Alexander - other showings within the U.S. - When?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread
I noticed that the official Alexander website (http://www.ani-alexander.com ) is now rather stale, and the Samsung rep that was answering questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) is no longer responding to email.
From what I have read, the first episode has finally played on United States soil within the state of California within the later half of 2000, but I cannot seem to locate information on where else the film might play, or whether it's even still playING.
Would someone please take the time to enlighten us as to where a schedule of showings of Alexander is located on the web/by phone/elsewhere? I have the distinct impression that someone of an official capacity may be lurking here and would be able to respond.
Thank you for your time.
-=-=-=- VictorV http://www.aeonflux.org/
-- Victor V (email@example.com), February 25, 2001
Ha ha. I wouldn't exactly say lurking, after all this is a forum isn't it? But I do hope someone answers your question, too. Hey, cooool site there Victor of Monican Dominatrix fame.
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), February 26, 2001.
Victor, I'm sorry, but as of now, there are no plans for showings of Alexander planned in the U.S. Unfortunately, Samsung Entertainment has shut down their animation arm, and there is no one currently handling the distribution of Alexander in this country. The complete series of 13 episodes, along with a theatrical feature version (consisting of scenes edited together from the home video version) is available in Japanese thru Japanese video outlets.
Some time ago, I gave an interview for Kidscreen Magazine on the subject of designing characters for Alexander. Here is what I wrote. (You'll have to deduce what the questions were. I don't remember) KIDSCREEN MAGAZINE INTERVIEW
ALEXANDER character designer Peter Chung
(Note to Karen: I disapprove of the use of the term "anime" in reference to Japanese animation. "Anime" is the Japanese phonetic abbreviation for the word "animation"; it does not denote Japanese animation. Please do not substitute "anime" for "Japanese animation" in any instance in the following.)
Even though I've been a fan of Japanese animation since childhood, I'm often dissatisfied with their character designs, especially the most recent trends towards plastic-doll like cutesiness or generic realism. It seems that many Japanese designers have worked too long in an insulated animation market, where the product is aimed at viewers with very rigid expectations. The shortcomings of Japanese character design are, in fact, the main reason why Japanese animation fails to be accepted by most American viewers. My aim in designing the characters for Alexander is to avoid the impression of Japanese-ness and create a style that can appeal to viewers who normally don't watch Japanese animation. As in any project, I try to create characters that are original, highly individualized and, most of all, expressive.
At first, because of the language barrier involved with working in Japan and the degree of research I thought the project would require, the search for solutions was hard. As I realized that the producer and director at Madhouse wanted me to be free of artistic constraints, I started to simply have fun creating designs that were as fanciful and exotic as I could imagine. I was encouraged to disregard literal, historical realism and to capture the mythic spirit of the world of Alexander the Great. I was allowed to push my creativity to its limits-- a rare and enjoyable experience. The greatest difficulty was in coping with the sheer scale of the project. The variety of characters and settings required was quite staggering.
There was no pre-existing artwork when I came on to the project. The novel upon which the series is based has not been translated into English from Japanese, so I was working from brief descriptions of the characters and a plot synopsis. Even though I studied books on Alexander and on Greek civilization, I ended up using none of the source material and based my designs purely on what I believed would offer the most exciting and unusual visual interpretation for the audience.
Because of the dramatic depth and intensity of the story, I knew that a juvenile, light-hearted approach would be inappropriate. The project is aimed at teens and young adults, so I believed that the characters should portray a certain sexual self-awareness, modeled somewhat on the kind of energy and flashiness projected by rock stars. Alexander, in his time, was a charismatic idol to his legions of followers; this is how he and his band of officers are portrayed in the animation. I especially wished to avoid glamorizing the militant values of the characters by designing costumes that seem inappropriate for military combat.
I believe that teens are attracted to bold, aggressive figures with strong sex appeal, outlandish fashions, unusual hairstyles, and the promise of head-banging violence-- all of which are offered in the Alexander series.
-- Peter Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 2001.
Thats funny your last paragraph, brother you just said Aeon Flux. Was Aeon as free as Alexander, in the design I mean? Did they give you any handcuffs? I can't see someone drawing Fatboy with someone over their shoulders.
-- (hammerofthehorse@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), March 19, 2001.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and for posting your recent interview regarding Alexander.
It is unfortunate that we will not be able to enjoy Alexander just yet. I'd like to think somebody state-side would be willing to subtitle it for distribution as I'm sure that would be cheaper than getting voice talent to speak all the dialog, but I won't hold my breath.
Barb: Thank you for the compliment!
-- Victor V (email@example.com), March 20, 2001.
As far as subtitles, I'll let you know, as I just bought the first two eps of Alexander with subtitles on Ebay. Hopefully someone will consider our market over here, because heck, who really just wants to read the damn thing? One of the voices in the American version was John Lee. I guess I will always regret not going to see this the night it premiered in LA. Paul...you are a lucky dog!
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), March 20, 2001.
So, was this a fansub? I tend to think that anime is best in it's original language, with the original voice actors (although, in Alexander's case, it's probably good either way).
Peter: Was the whole series dubbed for US release, or just the two episodes I saw? If it was, I have a suggestion to make...
-- Inukko (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2001.
Inukko, only the first four episodes were dubbed into English. Samsung was using these dubbed episodes to try and find an American T.V. outlet. None was interested, and Samsung abandoned the project, having failed to recoup their investment. When Alexander gets picked up eventually by a distributor for the home video market, my guess is that our original English voice cast will not be available. Anyway, from what I know, the master tapes for that dub have been lost. All I have is a VHS copy with timecode. If you've seen the dubbed version, I wonder what you thought of it.
