Category: Crit & Contex studies OUDF106


Prince of Perisa he movie… well I’m not going to mention anything about the terrible script of the presence of the typical female but its connection with the game.  They had done a great job in replication the mes-en-scene from the original game. The prince looks amazing in costume and resemblance to the character and the visuals when her uses the dagger is even more impressive than any animation I have seen in the game. This maybe because it is live action and seeing the prince ( a real person) crossed with the effects is something that young boys imagine when are playing the games. They want to be this character and seeing this on screen in live action is very exciting. I have to commend this film for staying as true to the game as possible, something which i think alot me directors should do when making games into moives.

 

To flop or not to flop. Thousand of final fantasy fans eagerly awaited the release of Final Fantasy’s first movie and a full CGI one at that, Spirits Within. I was one of those fans, I was also one of those fans who was incredibly disappointed with it. The aesthetics of the move are astounding and like nothing that had been seen prior to its release but this wasn’t enough to secure the success of the movie. When fans hear the name Final Fantasy it means something more than a name, it means a certain type of games play, familiar characteristics in the characters, battles and creatures. One big trate being Summons, giant creatures call fourth to fight in your stead, with summons like Shiva, Ifrit and Bahamut in attendance in every game prior to the movie. Also the colossal battles taking place with magnificent beasts and bad guys another trate of the series. Final Fantasy; Spirits Within had none of that, absolutely no relation to the games what so ever, big mistake. the whole move just felt like Square Enix showing off what they can do, which is stunning but the movie was totally irrelevant to the Final Fantasy series. Now if they had called it something other than final fantasy, just Sprits Within brought to you by the creators of Final Fantasy, I think the whole perception of the movie would have changed and would not have been compare to the FF series what was the epic down fall of this movie.

