It has been a while since I have done a season based on something or someone…
Following on from Lynn’s questions I am now answering a series of other questions from Beats Lars who is an insightful aniblogger with good taste. I don’t normally do these things but since the questions are all connected to anime and I love anime then that’s cool. He sent some question so I sent him some questions for him to answer in return. Here are my answers (warning, this is long and rambling):
- Favorite anime series.
Kino no Tabi. I had to think about this. For less than a minute. I watch a lot of anime but revisit few. I was addicted to Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evagelion when they first aired and bought CDs and DVDs but haven’t watched them in nearly a decade. Not so with Kino no Tabi. I watch it every so often. At thirteen episodes it’s easy to devour but I love it for more reasons than just that.
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
This is my annual Christmas season post but I should be honest and call it the catch-up season. Last year I was able to watch lots of Korean horror films but this year I will be posting lots of reviews from the film festivals I attended back in October. Due to the autumn anime schedule and changes in my work schedules I pretty much ran out of time and into chaos when scheduling posts. So there will be reviews for Sake-Bomb, Our Shunhi, Gravity, You’re Next, Insidious 2, The Conjuring, Rurouni Kenshin, The Flu, The Ravine of Goodbye, Shady, Remiges, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Galileo Donna, Beyond the Boundary. Gosh. There will also be director interviews which I got from the Raindance Film Festival – Sake-Bomb Interview.
Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog has passed on the Liebster Blog Award to me. Not one for ignoring praise (please give me praise, I have writer’s syndrome) and never one for ignoring Lynn (a blogger with great taste in films as well as books) or any of my fellow commenters/bloggers, I have put up my responses here. Here are the rules:
2. Answer 11 questions the blogger who awarded you asked
3. Pass the award to 11 people
4. Give them 11 questions.
5. Tell them about the award
6. Don’t award people who are recipients already
I have done this before so I’ll skip the formalities and the whole nominating people bit because I doubt anybody I would nominate has the time to reply to be quite frank.
11 Things About Me Updated for 2013
- I have met Doctor Who.
- I have met the film director Isshin Inudo.
- I have Japanese relatives, I own Japanese things, I obsess over Japanese films, I speak Japanese but I have yet to go to the country.
- I have a sister who is much younger than me and more beautiful, cooler and smarter than me. She has developed a cool taste in films.
- I watch at least two films a week, usually both Japanese.
- I spent most of my childhood watching subtitled films from France and Hong Kong.
- I like rainy weather.
- I work in an art museum with a famous collection.
- I sometimes like to watch trashy anime like Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Haganai.
- I am trying to write a novel.
- This is Year II of My Time of Getting Things Done.
It is December and it is dark and it is cold and wet. One of the traditions in the UK around this time of year is to tell a ghost story. The BBC usually adapts an M.R. James story or a tale from Dickens. What will I be doing? Watching a lot of Korean horror movies. That sounds much better than going out, freezing to death and getting wet.
For the rest of December I will be reviewing K-horror classics like the first four entries in the Whispering Corridors series and Kim Jee-Woon’s A Tale of Two Sisters. I will also review other films like R–Point, Doll Master, The Cello, I Saw the Devil and Into the Mirror. My Korean movie list is about to get a major boost but I have been buying K-horror films like crazy for the last few months and I want to watch them!
In a venerable tradition (started last year), at the end of the month I will post my ‘best ofs’ in terms of video games, films and anime. My favourite game and anime TV series includes plenty of dead things but my favourite films, according to my Top Ten, is more life-affirming.
You can also expect a review of Berserk Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the King which I saw in a cinema last Saturday. Here is a quick review… ALMOST GOD TIER. OH GOD, THE RUSH OF ADRENALINE AS I RELIVED THE SAGA (which I only first tasted a few months back)! Here’s the intro of the film for you to get a taste:
There will be a lot of reviews this month.
Regular followers of this blog will know that at the end of last year I resolved to cover film festivals in much greater detail in the new year and… even participate in one. At the time I figured it would be one local to me (which didn’t go ahead this year for some reason) but never did I think that I would actually attend one. I did. I attended this:
The 56th BFI London Film Festival was my first major film festival and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was a chance for a cinephile like me to enjoy films the year they are released and at their UK premiere and in some of the best cinemas (?) in the country. Now I live over an hour away by train from London. I very rarely venture down to the city of fog (as the Japanese know it) without a really good reason and I daren’t stay overnight. Not because I am scared I hasten to add but because I am a little conservative when it comes to spending my money on anything other than essentials like food and films…. After some planning (hardly meticulous), I ventured forth and spent two days in London watching three films which I took a gamble on being the most entertaining of the Japanese films at the festival.
Although there were slight delays on the train into the capital, things went off without a hitch. I became quickly oriented with the city and the tube system right off the bat (thanks to previous experiences and planning) and while I misjudged distances and time on my second day (resulting in me heading too far south and having to make a breathless dash across two bloody bridges in bright sunlight amidst bewildered tourists and aggressive flower sellers) I found my way around central London fairly well. Whatever ordeals (and there were miraculously few) it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the films and for the city itself.
