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Watch, Watched, Watching: A new thread was Justified

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Finished Kiki's Delivery Service, Miyazaki's adaptation of a children's novel by Eiko Kadono. Better than Laputa, not as good as Nausicaä or My Neighbor Totoro. A sweet story of a young witch setting out to live independently for the first time, and using her only magical power (flight) to try and start up a delivery service. It makes sense in the film! It does have some genuinely thoughtful qualities, particularly Kiki's uncertainty about herself. It's very much something of a commentary on growing up and becoming your own person and finding your own way, framed as the story of a 13-year-old witch in the big city.

The most interesting thing, for me, about the film was this nagging feeling that the fictional place it takes place in -- lovingly rendered, as all of Miyazaki's landscapes are -- felt distinctly familiar to me, but there were details that didn't quite fit. I thought it was probably just a mishmash of elements from France and Germany and Scandinavia... and then when I looked it up on Wikipedia after I kicked myself: Miyazaki and his senior staff went to Europe indeed... specifically Stockholm and Visby on Gotland. 

Visby is a famous medieval city, filled with ruins and still having a goodly portion of its original medieval walls, streets, and other buildings. _And_ there are buildings covered in ivy, rarely seen outside of Gotland, which was probably what threw me most. Linda and I were there a few years ago for their Medieval Week (absolutely spectacular, by the by) and seeing images like these really bring me back now that I know what they felt familiar. Very cool. 

Next up will be Porco Rosso, of which I know practically nothing besides the fact that it features a flying pig (that is, a pig who flies an airplane).

Also watching Westworld (enjoyed the latest episode, except for a groan-inducing cameo that everyone's probably heard of) and Better Call Saul (latest episode was amazing). Oh, and Homeland, which trundles on to its final episode (it's going through the motions more than anything).

Edited by Ran

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Kiki is lovely. Yeah, not quite as good as Totoro or Nausicaa (or Spirited Away), but for what it is and trying to do, it's great.


I feel like Laputa suffers a little from being a bit too close to Nausicaa while trying to break away while Miyazaki wasn't yet sure how to do that. I don't think it needed the 'army trying to get its hands on ancient superweapons' plot, which is a direct lift from Nausicaa, at all and would have benefited from being a lighter, more personal race for the treasures of Laputa.

Porco Rosso is an interesting film. At first glance it's one of Miyazaki's more throwaway efforts but there's actually a fair bit going on under the surface. Interesting to see what you think.



Myself, I just watched Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda's latest. Enjoyable, as Hosoda always is, though it's probably his weakest of the ones I've seen (not yet seen Wolf Children), because I don't think he knew quite how to get from the solid premise to the emotional ending he wanted to reach and the finale is thus a really quite random exercise in gathering up threads that is far more grandoise than this movie really needed it to be. Wins major points though for its portrayal of a young family that is loving but nonetheless struggling with the pressures of balancing life and the family with a second child arriving, and for navigating a movie mostly from the PoV of a four year old very smoothly.

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21 minutes ago, Ran said:

Finished Kiki's Delivery Service, Miyazaki's adaptation of a children's novel by Eiko Kadono. Better than Laputa, not as good as Nausicaä or My Neighbor Totoro. A sweet story of a young witch setting out to live independently for the first time, and using her only magical power (flight) to try and start up a delivery service. It makes sense in the film! It does have some genuinely thoughtful qualities, particularly Kiki's uncertainty about herself. It's very much something of a commentary on growing up and becoming your own person and finding your own way, framed as the story of a 13-year-old witch in the big city.

Dude, get out of my head, I literally just finished watching Nausicaa Valley of the Wind.

I've been marathon-alternating between Hayao Miyazaki and Darren Aronofsky, and they compliment each other in some really fascinating ways. They both merge environmentalism with spirituality in a really captivating way, and both take a kind of pleasure, I think, in the idea of a post-human world where nature has reclaimed the Earth, but approached very differently. Really interesting stuff.

