New Peter Chung, Andy Jones interview, and "THE LIST"greenspun.com : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread
This a post URGING everyone out there to rush out and BUY the new Newtype USA "The Moving Pictures Magazine" for mere $9.95. Not only will you get 194 pages of uber-colored, ultimate-anime-worshiping goodness, but also six pages of interview with animatrix directors Peter Chung and Andy Jones (Square Pictures). But wait, not only does it have all that, but it also reads BACKWARDS, JUST LIKE THE JAPANESE DO IT!!!! "There can't possibly be more" you say? Prepare to be shocked, because it also comes with a FREE DVD loaded with trailers and 4 free anime episodes! INSANE! for only $9.95!!!! How can you still be sitting here reading this?
-- scottai (email@example.com), April 29, 2003
Oh ya, THE LIST. Within said interview, our leader, the holy one, hath given us a list to research, study and endlessly pontificate on:
NTUSA: Are there any anime classics that you feel are overlooked and need some more attention from the mainstream (here's you chance!)?
PC: I'd like to see more of the work of Osamu Dezaki, my favorite Japanese director. Onisama-e ("Dear Brother"), the NHK animated soap opera, remains the most startling and affecting experience I've had watching animation. Following closely behind, I'd mention his other series, Ace o Nera e, Ashita no Joe, and Space Cobra. Really going back, the original Tiger Mask from the early seventies was a seminal influence on my interest in animation.
As for comics, I'd be thrilled to see any titles by the amazing Kazuo Umezu translated. In particular, Makoto-chan, Baptism, Fourteen, and My Name is Shingo.
-- scottai (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2003.
DUDE! Onisama-e... That series blows my mind, plus it has Beta-Juri in it! hell, the entire thing is very Beta-Utena. And there's the bird that hits the window and the train that goes through the bedroom.
I'm not even being crazy!
Sorry, that series broke me. Much in the same way Utena did. Not an entirely unpleasurable experience, either.
- Dear Brother
-- skye (email@example.com), April 29, 2003.
Isn't Space Cobra the one about the playa in space? ;)
Scott, consider a career in advertising. 9.95 is damn steep for a magazine, but you better believe I'm looking for that Newtype! Just don't tell the Japanese they read "backwards"...
-- Inu (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2003.
I new it! "Ashita no Joe" must be the original Japanese version of "No Neck Joe", as that's some of the most mind twisting, visually arresting animation I've ever seen, and couldn't possibly have been imagined in America.
-- scottai (email@example.com), April 29, 2003.
You sure? I put it through google, and came up with a boxing series: "Joe Of Tomorrow" ("ashita" must be Japanese for "Tomorrow").
Dezaki sounds like a great director. I notice he favors more realistic/shoujo oriented series... right up my alley! Also, he did They Were 11, one of my favorite science fiction films. I just put out a request for a fansubbed Oniisama-E... we'll see how that develops.
-- Inu (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2003.
Sorry, I guess my sarcasm has built up a little too thick from the first two posts. No Neck Joe is a series of shorts in the Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. It's about a poor little fella born without a neck, and all the teasing he endures. It's actually a classic at the show (going on 10 years) where the audience shouts out "No Neck Joe" at the beginning every time one of the shorts plays, Rocky Horror style. I just thought it an ironic coincidence, the similar name and I'm sure completely opposite style and subject.
So, what did people think of that interview? You did actually click the link didn't you? I for one think matriculated is going to surpass most people's expectations, and am looking forward to diving into it. It sounds like it's going to be an extended (16 minute) silent Aeon short. Here's a couple salivation inducers:
"The greatest thrill was looking at fully rendered scenes which turned out like nothing we'd imagined when we started."
"... but I was also given almost total creative freedom to do what I wanted."
"NTUSA: With Matriculated, are you trying to cater to The Matrix fanbase' expectations, or did you want to take the concept in a completely surprising direction?
PC: Definitely the latter. I try in everything I do to upend the audience's expectations...."
-- scottai (email@example.com), April 30, 2003.
COOL! I'll certainly be looking out for it in the UK. I'm trying to put together some material on our saviour for the SG Aeon Flux Guide, but there is nothing but crap (or old stuff from the 90's). If it wasn't for this BBS I think I'd die of frustration looking for Aeon news and info!
