Tag Archives: Father

Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II

Okay, I just had to get this off my chest…

The Japanese manga and anime series Attack on Titan made absolutely zero sense to me until I realized it is an unmistakable analogy to World War II.

***

All over the internet, I kept seeing disturbing images of a giant human with no skin. I’m not particularly squeamish about violence in the media — most horror movies drive me into a fit of hysterical laughter. Plus, I’m generally fascinated by the macabre.  But certain things just get to me. Like the part in the brilliant Pan’s Labyrinth when Captain Vidal’s face is mutilated and he sews it back together (though I adore the Pale Man). Or in Boardwalk Empire (one of my favorite shows) when Richard Harrow (one of my favorite characters) scalps another character without hesitation.  And this giant skinless human is no different — sending shivers down my spine!

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 1.13.46 AM

Image from Attack on Titan
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I soon discovered that this giant skinless human is from a series called Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人, Shingeki no Kyoujin). When I first became interested in Japan around middle school, I used to watch a lot of anime. But I tend towards live-action series or movies nowadays (a wonderful tool for practicing my language skills). I do find the occasional anime series like the amazing Gankutsuou (巌窟王): The Count of Monte Cristo (which is actually the most faithful adaptation of Dumas’s masterwork) and the gripping Monster (モンスター) (scheduled to be adapted into live-action for HBO by Guillermo del Toro). In other words, I’m usually extremely picky about my anime. But, after being utterly confused by the Attack on Titan Wikipedia summary, I decided to give the series a try out of pure morbid curiosity.

So, I’ve been working my way through the episodes on Hulu. It might be a bit melodramatic at times and the so-called “Vertical Maneuvering Equipment” that allows the characters to leap around is pretty implausible. But it has a relatively well-constructed plot line and decent character development. The main characters Eren and Mikasa have particularly tragic yet compelling backstories. But I couldn’t help a strange feeling of déjà vu

ijoca8-2bc(thumbnail)

A page from Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

And then it hit me! I realized that certain elements of Attack on Titan bear a striking resemblance to the renowned manga Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン, Hadashi no Gen), about the bombing of Hiroshima and its survivors.

For instance: In Attack on Titan, Eren and Mikasa attempt to free Eren’s mother from underneath their collapsed house. But Eren’s mother begs them to save themselves. Eren and Mikasa, with the help of a city guard names Hannes, flee from danger as Eren’s mother is killed and eaten by a titan. This directly parallels Barefoot Gen. After the atom bomb drops on Hiroshima, Gen and his mother Kimie discover Gen’s father Daikichi and Gen’s siblings trapped underneath their collapsed house. Gen and Kimie attempt to free the rest of the family before they are consumed by the fire that has broken out all across the city. But Daikichi begs them to save themselves. Gen and Kimie are forced to flee from danger.

This parallel leads me to believe that the humanoid titans may have been inspired by the victims of the atom bombs. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many victim’s skin melted off or hung from their bodies in tatters. These victims must have been in excruciating pain and are depicted moving very slowly and blindly, almost like zombies. Although the titans are not meant to be sympathized with (at least not yet) as one would sympathize with the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their movements are very similar. In this context, the one skinless titan makes so much more sense to me. I really won’t be surprised if the series reveals that the titans are resulted from a human scientific experiment gone wrong and that we are indeed meant to sympathize with them.

Attack on Titan‘s analogy to World War II does not stop with the atom bombs. The series often explores themes related to militarism, group mentality, and self-sacrfice — topics often associated with Japan during World War II as well as World War II across the board.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps I’ll post more correlations between Attack on Titan and Barefoot Gen as I continue watching!

***

Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

***

Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Announcement: “The Man Who Never Smiled”

Poster 1

Title: The Man Who Never Smiled

Director: Josh Mihal

Screenwriter: G. E. Gallas

Cast: TBA

Filming Location: Sacramento, California.

Length of Script: 15-16 pages.

Genre: Film Noir, Drama.

