Tag Archives: Dazai Osamu

Conflicted About “47 Ronin”

Related Post: Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II.

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From Left to Right: Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, and Kou Shibasaki.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I am very conflicted about going to see 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves in theaters December 25th.

On one hand, the film seems to have little to do with Chūshingura (忠臣蔵), the original kabuki (歌舞伎) play I read in the “Traditional Japanese Literature” class I took at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo. Moreover, the film has reportedly not done well with Japanese audiences.

BUT, on the other hand, I really want to support the amazing selection of Japanese actors cast in the film. And, for that reason, I’ve devised the following list…

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Dogen on Lost (Season 6).
  • Notable Accolades: He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and received an honorary MBE award.
  • Why is he awesome?: While filming The Last Samurai (2003), he almost cut off Tom Cruise’s head (“Cruise has brush with death”).
  • Film Recommendations: Sanada-san stars in my favorite samurai film The Twilight Samurai (2002). This film has only two fight scenes (one short and one long), but they are both jaw-dropping in their seemingly effortless choreography and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Kou Shibasaki (柴咲コウ)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (2000); she was slated to play Gogo Yubari’s twin sister Yuki in Kill Bill, but dropped out due to other commitments.
  • Notable Accolades: She won a Japanese Academy Award for her performance in Go (2001).
  • Why is she awesome?: She starred in the first Japanese television drama I ever watched called Orange Days (2004) in which she played a deaf character, performing all her lines in Japanese sign language.  Plus, she’s an adorable pop singer (“KISS Shite” by KOH+).
  • Film Recommendations: Shibasaki-san stars alongside Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite Japanese films called La Maison de Himiko (2005) about a young woman who is asked by her dying father’s young male lover to work in her father’s nursing home for gay men.

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Rinko-Kikuchi-2

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Rinko Kikuchi (菊地凛子)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mako Mori in Pacific Rim (2013).
  • Notable Accolades: She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Babel (2006).
  • Wh is she awesome?: She’s the first Japanese actress in 50 years to be nominated for an Oscar! Plus, she’s appeared in a number of films with Tadanobu Asano (see below) including his directorial debut Tori (2003).
  • Film Recommendations: I absolutely adore The Brothers Bloom (2009), starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and (of course) Rinko Kikuchi!! :) Kikuchi-san silently pantomimes throughout this film and is an absolute delight to watch.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信)

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE ACTORS!

Some of these film recommendations might be hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re having trouble finding a title and really want to watch it, message me at gegallas@hotmail.com and I’ll see if I can help! :)

Also, for those of you who go see 47 Ronin, leave a comment here and let me know what you think!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Brief Update

Here is a brief update on my current creative projects and endeavors…!

Tuesday, August 7th

  1. Today, had lunch with the lovely Tina C.  She’s a really smart and wonderful lady. She gave me some helpful advice about The JET Programme (something I may do in the future) and the JLPT Japanese Language Proficiency Test (something I’ve been considering). We ended up speaking English with a bunch of random Japanese words thrown in (●´∀`●). I’m not sure if she’ll be staying in SF, but I hope we can become friends!
  2. Lately, been trying to practice my Japanese language skills thanks to my new iPad!  Downloaded the app “iBunkoHD” to read literature in the original Japanese (Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Natsume Sōseki, Dazai Osamu, etc.). Downloaded another app “Japanese Advanced Phrases” to practice newspaper terms, 四字熟語 (yojijukugo: a word consisting of four kanji), idioms, etc.

Wednesday, August 8th

  • Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…

Thursday, August 9th

  1. Posted a new topic at a forum called Making Graphic Novels to promote The Poet and the Flea. Check out post here.
  2. With a discount from Stage32.com, applied to the Emerging Screenwriters 2012 Screenplay Competition. Information updated on “Applications” post, here.

Friday, August 10th

  1. Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…
  2. Thinking of signing up with Top Web Comics: Comic Rankings. Any advice?
  3. Finally connected with potential director/producer. He seems experienced, interested, and enthusiastic. Going to send him a few short scripts.

Saturday, August 11th – Sunday, August 12th

  • Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…

Monday, August 13th

  1. E-mails, e-mails, e-mails…!
  2. Trying to figure out the best way to scan The Poet and the Flea. Options, options, options…

Tuesday, August 14th

  1. Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…
  2. As recommended by a fellow artist, signed up with mlkshk.com. It’s a bit like Tumblr and Pinterest. Not quite sure how it works yet though… Forgot to mention, a few days ago, signed up with stumbleupon.com. Not quite sure how this one works either… I’ll figure it out eventually.
  3. Spoke again with potential director/producer. He has lots of interesting ideas for Robots Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Will speak again soon.