I'm still desperately looking for other cool sci fi for members of my site and other interested cult TV sci fi fans and it's been pretty bloody bleak out there. With the exception of a couple of classics like Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star (any show with a line, "You cactus bastard! If you're so smart how come you're selling ice cream instead of ruling the universe!?" has got to be a classic :)
In the end I'm reduced to fan subbing cult Russian Sci Fi films like Kin Dza Dza and posting them on the sci fi newsgroups. So any hint at cool stuff from you guys like the references to Onisama-e ("Dear Brother" - I'd never bloody heard of it before!!!) or Ashita no Joe or news of the master is HUGELY appreciated! Thanks
The SadGeezers Guide to Aeon Flux http://www.sadgeezer.com/aeon (or www.sadgeezer.com for full series Guides)
-- SadGeezer (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 30, 2003.
I watched the entire 38 episode Onisama e series in about 4 viewings (once you start, you can't stop). The tapes were very well dubbed in Korean (no doubt pirated, since I saw this before the lifting of Korean restrictions of Japanese imported media)-- in fact, I thought the Korean voice actress for the character Saint- Juste was better cast than the Japanese original (more androgynous).
It's based on the comic by Ryoko Ikeda, who deserves appropriate credit, while, as mentioned, Osamu Dezaki did a masterful job of directing. Funny thing about Dezaki is that he seems at his best in the T.V. serial form. The impact of his work is based almost entirely on staging, pacing, and camerawork. His approach to directing has been THE major influence on the look of Japanese animation for the past 20-odd years. Rintaro, Kawajiri, Ikuhara, among others, acknowledge his influence (as do I).
Miyazaki, on the other hand, has (successfully) resisted the tide of what he calls "excessive expressionism" in Japanese animation:
Miyazaki on Japanese Animation (1988)
Skye, I'm wondering if you've seen the series to the end. I notice that the English sub version is as yet incomplete-- though it looks like it won't be long before i'ts available.
Onisama e fromTechnogirls
-- Peter Chung (email@example.com), May 02, 2003.
Thanks for the linkage Peter, most edifying.
On the Miyazaki rant: while I don't rail against the techniques he describes (that's his taste, and his perogative), I do agree with him on the loss of depth in storytelling. The "samurai" mentality seems kind of prevalent among anime heroes and villians. It strikes me as a lazy way to write characters... though some of them perform amazingly imaginative action stunts, by the end of the pyrotechnics I'm left wondering "why?". Cowboy Bebop was one such experience.
Also, I applaud Ghibli for their naturalistic way of storytelling. I love the standard 80 minute animes, but those just flash by too quickly (in that respect, I guess I'm the opposite of you Peter).
Ironically though, while Spirited Away lacked the meaty storyline of a Mononoke or Nausicaa, I consider it just as good if not better than those films for its sheer visual poetry. It really did have the "feel" of whipping through wind or gliding on water. I was struck by Miyazaki's comment that you can't smell, taste or touch a film. It's not every animator who's willing to look at the shortcomings of his medium; and hey, maybe Miyazaki-san's getting more "artistic" in his old age? ;)
As for Onisama-e, it's looking more and more intriguing. As an aspiring writer of an animated "TV series" (though I suspect OAV/direct-to-DVD is more the market I'm shooting for), I can't wait to see how Dezaki tackles this beast.
-- Inu (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 02, 2003.
My roommate has the entire series on VHS, and in fact is the one that introduced it to me. But... well, she's not the most organized of people, so half the tapes are lost somewhere in the apartment.
-- skye (email@example.com), May 03, 2003.
Oh, on Peter's recommendation, I picked up the Space Cobra film on DVD... I had actually seen it many years ago, on Showtime, and somehow forgotten about it (I enjoyed anime back then, but wasn't what you'd call a connoisseur; remember, I forgot about Aeon Flux too). Anyway, I loved it. Incredibly stylish with new visual tricks assaulting the eyes every few seconds. I think fans of Chungian animation would get a kick out of it -- characters are animated in a spastic, hyperactive style, there's scenes HIGHLY reminiscent of AF episodes (the all-female insurgency group, for one) and the whole thing is just deliriously campy. Shades of Barbarella, the 1980 Flash Gordon film, and Lupin 3.
Sadly, this character is ultra-obscure within the US; seek additional enlightenment through the excellent English-language fansite, www.psychogun.net.
-- Inu (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 16, 2003.