Monday, April 25th, 2005
The Freed Pig
I owe the good people at Disney my thanks a) for making all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films available in North America and b) doing a good enough job with them that I’m not embaressed to watch the dubbed versions. Case in point – Porco Rosso. I found the voice acting from Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes and Kimberly Williams as well as the translated script to be thoroughly enjoyable on its own merits, and wish I understood French so I could have watched the French version with Jean Reno in the lead role.
Porco Rosso is a bit of a departure for Miyazaki as it’s a pretty straight comedy with none of the weighty themes or high fantasy of most of his other work. Porco Rosso is an ace seaplane pilot based in the Adriatic in the 1920s. He’s working as a bounty hunter, wanted by the Italian air force for desertion and oh yeah, he’s a pig. A group of seaplane pirates enlist an ace American pilot of their own to take down the flying pig, forcing him to enlist some help of his own in the form of a genius airplane engineer (who happens to be a teenage girl – first rule of Miyazaki, there will always be a heroic teenage girl). Dogfights, boxing matches and general hijinks ensue.
I really liked Porco Rosso, probably because it was so lighthearted and funny. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoy Miyazaki’s weightier works, but sometimes some straight fun is just what the doctor ordered. There’s more reading on the film to be had at Nausicaa.net. I believe this leaves me with just My Neighbour Totoro and this year’s Howl’s Moving Castle to see of Miyazaki’s full-length features.
Dressy Bessy release their new album Electrified on June 14 and will be touring to support this Summer. Boo to using Java applets on their website – come on, what year is this? Fluxblog has an mp3 from their last self-titled album and manages to spark up a discussion about Belly’s King, an album much beloved by myself. Album info from Delusions Of Adequacy.
Following up from yesterday… more videos! Both these production houses are based right here in Toronto and have produced some terrific stuff. Check out Plates Animation and watch the video for Arcade Fire’s wonderfully Triplets Of Belleville-ish “Neighbourhoods #3 (Power Out)” clip, as well as vids for The Shins and Mogwai. And also visit Ghostmilk to see part of the video for Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl”… Anyone know where I could find the whole thing online? 517 also recommends Spy Entertainment for your high-res video viewing needs.
Update: Thanks to Tab for providing a hookup for the BSS video – click here.
I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt the apartment building in which I was living broke off its foundations, slid down through the city (which was built on a very steep embankment) and fell into a 50-storey deep crevice, taking with it all my material goods. Apparently my subconsciousness hates the idea of moving even more than my consciousness does.
Early post! Got a meeting off-site this morning.
np – British Sea Power / Open Season