Logline/Summary: A contemporary film noir about the tragic fate of a father and his daughter. Mr. Charles P. Cable finds himself unwittingly mixed up in a case of identity theft that provokes serious repercussions.

Reception: “…a compelling structure for a short. It heightens the stakes knowing that the protagonist is going to end up in a life-threatening and bloody situation. It also makes the story compact and easy to digest — a great attribute in a short.” –Feedback from the 2014 BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Status: Currently in pre-production!

*********

Message from director Josh Mihal:

Short film seeking CREW for shoot at the end of JULY. We need everything from sound to camera.

NON-PAID; food, credit, and IMDB credit provided. Completed film to be entered into festivals and contests.

Also seeking LOCATIONS in Sacramento, CA. 1) An office, large size, with cubicles or desks; also an open room with a desk. 2) A rundown house where we can shoot both inside and out.

Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions. And please share this post.

(If interested, please e-mail me at gegallas@hotmail.com, subject “The Man Who Never Smiled,” and I’ll put you in touch with Josh!)

*********

Message from screenwriter G. E. Gallas:

The Man Who Never Smiled began as the seed of an idea, based on an individual who was hired by my family to appraise the impressive art collection my grandfather and subsequently grandmother left behind. I never noticed that this man never smiled until my mom inadvertently said something that made him laugh and we were all shocked by the result.

Originally, the short screenplay was commissioned by a production company in the UK. But ultimately they were unable to film it. So I just put the project aside in my pile of yet-to-be-produced scripts. That was until earlier this year when, out of the blue, I received a message via Stage32 from Sacramento-based director Josh Mihal expressing his interest in my scripts and in particular The Man Who Never Smiled.

We began discussing the project over Skype. I created detailed notes for Josh and he set about recruiting the cast and crew. Soon, Josh will send me a shot list and I will get to work on a simple storyboard. Also, I will be working as script consultant on set. We are planning to film this July 27th and 28th.

It should be noted that we are doing this on a shoestring budget, which is simultaneously nerve-racking and  compelling. Not only am I absolutely excited to finally see one of my scripts come to fruition, but I am also eager to send the finished project to various festivals and competitions.

Wish us luck!!

–G. E.

***

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

***

Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Much Ado About Bubbie: Bubbie’s Mad About Hamm

This is an idea I had a while back for a comedic blog about my Bubbie and her antics. If you all enjoy this, perhaps I’ll write a few more, such as how Bubbie voted entirely Democratic except for Mitt Romney because she thinks he’s handsome or how Bubbie now has a crush on Jake Gyllenhaal because he’s a “nice Jewish boy.”

***

Much Ado About Bubbie

Bubbie (noun): A term of endearment for a Jewish Grandmother.

Example: My Bubbie doesn’t keep kosher outside of the house.

My sister Sydney, Bubbie, and me.

Bubbie’s Mad About Hamm

My Bubbie Isabelle has a crush on Jon Hamm.

Just like the rest of the family, Bubbie tunes into Mad Men every Sunday night to watch the admen of 1960s Madison Avenue drink, smoke, whore, and gossip – not to mention dish out sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic dialogue by the second, all of which (with the exception of the anti-Semitic variety) go unprotested by my Bubbie, a true product of the time.

To me, the series is a literary masterpiece on film regardless of how small the screen. To Bubbie, it’s just another one of her “weekly stories,” on par with General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.

Jon Hamm plays the brooding protagonist slash advertising genius, Donald Draper, on the show. Ever since reading in The Kansas City Star that the handsome actor is a St. Louis native, Bubbie – who’s lived in Missouri for over seventy years – has harbored a vicarious pride for Mr. Hamm. Much to my family’s embarrassment, this is not Bubbie’s first crush on a man that is at least a decade younger than my dad.

One time on vacation, while my family was checking into the Waldorf Astoria for a night, Bubbie was mesmerized by the dazzling charm and good looks of an Israeli desk clerk.