  • Howls moving castle feature film is produced my Studio Ghibli and released in 2004, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • It is in the style of Anime
  • Before it’s domestic release in November 2004 Howls Moving Castle had already been given the prestigious Osella award for technical excellence at the Venice Film Festival. following its debut in japan the film received the Audience Award at the Sitages International Film Festival. Proceeding that Miyazaki won the Time Mashine Award for lifetime achievement at the festival’s inaugural ceremony. Miyazaki went on to win many more awards  following the success of Howls moving castle.
  • On the opening weekend howls moving castle was seen by 1.1 million viewers and earned 1,500 million yen ( approx $14.6 million)
  • Jone’s Howls moving castle was published in 1986 and is a light hearted and tantalizing fantasy story that elegantly deconstructs a number of familiar fairy tale conventions. Jones believes it was this and the characters that made the story instantly appealing to  to Miyazaki. Also the challenge of creating a movie whose heroine is a pensioner rather then a young child or shoujo. To create an attractive character without the assistance of well-tested aesthetic and generic conventions. Miyazaki to careful care and consideration to the diverse opinions voiced by his teams younger staff. Toshio suzuki stated ” he wasn’t sure… weather it was okay for a popular entertainment movie to have a 90 year old woman at its center from beginning to end.’ so he would bring it up at staff meeting and a female responded with “whats wrong with having a grandma as a heroine? it think its  great idea” another female staff member would say ‘it might be nice to see her back in a girls body every now and then’ it was those exchanges that really inspired Miyazaki’s imagination.  Subtle facial adjustments and bodily modulations give the impression that Sophie is neither 18 or 90 but several ages at once, glimpses of he young  Sophie fluidly infiltrate the images of her permanently aged self.
  • THE STORY; The main character is Shophie, a young talented hat maker. While Sophie is busy working on her hats a moving castle comes to a halt on the outskirts of the town. It is rumored to belong to a wizard who eats the souls and hearts of young girls. Having enraged the witch of the waste, by attracting Howls attention, she turns Sophie into an old woman and casts a curse that see can not tell anyone about it. Sophie runs away from her friends and family  and when evening descends she comes across the wandering castle and forces her way in and invites her self to stay the night. The wizards apprentice Michael is powerless to stop the demanding old lady and she falls sleep in front of the fire. When she awakens she discovers the flames are actually a face, the fire demon Calcifer. Calcifer is also under a curse, bound to the castle hearth not knowing how this has come to pass. Sophie and Clacifer strike a bargain to discover each others curse and out an end to it. This then give Sophie an excuse to reside in the castle an claims the position of house keeper. Upon the wizards (Howl) return he neither invites her to stay or leave.- In Jone’s novel the wizard has a reputation as a heart eater giving him the credentials of your standard fairy tale ogre but upon closer insperction it is just mindless philandering. Howl has given up hiss own heart in order to save a falling star from certain death, thereby giving birth to the fire demon Calcifer. having given up his heart his lack of sincere emotion compels him to wander helplessly from woman to woman unable to feel anything other than the desire to make them fall for him then rid himself of their attentions.
  • Throughout the film, the audience  is constantly discouraged from taking appearances at face value and urged instead to accept the existence of discrepancies between people’s physiques and their personalities. Sophie her self combines the semblance of the hag with the crooked nose (which is often associated with somebody evil like a sorceress) and characteristics of popular heroines immortalized by animations based on fairy-tale and fantasy. Sophie’s blue dress and white apron, for example, instantly brings to mind diseny’s Alice, whereas the protagonist’s earnest battle against dust and cobwebs is vividly reminiscent of snow white’s analogous approach to her hosts’ untidy dwelling.
  • Towards the end of the movie we see Sophie looking more like her younger self but she still has grey hair. Although her hair is thick like that of a younger woman. This stylistic decision could be read as a symbolic reminder, on Miyazaki’s part, that the past is indelible and that even though baleful spells may be broken and evil vanquished, the traces of the past experiances live on.
  • Miyazaki has remained fundamentally faithful to its drifts and tenor. The film has considerable narrative complexity, leaving strands for the story open to allow viewers to complete it by recourse of their own imagination faculties.
  • Manga and anime are seen as the equivalent of Western comic books or graphic novels. But are very different in theme and style.
  • In Japan manga is or has been a big influence on Japanese culture. It is estimated that 40% of material published in Japan is in the form of manga.
  • Manga writers have a different approach when creating stories. The character roles are not set in stone but develop, have relations ships, change job roles and even have characters not know each other when they have previous.
  • Manga has a specific visual style. extremely large eyes, lipless mouths and heart-shaped faces. many time has it been pointed out that these anime/manga characters are obviously not japanese in their ethnicity. It has been expressed by animation director Mamoru Oshii and by Hayao Miyazaki that they want there readers to experience an alternative world. Although these characters do not resemble Japanese ethnicity, the style of illustration and animation represent the Japanese.
  • The term anime means japanese animation and is closely related to manga in it stylistic features. Before it was named anime it was commonly refered to as senga eiga, which means drawn line pictures.
  • “Anime film shots are filled with tracking shots, long-view establishing shots, fancy pans unusual point of view camera angles and extreme close-ups.. in contrast with most american produced animations which tends to thrive  in an action obsessed middle distance” Ledoux and Ranney 1997 p.3
  • despite the wide variety of anime they are classifiable in three main categories;
  1. Catastrophic anime; reflections on the legacy of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, urban alienation, Japans record-breaking suicide rates and economic problems.
  2. Carnivalesque anime; this embodies the spirit of Matsuri, a key component of Japans social and ceremonial existence. Pain, ecstasy, sex, death, worship, fear, purity and pollution are all vital elements in the japanese festival.
  3. Nostalgic anime; this conveys a sense of melancholy inspired by a deep awareness of the briefness of life and pleasure. this mournful concept is encapsulated by the japanese notion of mono no aware the ‘sadness of things’.
  • Japanese anime has become the major way in which non-japanese are exposed to japanese culture.
  • anime clearly builds upon high cultural traditions. traditions like Kabuki (dominant form of theatre) and woodblock print and can even be tracked back to the mediaeval Zen cartoons. they also has reference to Bakumatsu and Meiji periods (1868-1912) in depicting supernatural themes.

We find our selves and view others participating in a virtual body on a daily bases. We see this in bodies impersonated by dancers, actors and in our dreams. These impersonated bodies are both in the physical world and imaginary but both transport your consciousness into a different body to that of who you really are but your mind is still your own. In the age of the screen we find people immersed in a virtual body capable of slaying dragons, flying over imaginary worlds and behaving in different ways to what we would in reality. Things that our own bodies are not capable of but a virtual body we are still in control of with our physical body.

“Film is used to show a reality to an audience, cyberspace is used to give a virtual body and a role, to everyone in the audience.” Randall Walser

Randall Walser also said a film maker and play write try to communicate the idea of an experience where as a spacemaker sets up a world to experience within and not just imagine. It is the passion that the audience brings to these worlds that can be regarded as immersion.