Fred and the Magic Worm___________________ September 14th, 2003 - monday___



Check out this great piece of guest art from Mr. Steve Mack! I've admired his work for some time now, so I got all giddy when I saw this! Be sure to drop by Steve's Illustration Farm when you get the chance, and check out all of his other amazing work. Thanks, Steve!


So, after being swamped with work for the past few weeks, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch a couple of films. Luckily, I saw a couple of films that totally blew my mind.

Punch-Drunk Love began haunting me the moment the credits began to roll. Its gorgeous visuals, intense musical score, brilliant acting, and a simple yet pitch-perfect script make this film an incredible experience. Paul Thomas Anderson has put together a richly-textured masterpiece that, despite his propensity for creating dense and heavy-handed material, manages to stay wonderfully light on its feet. I can't stop watching this movie!

Another amazing film I saw recently was Isao Takahata's My Neighbors the Yamadas, one of the new films from the good people at Studio Ghibli. I'll have to admit that with both of these films, it was initially difficult for me to get into the narratives due to their odd styles and structures, but once you're in, the filmmakers are able to use these quirks to their full advantage and play them up for heightened emotional effect. The final 20 minutes of My Neighbors the Yamadas are simply incredible. Takahata is also the director of Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday (one of my all-time favorite films).

As for films that are currently in theatrical release, a while back I caught an early screening of Lost in Translation, director Sofia Coppola's sophomore effort featuring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen. Murray is wonderful as usual and Johanssen's performance just eats up the screen. While I didn't feel this was a tour-de-force of any kind, it leaves you with the kind of feeling you get when you have a nice cup of coffee after a mild chocolate cake. I highly recommend it.

Hey, I should get paid for these reviews!




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all material (c) copyright 2003 Kazu Kibuishi