Animation talk, music and analysis: Understanding The Spectales of 'Extraordinary' | Presented by a nerd in-training
A teen Chinese-Australian who finds passion in smart and inspiring storytelling. An artistic and creative hopeful.
Talent: Able to rant nonstop about whatever I put my soul into, and there's always more to add to my list of things I'm interested in.
Also a new(ish) anime fan: you can call me an otaku-in-training.
Piano Master title pending...
Anyway, with much of the English-speaking finally coming its senses and started limiting mass gatherings to their daily lives for the next few weeks, one to be expected consequence was the extra pandemic of panic buying.
Listening to Arthur Hnatek’s album ‘Melismetiq’ drove me to sleep one afternoon. The pianist’s fingers tenderly brushing the ivory keys. The trumpet beaming a yawning melody, gliding weightlessly above the warm pop and crackle of bass, drums and sprinkled electronics.
I didn’t fall asleep because I was bored to tears. The album silenced the haphazard noise in my brain. It calmed every fibre of my body. It was perhaps the first hour I spent doing nothing in months. It was perhaps the best nap I had in years.
I’d imagine that the first paragraph might’ve provoked you to let escape a yawn as well.
Before Cinerama and CinemaScope, the movies contented audiences with screens whose dimensions averaged 20 feet by 16 feet. With the wide-screen technologies and formats of the 1950s, the movies engulfed their audiences, wrapping images as great as 64 by 24 feet around them (Belton, 2013, pg. 185). Belton went on to observe, that ‘The wide-screen revolution represented a dramatic shift in the film industry’s notion of the product that it was supplying to the public…shifting its primary function of providing entertainment to the public to include another function as well – that of recreation’ (pg. 186). The movie experience as mandated by the studios’ attempt to reverse the dropping audience attendance rate with spectacles of epic proportion, engaged their audiences through sheer illusory immersion, not only through giant images, but revolutionary multi-track stereo sound as well. Such an audio-visual effect was utilised to its zenith by a subset of gigantic productions during this period: historical epics.
If I were to think back to where I was in 2009, as a reference point for the decade that has just gone by…time REALLY didn’t go by THAT quickly huh?
This year’s contemplation came a few weeks late, because of the seriously bipolar weather suffered by Australia: bushfires in December/January quickly gave away to thunderstorms and flash flooding, which promptly knocked out our broadband.
A lot has happened. A lot of stories I got to witness and tell. A lot of triumphs and a lot of bullshit. Music enjoyment-wise as a fan of film music and soundtracks, the gold plunder is evermore deep, and I always relished in finding new names making it big in the spotlight.
2019 was also a year of goodbyes, as multiple years-long franchises close their curtains on a bygone era. How To Train Your Dragon. The MCU. Star Wars.
In continuing one of this blog’s last longstanding traditions, I present to you: the best in soundtracks of 2019.
While People Will Talk, starring Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain, was billed under the romantic comedy genre with tinges of domestic drama surrounding pregnancy out of wedlock, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s production was evidently driven by such dense additional narrative circumstances that at times it would seem decidedly unfitting. While the two central plot threads presented by People Will Talk – namely Grant’s character Noah Praetorius’ misconduct scandal and Crain’s Deborah Higgins’ attempted suicide upon discovery of her unwanted pregnancy – are certainly far less elegantly interwoven during the film’s runtime as one might like, the title People Will Talk alludes to the grander ideals preached by what was ultimately a parable of moral decency and the shackles of social expectation, which the two outlined narratives both explore in blatant and elusively satirical ways.
How do I even classify this film? It’s a period drama, romantic comedy, kinda political thriller and even a pinch of musical. This all-in genre meshing works very much both in favour and to the detriment of Samurai Shifters.
Continuing on with the format I established with the SFF earlier this year, I will be sharing some thoughts I had watching a new roster of Japanese cinema, in the midst of a unusually busy season of films for me (last I checked, I had 11 movie tickets already lined up for November and December).
Regular readers many already be familiar with how my lineups usually look, and while I am always looking for opportunities to inch beyond my tendencies and preferred genres, I believe that this comfort zone of mine is at least diverse enough for surprises, while also satisfying my own tailored love for cinema.
The [enveloping sounds/noise] of the keyboard and the creaking sounds of the guitar – that’s what surprised me the most in the first episode of this show. Of course, the animation by Studio Bones was also fantastic, but what hooked me were the boisterously dancing sounds that floated out of those visuals into my living room from beginning to end. Had I ever heard such lively and tangible notes coming from a TV anime before? Then came the second episode, where the BGM created by Mocky was simply overflowing with a sense of adventure. Make no mistake about it. This is Shinichiro Watanabe, no holds barred.
As September 2018 draws to a close, the TV anime Shojo Kageki Revue Starlight has, for the moment, come to an end. Now that everything has come to light, we are able to deliver the second half of the roundtable discussion between the music producers, Teppei Nojima (Pony Canyon) and Kohei Yamada (UPDREAM), and the lyricist, Kanata Nakamura. In it we look back on the revue songs that have accompanied the dramatic developments of the second half of the series, and ask about their overall thoughts as they strove to produce a ‘musical x anime mixed media’ project – something that has never been done before.
Shojo Kageki Revue Starlight: the franchise that has taken its ‘musical x anime mixed media’ concept and turned it into a myriad of different projects. The TV anime, which has been one of the franchise’s main pillars, will soon be coming to an end. What are the secrets behind the revue songs that have appeared in nearly every episode, leaving a strong impression on the viewers in their wake? LisAni will attempt to answer this question by diving into a roundtable with the show’s staff. In part 1 of this talk between three of the music production team – the music producers, Teppei Nojima (Pony Canyon) and Kohei Yamada (APDREAM), and the lyricist, Kanata Nakamura – we will be looking back on the songs that featured in the first half of the series.
As I look for ways to keep my writing brain well-oiled, I will be trying out a more ‘modular’ approach to blog posts: rather than dedicating each post to a singular theme that I hammer out mostly in one sitting, I’m taking a few pages from my old seasonal anime list posts, and compile short capsule reviews that I write throughout the week(s). In this instance, I have given myself a pretty decent schedule for the upcoming fortnight of movies that are screening at the annual Sydney Film Festival, and will be reflecting on each title I watch, before publishing it at its conclusion.
Philosopher Alain de Botton stated at the 2013 CDI (or the City of Ideas International Festival), that “the media is the teacher…once you’ve left school and university, or in other words for most of your life, you will not be educated in a classroom, but by the media.” The accompanying and profound implications of citing media as the ultimate signifier and shaper of society and identity has led me to diagnose the contemporary main driving model of media consumption – namely the on-demand binge culture subtitled the ‘Netflix Effect’ – and how this…new experiential frame of consumption in turn re-frames urban culture. The methodological significance of studying the currently dominant formats of mass consumption and popular media, in conjunction with its influence on cultural identity, is what I would argue a post-human integration of technically separate but intrinsically co-existing schools of cinema studies and cultural sociology: namely the cinematic city’s integration with the urban experience and Charles Taylor’s concept of the ‘social imaginary’.
Little did Yukito Kishiro know back in 1993, that the dream of seeing his manga on the silver screen would not only come true, but would take almost two decades to fulfil since the production was officially announced back in 2003.