I'd like to share a few words about this weblog, why I'm writing it, and what I hope we can all accomplish together. My name is Daniel Thomas MacInnes, I currently live in Minneapolis, and I have a three-year-old website dedicated to my artwork and writings. It's a fairly successful little site (600K hits/month), much more than I ever expected, but it's not something I'm liable to brag about. I've written about my art and photography, politics and current events, videogames, and the movies.
That last point is the reason we're here. Over the years, I've become a great fan of the works of the Japanese animation filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Over time, I've managed to discover all the films of the great Studio Ghibli, as well as films and television productions from the 1960s and 1970s. I'd like to think I've learned a few things, and my endless, obsessive curiosity always leads me to learn everything about the people responsible for these modern classics.
One of the things I wanted to do was spread the word of Ghibli, of Miyazaki and Takahata's great careers. Americans have only discovered them just recently, over the course of the past few years. The DVD's have slowly made their way Stateside, so that awareness is slowly, and steadily, growing. There's a lot to see and a lot to learn, and I'm eager to share what I know, and share my own thought processes as I continue to put all the pieces together. It's one of the great joys of the arts.
If you want to learn about Ghibli on the internet, there still aren't many options available, apart from the indespensible website nausicaa.net, Ben Ettinger's AniPages, the French website buta-connection, and a few scattered message boards. It's something that really surprises me, considering the explosion of blogs. So I'll do my best to educate everyone as best I can.
"Conversations on Ghibli" has been a book idea of mine for some time, and it largely came from the fact that, despite my enthusiasm for these films, there wasn't anyone to talk with about them. Certainly not anyone who knew them as well as me, and even now, I'm not sure if anyone else, even the American animators who look upon Miyazaki as God, really sees them the same way that I do. So that sounds like a perfect idea for a book, and a weblog is the perfect vehicle for getting a lot of those thoughts out in the open. It's also a good way to kick me out of my terrible procrastinating. Writing weblog entries on my main website is a bit of a pain, since it's all done with old fashioned HTML, and it tends to lead to my putting things off.
I'd like this weblog to become something of a community for Ghibli fans, for people to connect with one another. I'm also hopeful that this becomes a valuable resource of information, history, film theory, yadda yadda. I've already added links to my reviews from danielthomas.org, and I'll be adding to the encyclopedia as steadily as I can. We'll see where this goes.