What a five-foot tall, eighty-something-year-old – complete with her teased-and-set helmet hair, her rhinestoned schoolteacher sweaters, and her constrictive girdle that makes her waddle – would want with a thirty-something-year-old desk clerk was not exactly a welcomed thought in my thirteen-year-old brain.

…a thought that was only exacerbated by the phrase Bubbie used to convey her attraction to the young man:

“He can put his shoes under my bed any day!”

Bubbie employs the same phrase in regards to Jon Hamm.

Whenever I phone Bubbie, my curiosity always gets the better of me. I can’t help but ask her what she thought of the most recent episode of Mad Men. And just like that, she goes off on her classic rant.

Firstly, Bubbie is angry at the show for not portraying the 60s how she remembers it, what with the show’s excessive drinking, smoking, and sex in the office. “When I worked in an office, they didn’t do that kind of stuff!”

Furthermore, Bubbie not only treats Jon Hamm as if he truly exists during the 1960s, but as if Jon Hamm is accountable for his character Don Draper’s actions. Whenever Don Draper does something that Bubbie doesn’t approve of (for instance, whenever Don has sex with a woman he’s not married to – an incident that occurs almost every episode and with what seems like a different woman every time), Bubbie is not only upset with but in disbelief that Jon Hamm would do such a thing, as if she’s oblivious to the profession of acting.

That’s when Bubbie whips out yet another one of her famous phrases, this time to express her disappointment with Jon Hamm’s behavior:

“Why, it’s disgusting!”

***

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

***

Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Announcement: IndieGoGo Update!


Dearest friends, followers, and passersby:

It has been a few weeks since launching my Indiegogo campaign: “The Poet and the Flea: Send G.E. to the U.K.”. Since then, I have received a number of contributions from generous funders. I truly appreciate these contributions and am eternally grateful to these funders for helping me inch one step further to achieving my dream.

That being said — I still need more help!!

There are 22 days left until the end of my campaign. That means 22 days left for you to contribute to my dream of becoming a professional screenwriter.

Please check out more information below, and don’t forget to visit my campaign page: http://www.indiegogo.com/send-GE-to-UK.

Thanks again,

G. E.

***

Dear friends:

Time is running out, and I need your help!

I am trying to raise funds to go to Northern England for the filming of my short screenplay The Man Who Never Smiled, a contemporary film noir about the tragic fate of a father and his daughter. As the screenwriter, it is important for me to be on set for any last-minute changes. But the production company is working on a shoe-string budget and has no funds to get me there or even pay me. Please help me make my dream of becoming a professional screenwriter come true!

My Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/send-GE-to-UK

Your support will contribute to my travel and lodging expenses. Earn more perks with every donation level. Every dollar counts!

Also, please help spread the word through Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Thank you so much!

–G. E.

***

My name is G. E. Gallas, and I am a screenwriter and graphic novelist (writer/illustrator). I will be making a trip to the U.K. early next year, and need your help to make my dreams come true!

1. My short screenplay, The Man Who Never Smiled (a contemporary film noir), is being produced by Dream Catcher Films in the North West of England. This film is being made on a tight budget, and there are no funds for me to get there. It’s important for me to be there during filming so that I can make on-the-spot changes to the script and get hands-on experience in film production.

2. In between filming will be the perfect opportunity to visit London to research the 18th-Century poet-painter William Blake, the hero of my graphic novel The Poet and the Flea. I plan to visit Blake’s grave as well as various museums that house his works. Seeing his works in person would be life changing. This would be my first time in England, and I hope to make this an unforgettable learning experience.

Your contributions will help cover expenses for transportation (airplane, train) and lodging. I truly appreciate any and all support, whether through contributions and/or spreading the word through social media (Twitter, etc.)!!

While in Europe, I plan to document my travels. When I return, I will share my photos and experiences with all of you through my blog gegallas.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much!

Gratefully,

G. E.

Homepage/Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr

***

Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,270 other followers