I love animals. I love dogs, and cats, and horses, and lizards, and dinosaurs, and cats, and sheep, and many, many others. Even the scary ones (to an extend.) Point is, I love animals, but I hate films featuring them.
Why? Because often something happen to them in films. They may get hurt, or die, or just something terrible. I can’t bear watching that, even if I know that it’s just a film, that no animal was harm in the making of this movie. If there’s an animal, I will get emotionally invested in that animal.
And I will cry if something happens to them.
I don’t cry when watching films. Humans can die left and right and I’ll be like, cool film bro. An animal dies? WHY! HOW COULD YOU! OH MY GOD MY HEART IS BREAKING! /sob
So it’s funny when I turned up to JASS’s screening of Red Dog, an Australian film about a dog who changes the life of a small town in northern Western Australia, based on the book of the same name by Louis de Bernières, which is itself based on a true story.
Unlike the book (which I haven’t actually read, so I guess I could be wrong), the film is pretty funny and humorous, doing cliché and often ridiculous things in its narrating of the story. And thank the heavens for that, because I shed enough tears as it was.
It was funny and cute and sad but also hopeful and inspiring. It made both laugh and cry. And when a film can make you both cry and laugh, then it’s doing something right.
But more than anything, I loved the story, and the way it was told. But I’ll leave that for the review post I plan to write when I get to watch it again. :)
Wolves and Directors
I must have been 9 or something when ads about Digimon: Our War Game! first appeared on TV. Even though I was still excited about Pokémon, I had started watching Digimon, which I had begun to enjoy more.
Unfortunately the ads were for the US, not South America, so I didn’t get to watch it until much later, when the pirated version came out on VHS. When I finally watched it… OH, THE JOY! I was a kid. It was good.
I was happy.
Fast forward to almost ten years later, in 2011, and I’m sitting in the back of a classroom half-full with students at O-Day, watching a screening of Summer Wars and trying to keep the tears back without no one noticing that I’m actually crying at the film. Then the movie finishes, and I realise, hey, this seems familiar.
Both Our War Game! and Summer Wars have a similar plot: a computer AI is let loose into the Internet and causes havoc, risking the destruction of the main characters’ city/home and it is up to them, with the help of the rest of the world, to save the day.
They also have the same person at the helm of each project; Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda.
It was sometime last year on a Saturday that I met my friends from the Anime Club at Dendy’s Cinemas, Newtown, for Madman’s Anime Reel 2012. We were watching Wolf Children.
Wolf Children tells the story of Hana, an university student who meets and falls in love with a classmate who is secretly a wolfman (he can transform into a Japanese wolf at will). And then they have children! Who are part wolf. And so very adorable.
It is also a story of family, of love and lose, of raising children and keeping that smile no matter what happens. It was one the sweetest films I have watched, and it got me sniffling multiple times throughout the film.
Everyone who came to watch cried at least once. It was so bittersweet and beautiful.
Fast forward again to last night. Some of the same friends (including Vadim, who writes about it in his blog. He also organised our outing!) and I went back to Dendy’s Cinemas, to watch Wolf Children once again. But this time we had a little bonus. Mamoru Hosoda himself made an appearance!
After the film, we had a short Q&A session with Hosoda-san, with many people asking wonderful questions that lead to amusing answers which got us all laughing. After that, we moved to the foyer of the cinema for a short signing session.
Vadim managed to get the first spot and I was behind him. He had brought his BD edition of the film, and although I haven’t brought anything (I didn’t imagine there would be a signing.) but I was able to get my hand on a poster — one of the few people to do so.
Hosoda-san signed the poster quite cheerfully AND he even made a sketch of Yuki, one of the titular wolf children from the film. I was more surprised by how easy-going Hosoda-san was. Prior to tonight, I don’t think I even knew what he looked like! (I had, somehow, managed to turn a blind eye to any photos that exist on the Internet).
He even asked me in Japanese if I lived in Sydney (I had to turn to his translator, which was a bit embarrassing, haha~).
It was a great night. I don’t often go back to a cinema to watch a film I had already seen, but Wolf Children was definitely worth it, even if Hosoda-san hadn’t come. I definitely recommend anyone to watch it if you can!
P.S. I took the bus home from Newtown, only to find heavy rain at my suburb. Nonetheless, I faced the rain and managed to keep the poster dry even though my jacket, shoes or hair weren’t as lucky. But it was worth it.
I can’t explain how much this pisses me off and amazes me at the same time.
It’s partly because Snake, a little game that I encountered on late 90s’ Nokia phones and enjoyed as a kid, is ‘beaten’.
