The 3 Segments are separated into 8 Clips on Youtube.

P.S. A note about his first 2 films. While they have Sci-Fi-Ish elements (moreso the first one, only a bit in the 2nd one) they're not really Sci-Fi films. More of a just a setting to tell his story of the bonds that develop between people. Lastly, "The Place Promised" does have a decent amount of Violin playing =)

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