Saturday, December 31, 2016

Which One Is Better? Western Animation or Japanese Animation?

   As a student from Japanese Literature, I liked all things from Japan, like foods, beverages, culture and etc. Japanese anime is my favourite things from Japan because I grew up with them. I have watched all kinds of animes, from non popular animes to the popular ones. Animes had made me cry, cheer, and laugh because of their wonderful stories. Beside animes, I also watch western animated films like Minions, Toy Story, Wall-E and etc. Just like Japanese animes, western animated movies are also famous around the world. So I want to write about the comparison of western and japanese animation. What makes western and japanese animation unique in their own term will be explored in this blog

                                               1. History 
   The first animated films made in West is Peludopolis (1931), an Argentinian animated sound film which became the first of it's kind to be released. It is known as the first feature animated film but it gone missing so no one know where it is o they can watch the first animated film. 2 years later Walt Disney produced a first animation film which used the full three color Technicolor method, Flowers and Trees. Flower and Trees became the first film that became the basic pioneer of much more modern animated film . After the success of Flower and Trees, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out in 1937 and had becomed the most successful Disney's movie in the history. This mark the rise of Walt Disney company as the most known film company in the America.
                                       Walt Disney 1946.JPG
     Now let's talk about the history of animation in Japan. During World War 3, cartoonists and filmmakers in Japan created animated films as as form of propaganda against United States. The first film who showed anti-american movement is Evil Mickey attacks Japan. This film showed that cartoon is used by the goverment not as an entertainment but as a tool to made the Japanese hate United States.

   After the World War 2 ended, Osamu Tezuka made the first known manga, Shintakarajima. Shintakarajima's release to the oublic hasn't made him famous. But later He became the first mangaka who was pronounced as "the God of Manga and Animes" when he created Astro Boy. In 1962, he established his own production company, Mushi Productions and began to produced the animated series of Astro Boy. Astro Boy is the first known anime that had achieved commercial success in America and other countries.

 After Osamu Tezuka, many of talented japanese fimmakers start to appeared and suprised people around the world because of their masterpieces. Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon and many more created the best animes ever exist in this world and had achieved many awards.

   Western animation and Japanese animation are quite different from the narrative perspective. Western animation prefer to use a simple story in the narrative. A kind,cheerful hero as the protagonist. Because of the particular reasons, the hero embarks on a quest to save the world or the one he or she loved. When the hero finally able to save the world, all the good characters lived happily ever after (so cliched right?)

Image result for Berserk 2016
  Japanese animation tend to take a different approach to the narrative. The heroes are not always people who are kind, cheerful and easy going. The protagonist can be an antihero or morally grey characters who don't mind to do terrible things in order to survive. Like the heroes in western animated movies, the hero in animes also embarks on a to save his their homeland from rampaging monsters or to find someone. In much more darker animes like Berserk, the protagonist embark on a quest to get revenge on those who do harm to him in the past. So from the story, Japanese animes have more stories to tell to the viewers and we as the viewers love them because of their unique stories.

                                               1. Visual Style 
          The visual style of western animation had been evolved for times to times. But what interested me is the visual style used in this decade. Everything from characters and objects in western animated movies are much more detailed with eye catching colors and realistic shapes. Fillmmakers in the US used advance equipment to create animated movies while Japanese tend to rarely used advance gadgets to create animes, resulting in producing animes with visual styles that are not good as the western does. They rarely used a very advance equipment because of they usually makes animes with much more lower budgets. Therefore in Japanese animes, character's movement or objects around it are not very good to look at and can be static. But in the terms of story and varieties of genre, Japanese animation had always been superior to the US.

   My opinon is that I think that I much prefer animes than Western Animation. I grew up with watching both of them but now I think that western filmmakers have lost touch to the animation. Western animation tend to have jokes that aren't even funny eventhough it was created to make us laugh in the first place. And they have nearly the same happily ever after cliched ending not like the japanese whom still showed us the tragic endings of most animes. Because of these reasons, I stopped watching western animation but still watched animes.

 So which one do you prefer? Western animation or Japanese? Write your comment about why you pick one of them to be your favourite?