But mainly is the way it’s beaten. With such art and grace that blew my mind the first time I saw the gif, which first appeared on a Russian forum, according to Kotaku.
This little gif brings memories of countless attempts and deaths while eating the pellets as a snake. Alongside Tetris, it was one of my favourite video games while growing.
Goodbye MSN (1999-2003)
Today is the LAST day of MSN Messenger ever. RT if you have good memories of it. 1999 – 2013. R.I.P.
— MSN Memories (@MSNmesenger) April 7, 2013
Back in January, Microsoft announced that it was shutting down the instant-messaging system MSN Messenger. And today, it is its last day.
I don’t feel sad. Okay, maybe a little. MSN Messenger was one of the best to have happened to me in the early 2000s. It was how I kept in contact with my school friends after classes, going to an Internet Café near my house for an hour or two per day.
It allowed me to keep talking with them and with my father and brother once I moved to Australia. It helped me to open with the new friends I made in the forum Club Bleach. It kept me going through my first years of uni by, once again, allowing me to talk with my closest friends.
While I stopped using during 2011 (hence why I don’t feel as sad as I would be), MSN had quite an impact in my life — or at least allowe others to have an impact. And I thank you for it.
Rest well, MSN, and thank you for all the memories.
Shingeki no Kyojin – the new SAO?
Late 2011, when my Windows laptop started dying, it stopped being able to play high-quality anime (think of 720p or 1080p files. It was lag-hell). So I kept myself to one or two shows per season. Now that I have a macbook, that may change.
So far I have watched Ginga Kikoutai: Majestic Prince, Devil Survivor 2, Yahari Ore o Seishun Love Come, Zettai Bouei Leviathan, Shingeki no Kyojin and Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai and right now I plan to keep watching them, plus a few others.
But right now I want to talk about Shingeki no Kyojin. I should mention that there are SPOILERS beyond this point. Read the rest of this entry »
Mid-week cat pictures
It’s the middle of what has quickly turned into a long week, so I’m ‘borrowing’ the idea of posting cat pictures once a week from an author whose books I still haven’t read (or seen, now that I think about it.) Also, the Internet likes cats, right? Surely this will get me more views. (Not that I ever cared much about that.)
Above you can see my cat Blackie (guess what colour her fur is) hiding under my jacket. Well, I guess you can’t really see her, but if you look close, you should be able to see her tail! Isn’t she cute?
Next we have Melanie:
This was taken last week, and it took a couple of shots before I caught her looking at the camera. Melanie likes to jump and sit on my desk, usually when I’m seating and using my macbook. Sometimes she’ll get in between me and the macbook and lie there. Can get pretty annoying, especially in warm weather… but she’s still adorable~
An Easterly Screening
… is something I have forgotten to say to people. I’m not sure why. Easter isn’t as big as it used to be, to me anyway. I remember as kid watching plenty of shows and movies about Easter, Jesus, Moses and other Biblical stories; and giving (or when lacking eggs), drawing Easter eggs for people.
Anyway! Today I went to the JASS (Japanese Australian Student Society) and Anime@UTS joint screening event, where we borrowed (have I mentioned how I like to use the word ‘borrow’ as a replacement for the word ‘steal’?) a lecture hall and watched Thermae Romae and Rurouni Kenshin. The lecture hall was almost empty when we begun at 2pm, but it quickly filled up by the time the first movie got under way.
Thermae Romae tells the story of Lucius Modestus (played by Hiroshi Abe), a public baths Roman architect who finds a way to travel to modern Japan (who has a rather big public baths culture) and improves on the Roman bathhouses. It’s a funny, eccentric little movie, with plenty of laughs but with quite a bit of drama that surprised me, but still I still enjoyed. It’s based on a manga by Mari Yamazaki (an anime series was also made) of the same name but I suspect they changed the original story around (for drama, heh.)
Talking about changing the original story, the second movie we watched, Rurouni Kenshin, did as well. It’s based on a popular manga series from 90s by Nobuhiro Watsuki (it went on for 28 volumes!) with an equally popular anime series. Rurouni Kenshin it’s about a former assassin, now turned wanderer named Kenshin, who is travelling around Japan in order to atone for all the deaths he committed.
The film changed the story quite drastically, but I think it worked for the best. I really enjoyed the fight scenes (except for one or two things which were just too stupid and makes me want to rant whenever I think about it) and, well … Takeru Sato just makes a really good Kenshin, haha~.
Many thanks to JASS and Anime@UTS for putting this event together!