-- Peter Chung (email@example.com), March 21, 2001.
Peter, the dub was very high quality - ordinarily, these things make me cringe. This had a very low cringe factor, and John Lee... what can I say, the man *is* Aristotle (at least this Aristotle). At some point, I really hope for a DVD release; although with my luck, it'll be dubbed by the people who did Tenchi Muyo. Bleah.
-- Inukko (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2001.
Inukko, Ha ha... In fact, Jack Fletcher, the English voice director for Alexander (also for Aeon Flux, Spawn, Princess Mononoke, the Vampire Hunter D remake) WAS the voice director for Tenchi Muyo as well. In fact, several of the voice actors are used in both series. Tenchi Muyo was done earlier in Jack's career, and maybe he had a tendency to overplay the cartoony bit. He has a background in live theater, though now he's considered the top man in the field of dubbing Japanese animation. I like to think that his experience on Aeon Flux helped open him up to the possibility of subtlety and mature drama in voice acting for animation. On Thanataphobia, after casting had been decided, I insisted on spending time with the actors on rehearsals before the recording session. I sensed that the actors playing Sybil and Onan thought I was crazy-- it's a cartoon!
-- Peter Chung (email@example.com), March 22, 2001.
Peter, I love the artist in you.
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), March 22, 2001.
Is there some reason why these shows can't be put together and just shown on some internet site? It could be charged and so bypass the need to carry them in theaters? Am I missing something?
-- Cynthia (Hyacinththia99@aol.com), March 22, 2001.
It's weird to try to differentiate whose fault bad dubs are. From what I can see, most of the problems arise when you have like 6 actors doing 20 parts (which happens a lot in dubs.) So you end up with 4 characters who sound the same, but all have different funny accents.
-- Frostbite a.k.a. Frosty the Snow Chick (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 22, 2001.
I like that, its tonnes of fun picking out, who's who. Hey isn't that soldier also Tuberoth. That extra sounds suspiciously like Vice foreign Minister Dorlan.
-- (Hammerofthehorse@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), March 27, 2001.
Well I finally got the video of Alexander, first two episodes in Japanese, and subtitles in English. You know what, this thing is a masterpiece. The artwork is F I N E. Beautiful. Waaaay beautiful. Boy, the 'special effects' are a knockout, (I say this with quotes because there are no 'effects' it's all artwork!) There are these lovely effects of swirling colors inside 3 d triangular shapes, floating in space or something,...the characters are sooo reminiscent of Flux. Oddly enough, certain occasional characters bring to mind particular ones in Aeon Flux, and its nice when that happens, it makes you feel at home in it, but the other nice part is certain aspects of this are better done than Aeon Flux, the work is really superb. Hate to bore you with my 'on and on' praise, but its all true. I love the style, the ink lines are delicate and the colors are very beautiful to look at, and the city scapes are once again both stunning and make you admire the architecture, (William, you would love it, being you are studying this field). I also like the height of the people, I'm sure they are model height, *7 heads high. It gives the proportions a graceful look. Even the horses are just great. When can we get the whole thing? I hope it gets picked up somewhere. Paul, how much of this did they show in LA that night? What sort of audience was in the theatre? What a shame this didn't get picked up, its too good to go into obscurity like that.
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), April 07, 2001.
That's what I saw: the first two episodes, screening at Cal State Long Beach. Would've been four, but they "lost" (yeah, uh-huh) the second tape; you can imagine the collective "awwww" that rose up from the audience when that was announced. And yes, it is a fantastic-looking series. Technically with the CGI, you could say there *were* special effects, but the actual animation is very smooth. I like the wild color scheme (Chung's influence?), as well as all the alternate-universe stuff (the Sphinx head, flying monks). I must say, the script here is excellent; light on history perhaps, but rich in philosophy. I went with my Dad (at the time I didn't know any animation fans IRL; now, maybe 1 or 2) & we spent most of the drive home discussing cultural imperialism. Barb, what'd you think of the music? Personally, I thought that techno/rock thing at the credits kind of breaks the mood, otherwise I like it. Very good for anime music, especially. & even though the auditorium sound was bad, I was really taken by the quality of the dubbing.
I really think this show is marketable. It's Xena with a brain. And if the new Vampire Hunter D (which "borrows" quite a bit from Alexander in it's art) can get a US release, so should this.
-- Inukko (email@example.com), April 08, 2001.
Well I know a guy in Japan, but he isn't have too much luck finding the original copy. I would still very much like to see it though, it does sound good. Did someone say there was fan-subs or something floating around?
-- William (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 09, 2001.
You know I've been meaning to answer this question about the music, truth is I guess I felt the same about it as you Paul. It's pretty, and being in Japanese, I can only focus on the emotions conveyed. Like a lot of movie music it seems 'generic' and so I'm not crazy about it. The thing with Drew Neumann's music is that it wasn't generic. It exactly fit Aeon Flux, and so I'm used to better and expect more I guess. That's why I was interested in how Drew came into the picture, his music does suggest his association with Peter because the emotions of the whole Aeon thing is so perfectly expressed in his music. That world of Bregna/Monica and the struggle and the weirdness and everything is right there. Let's hope the music for the next Aeon Flux, live or animated, is more closely connected to the creator, and the concepts (besides hoping it gets made).
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), April 18, 2001.