Archive for June, 2009

Tumbling back

Last night must have been the all-night birthday party because I swear, we were eatin Japanese fried-chicken with kare-raisu an’ playing Bakugan ’til the dawn of today.

My son is snoring like an old man now, so here’s a small update on Miyazaki and a few other notable tid-bits.

I bumped into a couple of my neighbors who had just caught the Miyazaki double-feature playing right around the corner from us at Symphony Space.  They screened Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky and showed a few clips from Miyazaki’s upcoming American release of Ponyo, Ponyo. They’re always screening something cartoony at Symphony Space so if you’re in the area, bring some popcorn and let’s go to the movies.

Miyazaki’s event at Berkeley’s Zellerbach hall is sold out.   Zellerbach Hall seats over 2,000 people so it will be an intimate talk with Miyazaki-sensei and his closest friends and fans.

If anime/cartoons aren’t your thing, the New York Asian Film Festival is kicking off next weekend.  Grady Hendricks and his band of 40 thieves have posted the schedule and a list of this year’s movies making it a few weekends of double-features for yours truly.

And if you’re the literate type, poet Sesshu Foster is coming to town to do a reading at the Bryant Park Reading Room (btw 5th/6th Ave.) on June 30th, 6:30-8pm.  This event is free and open to the public. I really, really love his poetry and in fact, wrote my senior thesis on L.A. and his book City Terrace Field Manual.

Cathy Park Hong is also reading with him.  I may have gone to Oberlin with her but we don’t talk about that.  Cathy won a Pushcart Prize for her first published book of poetry Translating Mo’um.  She’s a Fullbright Scholar, recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and all sort of other awards for her genius.

I, on the other hand, received a beat-up laptop for my efforts in 2006, amassed a collection of comics that even I am impressed with, and am proud owner of a poorly maintained Facebook page.  We have all earned our victories.

And with that, here’s a little something I discovered online: an interview in Bomb Magazine with Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai from 1998.  This was back in the day when Lawrence Chua was managing editor of Bomb and I read it religiously.  This interview I kept a copy of with me on my person at all times – wandering from NYC to the BKK, to HK and my own stay in Chungking Mansions.

I still remember how that paper felt between my fingers, the way the creases frayed when I folded it, and how it went from being an article holding information and transmitting a voice, to an object that I simply carried around, sandwiched between the stamps on my passport.

10 years past and I’m still hanging on his every word.

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Hayao Miyazaki tix go on sale tomorrow, noon (PAC)

Stay tuned to http://tickets.berkeley.edu/ for tix, and to http://ieas.berkeley.edu/cjs/50th_Anniversary for more info.

Full deets/programming below:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation

6:00 PM to 7:45 PM

Zellerbach Auditorium

For this extremely rare, U.S. appearance, Hayao Miyazaki will be interviewed on stage, followed by a question and answer period with the audience. Join us for an opportunity to engage Miyazaki in a conversation about more than just anime— the social issues and ideas that his films champion, including the future of Japan and the role of the artist in a rapidly evolving world.

For tickets to this limited-seating engagement, please visithttp://tickets.berkeley.edu/

Hayao Miyazaki at Berkeley

The Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley is proud to award internationally acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki with the 2009 Berkeley Japan Prize, which honors individuals from all disciplines and professions who have, over a lifetime influenced the world’s understanding of Japan. In conjunction with his in-person acceptance of the award, Hayao Miyazaki will be honored with a series of events held on the UC Berkeley campus, celebrating his timeless body of film work.

Hayao Miyazaki is the second recipient of the recently inaugurated Berkeley Japan Prize; the 2008 winner was novelist Haruki Murakami.

HAYAO MIYAZAKI

For nearly fifty years, Hayao Miyazaki has been enchanting the world with fantastic, meticulously composed and emotionally soaring films, making him one of the world’s most respected and revered animators and directors. Among the dozens of films he has written, directed and animated, his best-known and beloved include: My Neighbor Totoro (1988); Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989); Princess Mononoke (1997); Spirited Away (2001); and Howl’s Moving Castle(2004). What makes Miyazaki’s work especially unique is, in a genre overpopulated with technology and robots, his films have a deeply nostalgic, ecological soul that conveys the critical message of caring for our planet and a global need for spiritual nourishment.

Miyazaki founded his now legendary animation studio, Studio Ghibli, in 1985, shortly after the release of his second major film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. After Studio Ghibli became a household name in Japan, it sought to bring their films overseas and built a partnership with the Walt Disney Company. In 2002, Miyazaki’s masterpiece Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated feature film— the first Japanese animated film ever to win the award. Audience reaction to Spirited Away was unprecedented. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times heralded Spirited Away as: “..enchanting and delightful in its own way, and has a good heart. It is the best animated film of recent years… the Japanese master who is a god to the Disney animators.”

July 12, 14, 19, and 21, 2009

A Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

Pacific Film Archive

In anticipation of director Hayao Miyazaki’s in-person appearance at Berkeley, the Pacific Film Archive will host a retrospective, which will showcase four special screenings of his films. Even if you already treasure Miyazaki’s films on DVD, you won’t want to miss this chance to appreciate their beauty as it was meant to be seen: on the big screen. All films will be shown in the original Japanese 35mm prints with English subtitles.

Sunday, July 12, 4:00 p.m.   My Neighbor Totoro / Tonari no Totoro

Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 p.m.   Porco Rosso / Kurenai no buta

Sunday, July 19, 2:30 p.m.   Castle in the Sky / Tenku no shiro Laputa

Tuesday, July 21, 7:00 p.m.   Princess Mononoke / Mononoke Hime

For a complete listing of times and to purchase tickets, please visithttp://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/miyazaki_2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

San Francisco Bay Area Premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo

Wheeler Hall

6:00 PM-8:00 PM

The Center for Japanese Studies, in conjunction with the Pacific Film

Archive, is pleased to present the Northern California premiere of Hayao

Miyazaki’s latest film, Ponyo, to be screened at Wheeler Hall on Friday,

July 24, 2009. Ponyo (Gake no ue no Ponyo) follows the adventures of an

intrepid goldfish and a young boy named Sosuke, who rescues her from a

bottle among debris that human beings have inflicted upon the ocean. In

this playful story of Ponyo’s rebellious desire to become human and of the relationships between children and parents, the great director again proves his peerless ability to connect with the keen perception and heart of a young child, while creating a world that speaks truths to adults as well. Among the many brilliant passages achieved through Miyazaki’s hand drawn animation are the artist’s irresistible depiction of a paradisal undersea realm and a wild tempest caused by Ponyo’s willfulness. The English-language version, produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall of Disney Studios and Steve Alpert of Studio Ghibli, features the voices of Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus (Ponyo), Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas (Sosuke), Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White.

Gake no ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea) was Japan’s biggest box office hit in 2008. Ponyo also won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Animation of the year and, by special invitation, was screened at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.

For tickets to this limited-seating engagement, please visithttp://tickets.berkeley.edu/

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Hayao Miyazaki Symposium

Institute of East Asian Studies

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free and open to the public

Leading scholars of Japanese popular culture, literature, and film will discuss Hayao Miyazaki’s work and his international influence in a roundtable panel discussion.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation

6:00 PM to 7:45 PM

Zellerbach Auditorium

For this extremely rare, U.S. appearance, Hayao Miyazaki will be interviewed on stage, followed by a question and answer period with the audience. Join us for an opportunity to engage Miyazaki in a conversation about more than just anime— the social issues and ideas that his films champion, including the future of Japan and the role of the artist in a rapidly evolving world.

For tickets to this limited-seating engagement, please visithttp://tickets.berkeley.edu/

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