by Rob Boylan
I know I've been guilty of posting trailers for Hayao Miyazaki's new film The Wind is Rising (which opened in theaters in Japan yesterday), but the collective e-jizzing over the 4 minute trailer that came out on Friday calls for a pretty big Whoa Nelly There.
The film looks great, like classic Miyazaki, though it's getting mixed reviews so far in the kind of schizophrenic Japanese press (seriously, the various best of and worst of end-of-year lists basically read like jumbled versions of each other).
But calm the fuck down.
It'll be a long time before we get to see it. It has no American distributor as of yet, and it's not kid exactly friendly so don't count on Disney pulling the trigger on it despite John Lassetter's open manlove for Miyazaki. The fact that it has no distributor yet might mean a few hundred lucky people will get to see it at the Toronto International Film Fest (though I tend to doubt it), but for the rest of us the general turnaround is about 2 years for the Japanese release of Ghibli film to the American release. This year's GKids release of From Up on Poppy Hill (written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro) was originally released in 2011 in Japan, and last year's Arietty was released in 2010 in Japan. Ponyo was around a year, but was very kid friendly and was released by Disney who backed it heavily for a a $16m return, second best for a Ghibli film in America (Arietti made $19m).
The two main reasons are that it takes a long time to produced a dubbed version of the film, and that Japanese DVDs and Blurays are so expensive that it's often cheaper to import them from another country, like South Korea or America. That's thought to be the reason why the rest of Ghibli's catalog is seeing such a slow bluray release in America (about two titles per year from Disney), and why the two biggest titles (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke) will probably be the last two titles to be released (neither have been released in Japan as of yet).
News, links, etc:
-Horror film writer Lianne "Spiderbaby" MacDougall has been accused of and admitted to plagiarizing others works in her own criticism on websites and in publications like FEARnet and Fangoria. Personally, I don't even need a whole hand to count the horror films I've enjoyed in my life, so I'm not at all familiar with her work (or, you know, others' work that she called her own), but it's still pretty bad. Who her boyfriend is shouldn't matter though. Even if he is no stranger to charges of plagiarism himself, it still leaves an extra bad taste in the mouth. (Impossible Funky)
-Filmmaker Magazine's annual 25 New Faces of Film. Two filmmakers I've written about on the blog, Eliza Hittman and Leah Shore, made it onto this year's list. (Filmmaker)
-In this piece on Dreamworks Animation and the ascendance of chief creative office Bill Damaschke, Brave co-director Brenda Chapman accuses Pixar head John Lassetter of micromanagement and egotism. Hardly a surprising accusation. Though Chapman is the most famous of Pixar's fired directors, it's actually a tradition at the studio that goes back to Toy Story 2. (NY Times)
-The Wind is Rising, about the man who invented the Zero fighter jet for Japan during WWII (the planes that did so much damage in Pearl Harbor), is coming out soon in Japan and the reviews are raves from adults -- but they're snores from kids. This isn't the first time Miyazaki has taken to the skies, of course. He's been there before in both Castle in the Sky and Porco Rosso -- which happen to be my two favorite Ghibli films (and I suppose you could argue that he's been there with Kiki's Delivery Service as well, and now that I think of it, Nausicaä had a glider too.) (Kotaku)
-China Lion is bringing the Chinese drama Tiny Times out for a North American release later this year. The drama, about materialistic youth, is the third biggest domestic film of the year in China behind Stephen Chow's first new film in 5 years, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, and Peter Chan's American Dreams in China (you should be on the lookout for both of these later this year/early next year too). There is no Orlando release planned, but certainly it should find its way to Netflix and other VOD platforms by the winter. (The Slanted)
-A look at Cameron Crowe's career as a young and enthusiastic rock journalist. (The Dissolve)
-In case you want to relive 1998, Ginger Spice has you covered with her new show. (Vulture)
-Nic Cage would like to clear some things up with you. (Guardian)
-Marlin Brando did a screen test for Rebel Without a Cause and you should watch it. (Playlist)
-More silent footage discovered, this time a piece of a missing Buster Keaton short wherein he proposes to his girl while being chased by a heavy. (Guardian)
-Just how awful, stinky, bad and generally no good was R.I.P.D.? Wesley Morris investigates. (Grantland)
-Is Spike Lee about to peace out after Oldboy? (HitFlix)
Trailers, posters, etc:
-Christoph Waltz in Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem. Gilliam hasn't made a good film in a long time, but this could be it. The "Not for Distribution" watermark on the video tells me that this video will probably be deleted soon. (Awards Daily)
-This is the second Catching Fire poster where the painting doesn't really look like Jennifer Lawrence. (Yahoo)
-Southcliffe, a new limited series from Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) starring Eddie Marsan, Kaya Scodelario and Shirley Henderson. (The Film Stage)
-Benedict Cumberbatch is Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. (First Showing)
-WB remade The Unforgiven in Japan with Ken Watanabe. (YT)
-I warned against this at the top of this, but I really can't wait for Lukas Moodysson's We're the Best! to be released. It's about a group of young punk rockers, based on a graphic novel by Coco Moodysson. (Twitch)
-Rio 2, because why not I guess? (Animation Scoop)