Lynn, a lady with great taste in films from the wonderful Lynn’s books blog, has tagged me for a game of four (the link has Lynn’s answers which are really quirky) and since she’s a cool character and I haven’t done something like this in a while, I thought I’d take part. She thinks I might have some cool answers (I don’t know what gave her that idea…) so I thought I’d answer a lot of her questions by using videos and/or pictures. Brace yourself for a traumatic trip into my mind and background:
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Edgar Allan Poe
FOUR NAMES THAT PEOPLE CALL ME (OTHER THAN MY REAL NAME)
I’m not a particular fan of nicknames so when people do make the point of telling me they will use them I give them with an unamused look and move the conversation on. But I have been called:
Jase – which makes me think of this:
Dood – Disgaea reference
Genki – Some people who do know about my blog call me Genki. I don’t talk about it too much in real life and hide it and all the writing I do for magazines and websites from work colleagues.
FOUR JOBS THAT I HAVE HAD
I was a regular wage-slave back in uni, a MgRonalds employee, if you will. Here’s some of what I did:
- I have worked in a department store in the furniture section which I found rather stultifying,
- I have worked in a a regular store as a cleaner and merchandiser which was super boring and I was working until midnight most days so I was a zombie the next day ;_;
- I have worked on a market stall selling books and stationary (which was a lot of fun because I was able to engage with customers over books and whatnot)
- I have worked in a museum which specialises in Romans. I once had to carry Roman armour and it was bloody heavy – I cannot imagine having to wear it and fight in it!
Then I graduated from uni and got a job in an art gallery…
FOUR MOVIES I HAVE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE
- Chungking Express – I love this film so much. It has a set of emotionally confused characters in a story full of danger and mystery and it is beautifully shot. I watched it repeatedy in high school and still watch it every now and again.
- Battle Royale – this was another film I watched over and over again when in high school (probably the right age to discover its story of teenage protagonists being forced to fight to the death) and even went to the cinema to see a screening of the director’s cut back in the early 2000s. I fell in love with Chiaki Kuriyama thanks to this film.
- Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise – I was originally going to put Spirited Away here but I’ll highlight something different. I have watched anime since I was a kid so I am aware of how diverse it is as a medium but nothing prepared me for this film when I saw it late at night on the Sci-Fi Channel. I was blown away by the artistry in the music and animation, character and art designs and mature story. I was transported to another world which felt totally foreign but with characters I recognised and could identify with. It’s essentially about a bunch of amiable losers trying to achieve something with their lives. In their case it was trying to get into space with zero budget and an impending war threatening to unravel their plans. It was a gripping and beautiful story, equal parts melancholy and hopeful and I would watch it every New Year’s Eve for three or four years. I bought the soundtrack (what a lucky find) and poster and I’ve got two copies of the film (a VHS recording I made and an American DVD release) and I’ll pick up the new DVD which will be released by Anime Limited.
- Shady – I thought I’d put something up to date here and something I have reviewed on the blog. I have watched other movies a lot but with Shady I was sooo impressed when I saw it at the Raindance Film Festival in 2013 it instantly became my film of the year. Since then I have watched it a few more times and the shocks in store haven’t worn off while I keep appreciating different aspects of the filmmaking.
FOUR BOOKS I’D RECOMMEND
- The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – a slightly useless middle-class guy (me) apathetically tackles life (so me) and the disappearance of his wife and his cat which may be linked to a weird conspiracy involving a politician (not me, then).
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – Really ambitious horror story that mixes a family drama with an unnerving haunted house narrative that is placed within another narrative of a man undergoing mental dissolution.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick – the book that Blade Runner is based on but it is much more darker than the film.
- White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty – A satire of American culture through a geeky black kid on the mean streets of LA who winds up becoming a basketball star and a poet who leads a generation of youngsters.
FOUR PLACES I HAVE LIVED AND FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN
I’m going to cheat. I have only moved around a couple of times in the UK and travelled in Western Europe so I guess I’m a bit boring in this regard but I did stay in Le Champ Saint-Pere and other places in France for a spell. Some of these places were just wow. The landscape was a patchwork of green and golden brown, rolling hills with wheat fields that stretched into the far distance criss-crossed by roads and the views were only broken up by dense forests. The summer sun was constantly shining and a balmy heat bathed the small towns I stayed in, some being the very definition of rustic and totally French. We’re talking about bakeries with doors and windows wide open and the delicious smell of freshly baked croissants and pain aux chocolat drifting out. These bakeries were on quiet streets and the owners placed their wares out on trestle tables and cats idled underneath, waiting for crumbs to drop before slinking back to their homes. I was totally into French films at that point in my life and a certain lady named Laure…
FOUR PLACES I’D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
- Mirror Kyoto in Kyousougiga
- The world of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis which is a fantasy one. FAVAROOOOOOO
- Tokyo from Patlabor 2 – like real life only with Mecha. I’d join Tokyo Metropolitan Police Special Vehicle Section 2, Division 2 just to pilot those Mecha and blow stuff up.
FOUR THINGS I DON’T EAT
I’m going to cheat again but for a good reason… I’m not a fussy eater, so far there’s only one food item I avoid:
- Marmite (it’s a British thing)
FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS
Again, I’m not a fussy eater but these are my favourites:
- Apple crumble and custard! (any of the cakes my mother makes, actually)
- Pizza and chips!
- Katsu don!
- Yaki soba!
FOUR TV SHOWS THAT I’VE WATCHED…
Most of the television shows I watch are anime and doramas. I’ll be random:
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Mask/Battle Tendency/Stardust Crusaders – I’m cheating here by putting on four TV series but whatever. Absurdly powerful people having absurdly destructive battles with absurdly powerful supernatural beings around the world with a dubstep soundtrack and everyone does extreme posing at regular intervals.
- Frasier – this comedy comes from a time back when you could make a comedy about smart people and it’s good-natured and intelligent, not like the dumb and misanthropic and smutty stuff. I get that writing comedy is hard, but there hasn’t been anything to top Frasier in my opinion.
- Space Dandy – An episodic sci-fi TV show in the same vein as Red Dwarf only a lot funnier and more inventive because of its use of a multiverse.
- Kino no Tabi – I would die a happy man if I created something like this. Strike me down the minute the last episode aired.
Man, looking at the anime I watch, I’m so glad I got into this stuff when I was a kid!
FOUR THINGS THAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR (THE NEXT 12 MONTHS)
- Holidays during which I will watch films – London Film Festival, Terracotta Far East Film Festival, possibly Tokyo International Film Festival,
- Family trips around the UK (occasionally to the cinema),
- Family time (when I usually bring my laptop and watch anime)
FOUR THINGS I AM ALWAYS SAYING
- “DOOD!” – I yell it out to some people I work with. They think I’m saying “Dude” but it’s “Dood” like the Prinny’s in Disgaea.
- “Really?” – It’s used when I’m exasperated or facing a ridiculous situation or for everyday life and is usually accompanied by a raised eyebrow…
- “しまた” Shimata – which translates as darn or dammit. Used when I am asked to do something I don’t want to do or when I have made a mistake or forgotten something. I’m kinda like Houtarou Oreki from Hyouka only slightly more helpful.
- “やれやれだぜ” Yareyare daze (because of Jotaro Kujo) which translates as Good grief.
Unlike Jotaro, I cannot pummel things into oblivion with a Stand named Star Platinum. See him in action.
FOUR PEOPLE I TAG
I won’t be tagging anyone.