Etcetera

  1. The Poet and the Flea: 37 pages of written script (1 page of script = 4-6 illustrated pages), and about 36 pages (1-18, 21-23, 27, 29-30 completed, and 19-20, 24-26, 28, 31-36 in progress) of illustrated work.
  2. Continuing to help fellow screenwriter/filmmaker Jay Dial.

To Do:

  • Work on research, character sketches, etc. for Shannon.
  • Schedule second meeting with Shannon for August.
  • Attend The Pixel-Flick TV Actor/Filmmaker Alliance Second Meeting (August 18th).
  • Finish The Man Who Never Smiled by end of August.
  • Sign up with IMDbPro.
  • Apply to the Bluecat Screenplay Competition (before October 15th).
  • Sign up with Top Web Comics: Comic Rankings.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Some Visual Inspiration

Just wanted to organize some images that have inspired/continue to inspire me of late.

Images in chronological order.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images!!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

“Antaeus setting down Dante and Virgil in the last circle of hell” (1827) by William Blake

“Symphony in White no 1″ (1862) by James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson (1887) by John Singer Sargent

“Landscape with Green Trees or Beech Trees in Kerduel”
(1893) by Maurice Denis

Actress Barbara Stanwyck (1940s)

Japanese author Dazai Osamu (1940s)

“Mahoning” (1956) by Franz Klein

“Tet” (1958) by Morris Louis

Poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958)

From Ingmar Bergman’s “The Magician” (1958) starring Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin

Actress Sarah Miles in “Vogue” (1964).

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Brainstorming

Ideas for future projects…

The following is a list of various works (literature, poetry, art, etc.) that have influenced me and may influence new projects in the future, as well as ideas that have been churning around in my head.

Also, this is a sort of semi-reading list for books I would like to read and re-read. Some advice for anyone interested in reading these books: Project Gutenberg, Bartleby.com, etc. are WONDERFUL for literature written in English. But if you are interested in Dumas, Hoffmann, Pushkin, or any other author who did not write in English, I would highly recommend Penguin Classics — their English translations are always BRILLIANT (although the very best, of course, is to read a work in its original language — for instance, I happen to hate Dazai Osamu and Yoshimoto Banana translated [no offense to the translators, it's not their fault], but I absolutely love them in the original Japanese)!!

In no particular order…

  • Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin: about to read.
  • The Tales of Hoffmann by E.T.A. Hoffmann: must read.
  • The Moonstone, etc. by Wilkie Collins: must re-read/read.
  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri: have read.
  • The works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: have read/must read.
  • Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther and his friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem: have read/would like to continue to research.
  • Philipp Otto Runge, Romantic German painter: have researched.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, The Black Tulip, etc. by Alexandre Dumas: have read.
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Suicide Club by Robert Louis Stevenson: must read.
  • Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey: must read.
  • John Singer Sargent and the Portrait of Madame X: have seen at the Met/must research.
  • Lord Byron (“The Limping Devil”), Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley — the origins of Frankenstein: have read/must research.
  • Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Franz Liszt (as a young piano teacher): would like to continue to research.
  • Béla Bartók (and his research into folk music): would like to continue to research.
  • David Popper (Bohemian cellist and my all-time favorite composer): need to find more information about him!
  • The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden by Federico García Lorca: have read.
  • A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg: have read.
  • The works of Christopher Isherwood: have read.
  • The Quiet American and The Third Man by Graham Greene: love movies/must read.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Constant Gardener by John le Carré: love movies/must read.
  • Hollywood stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Mary Pickford, Sessue Hayakawa, etc.
  • The Stones Cry Out by Okuizumi Hikaru: have read.
  • The works of Dazai Osamu: have read/must read.
  • The works of Ibuse Masuji: must read.
  • The works of Mishima Yukio: have read.
  • The works of Kenzaburo Oe: have read.
  • Okinawan literature: have read.
  • Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor: have researched.
  • Hendrik Goltzius, the Dutch engraver: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Morris Louis, American Color Field painter: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Jean Cocteau, French filmmaker: would like to research.
  • Philippe Halsman, Latvian-born American photographer: would like to research.
  • The operas of Jacques Offenbach, Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Giacomo Puccini, etc.
  • …?
To be continued…!

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


About New Projects

New Screenplay

Current Status: Rough outline completed and about 8 pages in.

Inspiration: The deaths of Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan.

Themes: Self-destructive, addictive obsession.

Topics of Interest: Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan; Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols; Lewis Carroll and  Alice in Wonderland; Dazai Osamu and No Longer Human; etc.

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New Graphic Novel

Curent Status: Rough outline and character designs in progress; construction of dedicated website in progress.

Inspiration: William Blake’s miniature painting, “The Ghost of a Flea.”

Themes: Life and death; family; religion; society? The Industrial Revolution, etc.

Topics of Interest: William Blake, “The Ghost of a Flea,” The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) and Dante, etc.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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