Edited by The Worm's Hole

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52 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

I feel like Laputa suffers a little from being a bit too close to Nausicaa while trying to break away while Miyazaki wasn't yet sure how to do that. I don't think it needed the 'army trying to get its hands on ancient superweapons' plot, which is a direct lift from Nausicaa, at all and would have benefited from being a lighter, more personal race for the treasures of Laputa.

I like Laputa but I agree that it's got similarities to Nausicaa but isn't quite as good.

Porco Rosso is an interesting film. At first glance it's one of Miyazaki's more throwaway efforts but there's actually a fair bit going on under the surface. Interesting to see what you think.

I watched it a few weeks ago, and it did have more depth than I expected from the plot summary of a flying pig fighting sky pirates.

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16 hours ago, Mexal said:

I will forever be someone that believes Sunshine was awesome for the first 2/3rds and then fell to shit in the last 1/3.

Haha - totally fair! There's enough in the final third for me to still enjoy the movie. I'm a sucker for movies in space so I have that bias.

Edited by Raja

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1 hour ago, Knight of Ashes said:

Maybe I shouldn't be watching  Zombieland right now...

 

 

Why not? It gives good advice. 

You should always wear a seatbelt. 

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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On 3/25/2020 at 12:59 AM, A True Kaniggit said:

Why not? It gives good advice. 

You should always wear a seatbelt. 

I'd rather double-tap...

...Emma Stone.

Edited by Knight of Ashes

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Of course I watched Sean of the Dead as it seems wildly appropriate during these times. 
 

It’s been a while since I’d seen it at I have to say I liked it even more than I used to. One of the things that kinda used to get to me was that I was so heavily invested in Spaced, that I found it kind of off seeing the same actors playing slightly different roles. Nick Frost especially never quite gelled for me as I was such a fan of Mike and his character in SotD always felt a bit ‘acted’. But some time and space has allowed me to like him a lot more and get over it.

Seeing people collapse in London, as people go about their daily lives ignoring it, seems super relevant

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^^^^Shaun!

I just watched episode 5 of The Leftovers

Spoiler

That stoning was fucking brutal. Damn. 

Also, Laurie going back to get the lighter reminded me of Arya hiding Needle.

 

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19 minutes ago, Ramsay B. said:

^^^^Shaun!

I just watched episode 5 of The Leftovers

  Reveal hidden contents

That stoning was fucking brutal. Damn. 

Also, Laurie going back to get the lighter reminded me of Arya hiding Needle.

 

Episode 6 is one of my favorites. Carrie Coon :wub:

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3 minutes ago, Raja said:

S1 is good, but 2 & 3 are next level stuff!

I’d probably rank 1 ahead of 3, myself, but those two are close. S2 is by far the best, imo. 

I might have to do a rewatch with all this extra time on my hands...

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6 minutes ago, Nictarion said:

I’d probably rank 1 ahead of 3, myself, but those two are close. S2 is by far the best, imo. 

I might have to do a rewatch with all this extra time on my hands...

I really need to go back and finish the leftovers, I really hated the first half of S2 and just gave up.

Edited by BigFatCoward

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11 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

I really need to go back and finish the leftovers, I really hated the first half of S2 and just gave up.

Damn, really? Why didn't you like the first half of S2? I think it's pretty perfect from the start but I'm curious

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8 minutes ago, Raja said:

Damn, really? Why didn't you like the first half of S2? I think it's pretty perfect from the start but I'm curious

Thought the new family was weird.  I only watched the first 2 episodes and I just found it jarring.

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Just now, BigFatCoward said:

Thought the new family was weird.  I only watched the first 2 episodes and I just found it jarring.

Fair enough! I think the new family was the best part of S2 but ymmv.

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4 minutes ago, Raja said:

Fair enough! I think the new family was the best part of S2 but ymmv.

They possibly would be if i'd finished it. 

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