2005.07.15

postscript

20050715.01.jpg

All right, so I’m easily dragged into these things.


2005.07.14

Lines

No, I will not be in some huge line at midnight like everyone else, nor will I be raw-eyed and happily reading into the wee hours of the morning. Being a completist and an authenticist* (read: snob), I pre-ordered the Canadian edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from Chapters — and since I only got the shipping notice today, probably won’t see it for another week. Oh, the anticipation!

I’m almost used to it now, since this is the third time I’ve gone this route. I remember actually attending a lineup for The Goblet of Fire at Barnes & Noble (they even had drink service!), but really, that was only to keep my other Potter-mad friends company. The woman at checkout looked at me as if I’d grown three heads when I said I wasn’t there to buy.

Anyways. One week! Assuming there’s no hang-up at customs.

If you think I’m avoiding you in the next few days, please don’t be offended: it’s probably only because I’m afraid of spoilers!

* no joke! I even bought the movie version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from Canada so that my books and discs would match!

2003.06.21

Potter Four

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?

Sure, I’d be reading it, but at this very moment it’s winding its slow way southward through the Canadian wilderness and will no doubt shortly be tangled up at U. S. customs. At any rate, it won’t be in my hands for a good couple of weeks at soonest, a casualty of my obsessive quest for matching spines (love those Bloomsbury covers!). After all, what’s a few days after three years of waiting?

This means that I wasn’t in attendance at any midnight book parties on Friday night, but not entirely for why you may think. I find the idea of late night line-ups for book releases to be somewhat absurd, definitely amusing, and I say that with full confidence that under other circumstances I’d be right there in line too. It would have been a blast to have been there. Problem is, standing in line without buying is rather awkward without camouflage, and both Potter fanatics I hid behind at the Goblet of Fire release (Grimm and Louis) have, sadly, long since left Seattle. Alas, no party.

So I’m still waiting. But there is hope for that impatient corner of my mind, with news from New York that B.’s just finished Order of the Phoenix, just under nine hours after pulling it from the hands of the FedEx driver. I suspect I’ll be sneaking a couple chapters during my visit next week!


2002.08.17

Spirited Away

Saw Miyazaki’s Spirited Away this afternoon, and it was just incredible. It was big, beautiful, weird, dark, whimsical… that last one, especially, a Miyazaki trademark I thought sorely lacking in Mononoke Hime and a big reason why I haven’t ever thought of that film (despite its wide acclaim) as one of his better works.

Truthfully, I’ve never really been able to rank Miyazaki’s output; each one is so different that at various times, any of his pictures have had special resonance with me. Totoro and Kiki talk directly to earlier versions of me, Porco Rosso to my hopelessly romantic core (and I suspect, something more complex as I get older), Laputa to my sense of adventure and wonder. Mononoke is the exception, because in many respects it’s a reinvention of his earlier Kaze no tani no Nausicaa rather than its own distinct work. It remains to be seen where Sen will stand; I suspect many more viewings will be necessary before I know for sure.

Hopefully Disney will market it well. I think it would appeal to kids hopped up on Harry Potter or Roald Dahl books.


Last night was Battle Royale, a film from Japan dealing with a class of high schoolers who are left on an island with weapons and explosive collars around their necks. Their task: only one can remain alive after the third day, or everyone dies. I would say Lord of the Flies on speed, but I haven’t read (or seen) it yet.

Can’t say I was a real fan of this film, but a lot of the recent hyper-violent Japanese movies that have been getting popular over here in the last few years (for example, about a billion pictures by Takashi Miike) haven’t done much for me, either. Come to think of it, this applies even to more introspective films, such as Shunji Iwai’s Lily Chou-Chou no subete. I think there’s something about the modern Japanese youth experience that I just can’t relate to, and that’s affecting my ability to enjoy these pictures.

Of course there’s something about lots of anime youth titles that I click with instantly, stuff like Kareshi kanojo no jijo. But most of what I like is at least four years old now and the live action films I talked about are all from the last two years. There’s also probably a noticeable age gap between the folks who made the anime and these new, hotshot directors.

Is this just a way of saying I feel old? I guess so.

Oddly enough, I’ve very much been enjoying youth-oriented Korean films from the same timeframe. Something else to wonder about?



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