Monday, April 25th, 2005

The Freed Pig

I owe the good people at Disney my thanks a) for making all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films available in North America and b) doing a good enough job with them that I’m not embaressed to watch the dubbed versions. Case in point – Porco Rosso. I found the voice acting from Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes and Kimberly Williams as well as the translated script to be thoroughly enjoyable on its own merits, and wish I understood French so I could have watched the French version with Jean Reno in the lead role.

Porco Rosso is a bit of a departure for Miyazaki as it’s a pretty straight comedy with none of the weighty themes or high fantasy of most of his other work. Porco Rosso is an ace seaplane pilot based in the Adriatic in the 1920s. He’s working as a bounty hunter, wanted by the Italian air force for desertion and oh yeah, he’s a pig. A group of seaplane pirates enlist an ace American pilot of their own to take down the flying pig, forcing him to enlist some help of his own in the form of a genius airplane engineer (who happens to be a teenage girl – first rule of Miyazaki, there will always be a heroic teenage girl). Dogfights, boxing matches and general hijinks ensue.

I really liked Porco Rosso, probably because it was so lighthearted and funny. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoy Miyazaki’s weightier works, but sometimes some straight fun is just what the doctor ordered. There’s more reading on the film to be had at I believe this leaves me with just My Neighbour Totoro and this year’s Howl’s Moving Castle to see of Miyazaki’s full-length features.

The new Posies album is called Every Kind of Light and is out June 28. There’s a clip of a new song off the album here.

Dressy Bessy release their new album Electrified on June 14 and will be touring to support this Summer. Boo to using Java applets on their website – come on, what year is this? Fluxblog has an mp3 from their last self-titled album and manages to spark up a discussion about Belly’s King, an album much beloved by myself. Album info from Delusions Of Adequacy.

Video footage of Wilco performing “I’m A Wheel” in London. From Hold My Life.

Following up from yesterday… more videos! Both these production houses are based right here in Toronto and have produced some terrific stuff. Check out Plates Animation and watch the video for Arcade Fire’s wonderfully Triplets Of Belleville-ish “Neighbourhoods #3 (Power Out)” clip, as well as vids for The Shins and Mogwai. And also visit Ghostmilk to see part of the video for Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl”… Anyone know where I could find the whole thing online? 517 also recommends Spy Entertainment for your high-res video viewing needs.

Update: Thanks to Tab for providing a hookup for the BSS video – click here.

I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt the apartment building in which I was living broke off its foundations, slid down through the city (which was built on a very steep embankment) and fell into a 50-storey deep crevice, taking with it all my material goods. Apparently my subconsciousness hates the idea of moving even more than my consciousness does.

Early post! Got a meeting off-site this morning.

np – British Sea Power / Open Season

By : Frank Yang at 8:29 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. mr g says:

    that "power out" arcade fire vid is outrageous. thanks for the pointer, as well as the dressy bessy heads up.

  2. PG says:

    it’s great to see a lot of canadian directors getting cool work nowadays-though maybe even cooler that there are outlets to actually *see* their work outside of the old video channel formats.

  3. Frank says:

    yeah, I had no idea that BSS had videos for like half the album. A better question, however, is why they don’t consolidate them all on their website? Surely there’s not rights issues for a band’s own videos?

  4. PG says:

    sometimes there can be issues if a foreign label foots the cost of a video, though I have no idea what BSS’s, say, UK label is, OR if it’s just they haven’t bothered to put it up OR some other reason.

  5. david says:

    I was expecting a post on Wes Freed (Drive-By Truckers album cover artist)…

  6. mamma aiuto says:

    If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, pay the Ghibli Museum a visit. It’s every bit as magical as the films. Best museum experience. Ever. When I was there in February, they had a special Pixar exhibit and it was awesome to see those guys rave about Miyazaki’s influence on their work. How can you not have seen Totoro yet??

  7. josh says:

    check out those giant dvd bins at wal-mart sometime…i found a fox edition of "my neighbour totoro” for like 6 bucks. it is quite adorably awesome (and the "spirited away" dust mites make their debut appearance).

    i also recommend the nausicaa manga. i’ve been making my way through the series since i picked up the dvd a couple months ago, which is basically the first book, but there’s seven altogether.

  8. Barry says:

    I loved Porco Rosso! It screened here a couple of weeks ago, and gave me such a warm feeling when it finished: Fio was magnificent.

    It so happens that I picked up Nausicaa to watch tonight, since I missed it on the big screen (we had a mini festival of five of his movies).

  9. Stanley says:

    I must watch Porco Rosso. As for "my neighbor totoro," limewire pro has many downloads available for it. It’s an beautiful and warm.