At the gym this morning I couldn't believe my eyes: on the television, between the Bugs Bunny cartoons, sudden scenes from "Kiki's Delivery Service"! She's an attractive young witch (the good kind) who rides her broom around a wonderfully timeless quasi-European city: there's gas-lamps, television and airships. I've never seen it, since I've never had access to a translated tape, and had no knowledge of a dubbed version's existence until now - the implication in the commercial was it's being released via Disney. Although he's done many others, these are the five feature-length "Japanimation" films by Hayao Miyazaki:
Just after my first trip to Japan my brother N scored a home run by sending me a sub-titled "Totoro" tape, which I practically wore out. It's the story of two girls in rural Japan circa 1955, and the wood-spirits they meet. I've seen the dubbed (and tragically edited) version of "Nausicaä" as well as "Laputa", but I've only seen the stills in the picture book for "Kiki". A few years ago the dubbed "My Neighbor Totoro" became available.
Saw "Next Stop Wonderland" today and liked it very much. Reminds me of the quote by
Andy Warhol - I may not have this exactly right, but it's something like "Real love's
never like it is in the movies. So I go to the movies." Great Bossa Nova soundtrack,
too. There were good previews:
In the evening I had Pud Thai at the "New Tung Kee" noodle restaurant, then hung around at Tower a bit. The odd "Bay City" coffee shop next door has closed down - this place was ever searching for an identity. It was popular, always had a bunch of regulars hanging around out front, but they'd installed monitors inside where they'd show the Game (a sports coffee shop??) and in its last days they even had live rock'n'roll - now it's a vacant storefront, the small notice taped to the door explaining the closure due to a lease disagreement with the owners. Inside Tower Records, on a large digital monitor, I watched a lot of "Tron" - a great film that was way ahead of its time.
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