Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kenji Kawai and his Cinema Symphony

In my regular email updates from CDJapan I noticed they're taking preorders for this upcoming CD compilation by Kenji Kawai, the man who has done the soundtrack work for nearly all of Oshii's films (in addition to many other films, TV series, and video games).

The set -- "K-Pleasure -Kawai Kenji Best of Movies" -- will focus on Kawai's work on Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, and (the non-Oshii related) Death Note. It's main selling point seems to be that the CDs are in the hybrid Super Audio CD format.

Anyway, this reminds me that earlier this month Kenji Kawai performed a number of his soundtrack works at a live performance in Tokyo. Check out a couple of TV spots here. A slideshow from the event can be seen here. (A good selection, definitely weighted toward the Oshii-helmed features.) I think I read that there's going to be an upcoming DVD release of this performance. I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shin Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden trailer

Shin Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden just came out in Japan a couple of days ago, but I have yet to see any English-language reviews of it. I'm hoping that Mark Schilling over at The Japan Times might do one, but we'll have to see.

For now, here's the trailer via the new Twitch video player.

My Newest Oshii Paper

All right! My proposal for next year's Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference has been accepted. Now I just need to actually write the paper -- titled "Documenting the Anime City: Auteurism and the Anime-ic Documentary in Oshii Mamoru’s Tokyo Scanner and Tokyo Vein" -- by March.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FsJ8 "Temjin"

I'll post later about the Amazon Japan shipment I received last week with some great Oshii-related stuff, but I thought I'd say a bit first about the figure you see in the picture here. It's apparently called the FsJ8 "Temjin" and it's from one of Oshii's segments of the "Shin Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden" film. It has to be the coolest mech I've seen in quite a while. I'm not into the whole toy/figure collecting scene, but I'd totally buy this figure if it didn't run a cool 35,000 yen (that's ~US$305).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oshii and Murphy's Irish Stout: Last Orders CM

I was just checking out Oshii's IMDB listing a couple of days ago and noticed an entry I had never seen before -- a commercial called "Murphy's Irish Stout: Last Orders." Oshii made a commercial in the late 1990s? How had this previously escaped my attention?

However, I couldn't find much to back up the assertion that Oshii was involved in this project. The official Production IG listing for the commercial just lists Hiroyuki Kitakubo as director with character design and animation by Kazuchika Kise. (The Production IG 15th anniversary book lists the same scant info for the commercial.) I can't find any other print resource in Japanese or English that associates Oshii with this commercial.

So I'm pretty that Oshii didn't have anything to do with the "Murphy's Irish Stout: Last Orders" commercial.

Shin Onna Tachigui Retsuden premieres

ANN as a brief writeup of the Shin Onna Tachigui Retsuden premiere at TIFF: Oshii Introduces Tachigui Sequel at Tokyo Film Fest. There are many reasons I would have liked to have been there, of course, not least of which is to witness Oshii's "flamboyant red carpet entrance."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Oshii in Variety

Via ANN, a new article in Variety titled "Anime films follow new inspirations: Evolving format aims to reach wider audience" briefly covers some of the new developments in anime, one of which is Oshii's upcoming film The Sky Crawlers:

Likewise, Production I.G's "The Sky Crawlers," which is set to unspool in Japan next year, will contain a romantic theme. For the pic, in which a society of children lives in eternal adolescence, helmer Mamoru Oshii ("Ghost in the Shell") decided to work with young scriptwriter Chihiro Itou so that his message could reach his intended audience.

"Nowadays, there are many stories in live-action and animation that are targeting young people," producer Tomohiko Ishii explains. "However, very few of them have earnestly depicted the reality that youngsters are actually living in."

It'll be really interesting to see what they come up with for the film. The screenwriter Chihiro Ito previously wrote the scripts for the films Crying out Love, in the Center of the World (aka Socrates in Love, in the English adaptation of the original novel) and Spring Snow (Haru no Yuki, the recent film version of the Mishima novel). It's been a while since Oshii has worked with a screenwriter other than Kazunori Ito (no relation to Chihiro, I assume).