Posts tagged “Miyazaki”

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ponyo (2009)

Oh, God, run! Run! She’ll kill us all! AAAAIGH!!!

Ponyo is a beautiful film that haunted and disturbed me at a very profound level. It is one of the more frightening horror films I’ve seen in ages due in good part to the fact that it’s aimed at children. Yes, that’s right; Miyazaki made a horror movie for children. [Read my full review]

Categories: Japan, Movie Reviews.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Steampunk Dream

Last night I had a very vivid and awesome dream. It had a very specific, steampunk-style aesthetic.

I was in a big, castle-like fortress that was many stories tall and butted directly up against the ocean. It was made of dark brown stones and iron braces with glass windows. It was staffed by a rag-tag militia that was decked out in classic steampunk trappings: big goggles, oversized trenchcoats, long beards, enormous gloves, and long, skinny rifles. I wasn’t one of them, though; I was somehow an outsider, but an important outsider who they were trying to protect.

A massive pirate ship showed up in the water and demanded that the fortress surrender me to them. They refused, and the leader of the militia told me to get to the “safe room,” which was a big room with foot-thick steel walls just back of the command post about halfway up the fortress. The leader sent one of his underlings to make sure I was safe, but I didn’t trust the guy at all—I knew that he was secretly working for the pirates and was going to betray me to them and probably stab the militia leader in the back with a big knife. I don’t know exactly how I knew all of that, but I was certain of it, so I decided I would be safer by myself.

So instead of going to the safe room I ditched the traitor and ran off down a corridor in the fortress. Unfortunately it was a corridor lined with big windows, and someone on the pirate ship apparently spotted me because they opened fire directly at me. I was shocked at how accurate the cannons were even though I was way up the side of the building (probably ten stories or more). The cannons were busting holes in the windows and walls just inches away from me and I repeatedly had to dodge the flying debris.

By this time, though, the militia had rallied and began fighting back—with flying ships. There were two varieties. There were some big warships that looked like they came straight out of Howl’s Moving Castle (except they were live-action instead of animated). And there were dozens of little two-man airships that had rapidly-flapping wings like the airships in Castle in the Sky, but they were divided into a front section that had the wings and the pilot, and the rear section that had a cannon and a gunner. The rear section was gyroscope-stabilized so that no matter what crazy angle the ship was flying at, the cannon would be level.

The pirate ship launched some of its own airships and a couple of big flying warships of its own came in as reinforcements. A huge air-to-air and air-to-sea battle erupted. The gunners on the pirate ship seemed like they had an almost supernatural ability to lead their targets. They would fire huge bursts of 6 or 7 cannonballs at a seemingly empty area of the sky. But then, sure enough, a militia warship would just happen to move into that area just in time to get hit. The little ships were a little too agile to get hit by the pirate ship, though.

The ongoing battle distracted the pirates from shooting at me, at least. At this point I came upon another valuable outsider like myself who the militia were trying to protect. This guy was played by Josh Hird the Maroon Fool. He was one of those very foolishly Hero types; he was getting into flying gear so he could go out and fight off the pirates himself, even though his (and my) survival was somehow drastically important. I realized that the reason he was going to risk himself like that was because the weasely little Traitor had convinced him to do so. I knew that the Traitor was going to do something bad to the Hero, sabotage him in some way or plant a bomb on him or something like that, so I decided I’d better stick with him and protect him.

Before he headed out to battle, though, he said he needed to pee. This seemed reasonable, so I quickly said that I would go with him ’cause I needed to pee, too, and that way I could make sure that nothing bad happened. We made our way to a bathroom where he took the stall and I took a urinal. These were steampunk urinals, though: brass bowls with overly complicated plumbing. They were set in the middle of the room about two or three feet off the floor, with thin metal walls in between them. I took the one on the far end and started peeing in it, only to notice too late that it was broken.

I should point out at this point that, yes, I did need to pee in real life. So I went and took care of that then went back to bed for some more dreamin’

During the course of this break I had apparently convinced the Hero not to get himself killed, and we’d escaped the battle and made our way to a research facility of some sort, and that’s where the dream started up again.

The steampunk researchers here were working on a new, super airship, and they needed our outsider help to finish it. This is when it became clear that the Hero and I weren’t just outsiders; we were from an alternate future and therefore had all sorts of knowledge that these guys didn’t have access to. They needed our help to defeat the pirates. They showed off the prototype of their airship, which was an awesome, segmented airship that reminded me of a winged caterpillar. It was very fortified but not very fast.

The Hero and I rolled up our sleeves. We had a lot to teach about rocketry, jet engines, and aerodynamics.

Stuff got kinda muddled after that and the dream rapidly lost focus. I remember a couple women with big hoop skirts and parasols, like people out of Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte. I also remember a model of the caterpillar airship flying through Christine & Lawrence’s house. So by that time the dream was effectively over.

Categories: Dreams.