02 September 2000
Princess Mononoke

Randomly hopping channels one night, I happened upon 'The Movie Show', a program that reviews, oddly enough, movies. They mentioned a 'Japanimation' festival happening in Sydney and that the dubbed (English script by Neil Gaiman, featuring Gillian Anderson--swoon) version of Hayao Miyazaki's latest movie, 'Princess Mononoke', was being screened as part of it.

That night.

Considering the film has never been (and doesn't look like it ever will be) released in Australia, that caused me some consternation. I had seen it in San Francisco the previous year, but there were other thingies who would probably like to see it. So I frantically contacted everyone I could and booked tickets to the one and only Melbourne showing. Good thing I did too, it sold out the following day.

The queue was enormous when I arrived, so I dutifully found a place and looked at the lovely postcard freebie that I got. Poor Reg got abducted by public transport and we skidded in just in time.

It was gorgeous the first time around. It was spectacular the second time. Apart from having to muffle giggles at the odd line ("Oh my god, it's the nightwalker!"), it is a visually spectacular film and Neil does an astonishing job of translating the dialog into English and fitting it to the animation. The voices were pretty good, although I wasn't that enamoured with Claire Danes. Of course, I thought Gillian Anderson did a fabulous job as Moro, the wolf god(dess). And it was a kick seeing Neil's name on the big screen again.

Reg and I enjoyed it thoroughly and much rehashing was done over sushi in China Town afterwards (complete with wasabi god of the forest with foliage made of the green plastic stuff wasabi comes wrapped in and wooden chopstick weaponry.) The wasabi sculpture prompted the following exchange:

LadyMissTree: "See the wasabi, feel the wasabi, be the wasabi..."
Reg: "There is no wasabi..."

Mononoke is gorgeous to watch and if you ever get the opportunity, go see it. If you're in Melbourne, drop by and I'll pop my copy in the DVD player for you. BYO popcorn.

ladymisstree • 08:47 PM


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