Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Books 6 and 7

25 01 2014

Finished Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and oh god, what a ride. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I got the feeling Miyazaki thought the series could go on forever, but it was still a solid climax. And so much death… I found myself wondering how the same guy who made cute little Ponyo came up with this incredibly dark graphic novel full of people dying on every panel. What a brilliant and oddly disturbing man.

So here is me and my naked back. I was gonna show my butt but I thought that might be too graphic so I had the books cover it. My naked butt is behind there though, if you want to know… and no, it wasn’t actually touching the books, so if you kids end up borrowing these copies from the library, you’re fine to rub it all over your face.


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Book 1)

19 12 2013

I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, but it wasn’t until a co-worker raved about the awesomeness of the graphic novel versions of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind that I remembered it was on my reading list. The books are pretty short and easy, fast reads.

A definite read for any fans of the movie or fans of Miyazaki. The only thing I have to say right now is that there’s A LOT of dying, so be prepared for that (or not, whatever).

Also, excuse my face; I was doing (wearing?) a mask and I couldn’t move my face.

2013-12-16 20.06.11

Kiki’s Delivery Service — “Message of Rouge”

12 07 2013

Watched Kiki’s Delivery Service on the big screen tonight. There’s something about the worlds of Miyazaki’s films that feel so nostalgic and yet timeless at the same time, like children’s books where you wish you lived in. I felt that feeling of longing, of wishing I lived in Kiki’s calm, relaxed seaside town, or hanging out with Totoro in the forest, or even exploring the mysteries of Laputa. But alas, I live in Vancouver, where some people are jerks.

Anyway, this little ditty was playing during the opening credits of Kiki and I thought it was adorable and really fun. When I got home, I opened up my Studio Ghibli piano book, found the two pieces from the film, including this one. I may not know what the words are, but I still love it.

Funeral Parade of Roses

29 08 2012

Synopsis: I really don`t know how to describe this film, so I`ll take the synopsis from imdb, which still doesn`t quite cover everything in this film:

The trials and tribulations of Eddie and other transvestites in Japan.

Super awesome things: this film isn’t for everyone.  It is, especially in the first half of the film, very experimental, partly due to the non-linear structure.  I found myself going, “???!???!?!?” for a lot of the time.  But then things start to make sense as it goes along, and a clear(ish) story begins to emerge from the confusion, through the mud.  It’s only after the film is done that you can really digest everything you’ve seen as a great work of art.  And a great work of art this film is.

There are moments of great comedy choices, like when Eddie and Leda are fighting and they exchange single-line insults to each other via speech bubbles, like a comic strip.  The effect is cartoonish, which is exactly the mood Matsumoto was probably going for — that these senseless fights are childish.  I actually also really liked how the film is structured, despite its confusing quality.  The way it’s edited is also impressive, and the sense of foreboding mystery, that something really twisted is just lurking beneath the surface is all-too palpable.  Funeral Parade of Roses is a film that makes you think, that gives out the pieces and you’re not even sure what the picture is supposed to look like.  But as you fit the pieces together, the picture gets clearer, and it’s a picture that you, unfortunately, know.  That’s really the best analogy I can give to this film.

Not so awesome things: the confusion is certainly something to consider, but really, the narrative is through Eddie’s eyes, and thoughts, as everyone knows, are not linear.  They are fragmented, jumping from random thought to random memory.  I would have to watch this at least once more to really understand the film’s nuances (and watch the ending, since at the screening, the disk was damaged and we didn’t get to watch the ending), so I don’t really have much to say.  There was one sequence when the music was played at ear-splitting levels, and I’m not sure if that was because of the projector or if it was the film, but that wasn’t pleasant.

Good for watching: for a film class on queer films (this was made in 1969).

Overall: fascinating experimental take on a tragic story, loaded with symbolism.

Grade: A