Tag Archives: Selection

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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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


Experience of APE

Related post: Plans for APE

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Wow, what can I say about APE?

Well, this was definitely an experience!

Firstly, I believe that APE (Alternative Press Expo) was a productive endeavor. I learned much more about the nature of each publisher I’ve been tracking online. I hope that Shannon and I managed to get the names of our projects (The Poet and the Flea and The First Reich) out there just a little. And I learned a lot about what techniques make a successful table.

As far as the bigger publishers go (Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Last Gasp, Top Shelf, etc.), I was glad to see them at the Expo — to see all their products laid out in front of me, rather than squinting at images on a computer screen. Some of them only had marketing representatives who didn’t know much about the submissions process, which was too bad. Others had more knowledgable people to talk to, who offered some useful advice. I guess it really just boils down to submitting material and seeing what happens!

I very much enjoyed talking to some of the smaller publishers. They were very enthusiastic, helpful, and informative. And just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean they have inferior products. They are extremely professional (but in a laid back sort of way) and their books are gorgeous!

I loved talking with the kind folks at Yam Books. Tim Hensley (creator of Ticket Stub) was shocked that someone in their twenties (me) was a Barbara Stanwyck fan!! Both Saturday and Sunday, we had conversations about the film noir starlet, exchanging movie titles and laughing away. He even drew me this awesome illustration of Barbara (see below) in Double Indemnity — bangs and sunglasses and all!

Also had good but brief conversations with the good people at A Raven Above Press and Never Press.

I’ve only recently become interested in learning more about the world of zines. And Tugboat Press seemed like a good place to start. I really admire what they’re doing. I’m glad I talked with them because I learned that, rather than taking submissions, they commission artists. I also received recommendations about which volumes of their anthology Papercutter to buy and realized that they are interested in a vast array of genres. I’m excited to really sit down and read my purchases.

Sunday, I finally figured out where Uncivilized Books got to (I just could not figure out that map!). Their chief Tom was excellent at patiently answering my questions and encouraging me to submit my work. I’m excited to start working on sending out some follow-up e-mails to everyone I talked with!

Also, I picked up a lot of interesting flyers, cards, stickers, etc. from around the expo and from the free table. Below are some of my favorites!!

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Here are my notes of what makes a successful table in case I end up getting one for APE next year!

(This is just a rough list for my personal use. In no particular order!)

  • Need a billboard/banner advertising name of artist/graphic novel.
  • Need a tablecloth.
  • Need a sign (or maybe t-shirts) to hang off the front of the table.
  • Wear one of your own t-shirts to further advertise your graphic novel.
  • Perhaps a sign or two saying: “Please talk to us — we’re friendly!”
  • Perhaps a big bowl of free candy.
  • Attract customers with a selection of cheaper items ($1 pins or stickers?).
  • Need a clipboard and form for customers to sign up for your mailing list.
  • Provide plenty of business cards and/or postcards.

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Among the flyers and such was a postcard for the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, free and taking place December 8th in Berkeley. I’m very interested in checking it out!

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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