As far as the three screenings went… Finding the cinemas proved rather easy and transport links were efficient. Indeed, I wish I used the tube trains more on the second day. The cinemas were rather well-furnished and comfortable.
- The Vue cinema was in a nice central location. While the outside and lobby of the cinema was hardly impressive the screening rooms were. Plush seats, nice low-lighting and big screens with clear sight lines were more than enough to please me but there was also a nice steady temperature.
- The Ritzy in Brixton, which was three a minute walk from the tube station, was a rather low-key but comfortable cinema. It seemed to have low seating capacity but comfortable seats (although a little cramped when it came to admitting other people into the row) and the large amount of BFI paraphernalia was intoxicating. The audience seemed to be predominantly suits which meant that there was a lot of light emanating from cell-phones – which they turned off.
- The BFI Southbank was the most impressive. I didn’t get a good look at the lobby area as I tore through to try and get to the screening but from what I saw when I glanced it looked nice. Great air conditioning meant that I cooled down after my short marathon. Again, a large screen, great seats and the staff there were very helpful.
The screenings were packed for Key of Life and For Love’s Sake although there were some notable gaps for The Wolf Children. The audience reacted to the films well. I was not the only person crying at The Wolf Children or laughing uproariously with The Key of Life. Ai to Makoto? The audience loved it. In fact, the audiences for each of these films loved them.
Overall I had a great time. I would love to live in London (and Toronto and Japan) because there are so many film events as the informative Otherwhere blog shows.
I must admit that I made some errors in my adventure… basic things. On the train back home I spent time writing notes much like Kondo the hitman in Key of Life. Review notes and notes on how to improve my next trip to London for a film festival (Premiere Japan seems to be off the cards). Indeed, inspired by him I have ditched my lackadaisical personality and become much more meticulous.
I never would have gone without the encouragement and help of another blogger who I would like to thank! ありがとう ございます！
As part of my efforts in making this blog a bit more user friendly I have created a depository of film reviews which has the titles listed by directors I consider notable. It is called The Notable Director Archive! There are my favourites from the likes of Kiyoshi Kurosawa who has made ghost films I love, to Sion Sono who I have dedicated two seasons to. There are also major names that have been left off like Takeshi Kitano and Yasujiro Ozu but they will be added as fast as I can review titles.
The focus is on Asian, particularly Japanese filmmakers, but with the likes of Werner Herzog making great titles, there is a great chance that other non East-Asian filmmakers like Ridley Scott and John Carpenter will be added. I have left off some directors who have had multiple films reviewed including Kei Horei and Koji Shiraishi. Until I review more than two, they won’t make it.
Expect the number of reviews on the page to keep increasing as I have a few seasons dedicated to directors planned and there are quite a few titles that will get reviewed soon.
After creating a page which contains an archive of my film reviews I have decided to revamp my Top Ten Films page. This is a much needed change because I used to place nothing but theatrical releases in there and miss out reviews of movies that I watched on DVD/streamed – as a result no films like Tokyo Sonata qualified. I would then break my own rules and sneak a few DVDs in. Now, I am sticking every film I have seen that has impressed me enough to make my top ten list. People do check out the page quite a lot and it has not been updated since I went to see Prometheus which was back in July.
The revamp will reflect what I have watched over the years and give a better indication as to how my taste operates… Actually scratch that last bit, my taste is so idiosyncratic and my viewing habits constantly hanging I doubt people will find any line of rhyme or reason.
Now I have updated my lists for the years the blog has been operating and I will compile a top ten Japanese films of all time. Expect to see a directory for Japanese directors some time soon.
As for now, check out my new and improved Top Ten Films…
Whenever I do my trailer posts and reference filmographies it takes me an age to look up films I wrote about over a year ago like Cure, Survive Style 5+ because the search function brings up nearly every post in between because I keep referencing different titles. It is a vicious circle that keeps expanding. I have now been inspired by Goregirl to break that circle and create a film review archive which lists every title alphabetically.
When creating this post it was interesting to see the changes I have made over the two plus something years I have been operating.
I have reviewed a lot of western films. That was because I was going to the cinema nearly every week when I first started. Not anymore. I tend to purchase DVD’s and stay home. The last time I went to the cinema was in July for Snow White. The last time I reviewed a western film was Prometheus because I liked it a lot and thought there were too many negative reviews.
Thankfully, I am covering Japanese and East Asian cinema which has given me direction so expect the western films to be in the minority soon. Actually, I think Japanese films already make up the majority of reviews… Whatever the case here is the archive. You can also find it on the above menu and on the right as represented by a picture of Rin Takanashi no less. I will have to revamp my top ten films section as well but for now, happy exploration.