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Alltogethernow's Asian Roundup

Posted by alltogethernow on 2004-03-25 19:32:06
12 forum posts
Takahashi Miike's Audition and Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away

Audition – Japan

huh?... it's a love story why's that girl got a needle?

Ok, Takahashi Miike is a Japanese director. Strangely enough, no Japanese person I have ever met has heard of him. The first movie I watched by this director was called ‘Visitor Q’, and I had to turn it off halfway through. Somewhere between the first line; “Have you ever fucked your father?” and the Necrophilia it became too much for my feeble mind and sense of morality to deal with, BUT a director shouldn’t be judged on one movie alone, especially when he has directed 60 movies in the last 10 years. Audition is simply put; A great movie.

A thriller in nature this movie follows the main character Shigeharu Aoyama, a widower, who has come to terms with his grief and decides he is ready to love again. His friend who is a director decides the best way for him to find love is to arrange a fake audition to screen potential mates. The two men question the women who show up for the audition and one in particular catches Aoyama’s eye, the beautiful if subtly strange Yamazaki Asami. He begins a courtship with this woman, a potential mate to be sure…. But something isn’t quite right…..

I must insist you watch this, to find out exactly what the problem is…………..
Although Takashi Miike is still relatively unknown in both Japanese and North American cinema this movie (and some of his others, Dead or Alive for example) are readily available at your local Rogers Video.

For the Children –
What’s in the bag?

Spirited Away – Japan

Chihiro.. over there.. behind you!

Widely distributed by Disney in North America, this Oscar winner (2002 Best Animated Film), is an uplifting tale of a young girl transported to a mythological spirit world when her parents take a wrong turn attempting to get to their new house. With all its popularity, it is surprising how many people have NOT seen this movie as compared to other animated features released in recent years.

Here I am talking about your Shrek, your Finding Nemo, your Toy Story, your Monsters Inc., etc, etc…

Some people (*cough* Paul *cough*) poo-poo Japanese animation (or Anime for those in the know), but saying you don’t like Japanese animation is too broad a statement to make. Anime is just a style, not a genre of movie. It can take many forms, from taught thrillers to gooey, sticky romance to action, giant-flying robot, space cowboy and of course Miguel’s favourite: Hentai. Just because Pixar didn’t put this one together doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile watch.

In the movie Chihiro, our heroine, is forced to work at a bathhouse for the spirits that, unbeknownst to us, share our world. A witch, who runs the bathhouse takes Chihiro’s name and turns her parents into pigs. It is up to Chihiro (now known as Sen) to get her name back, and free her parents….. Does she have enough mettle to complete these challenging tasks??

Hayao Miyazaki, the director, and writer is simply amazing. The animation and story really makes you feel like a kid again. It fills you with a sense of wonder, and amazement that is rarely felt after the age of 10. For this I thank him, and I can’t think of a better Asian movie to recommend.

For the Children –
If you like this movie check out Hayao Miyazaki’s other great works – Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and more!
  12 forum posts