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hollywood Potrayal of Samurai

    Hello everyone, once again thanks for reading my blogs. I'm so glad that my blog had been read by many people. It motivated me too keep on writing. And this time my blog will be about samurai. I want to ask to the readers regarding the topic that I will be explored in this post. What is in your mind when you are thinking about samurai? Are you thinking about people who can use swords very well and devoted their lives to their masters when you heard the word Samurai? 

    I will tell you about the true meaning of samurai, according to the resources from the internet. Samurai is one of the military caste system in feudal Japan, began as the term  to describe provincial warriors who serves as protectors for members of the Imperial Court. From time to time, the definition of samurai began to change as samurai started to becoming local lords who ruled specific territories.
The samurai dominated Japan goverment and society until Meiji Restoration led to the abolition of feudal system. Samurai used the traditional samurai code of morality, honor and respect also known as bushido (武士道). Bushido is the code that shaped how a samurai should behaved in the society. 
Hasil gambar untuk samurai

    Samurai has been potrayed in many form of popular culture such as books, animes, movies and video games. One of the famous Hollywood film which took a theme of samurai as it’s main plot is The Last Samurai (2003).  The film stars Tom Cruise who potrayed a formerly retired officer of the United States whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of Meiji Restoration. During his times with a group of samurai, he learned the life of samurai and Japanese language. Thus he became a new man who forget his old life filled with death and frustration, finally found peace in his life.

   The Last Samurai received many nominations by Academy Awards, Golden Globe, praised by the critics for the acting, writing, directing and soundtracks. But the movie also received criticsm because of it’s historical inaccuracy and portrayal of the clashed ideology between United States and Japan. This film marks a new era of “the rise of Japan” in Hollywood movies. Then numerous films about Japanese culture are made by Hollywood, many these films had managed to gain a lot of audiences and some of them failed.
    Hasil gambar untuk the last samurai

   I think the theme of samurai in the eyes of Hollywood filmmakers is very interesting because of not every directors are interested in using samurai in their films. Some filmmakers tend to use samurai as their source of inspiration like George Lucas, John Frankenheimer but not featuring samurai as the main characters in their movies. It is because western filmmakers tend to used cowboys as “samurai” in their movies, because cowboys are the western equivalent of Japanese samurai. Films like The Magnificent Seven, 47 Ronin are filled with the element depicting samurai but yet failed to captured many audiences. The reason is because of western filmmakers experienced  some kind of “culture shock”, they read about samurai but didn’t fully understand of the bushido code (武士道), the moral code of samurai. This is why not many western filmmakers could used samurai as the main character in their films and told the viewers about how the story goes in the eyes of samurai.

   But Edward Zwick is quite different from other western filmmakers. He managed to use samurai as the main character in this film eventhough he is actually an American. He made the film that showed the viewers about how an American accepting the moral code and language from other culture and become a new man. And because of it, I think of him as one of great directors in Hollywood who use samurai as the main element in this film and had succeed in receiving positive feedback from audiences and critics.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

The List of My Favourite Korean Movies Part 2

Hello to my devoted readers. Christmas will be here soon so Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrated it. Here is my gift to you, the part 2 of the list of my favourite korean movies. Enjoy 🎅🎄👧

Image result for way back home
4. Way Back Home (2013)
     A 2013 movie that based on the real life story of a Korean housewife who was imprisoned in Martinique for years after being wrongfuly accused of drug smuggling case in Paris Airport. His loving husband who still live in Korea begun to do everything in order to release her from the prison and come back to her hometown.
   I love this movie because it tells of the sad story of a woman who  wrongfully convicted as a drug smuggler. She never ask to be convicted as a criminal and seeing so many emotions that she shown make me shed tears. Jeon Do-yeon delivered a great performance as Jeong-yeon, the mother who is struggling to stay strong in the prison despite can't speak english or other foreign languange fluently. Other supporting actor like Goo Soo is magnificent as well, showing his devotion in to bringing his character, Jong-bae much more alive.

    For those of you want to watch a really good drama, I recommend this movie to you.
Image result for Oldboy 2003
3. Oldboy
     Oldboy is the greatest Korean movies ever made, Praised by movie critics and audiences alike, Oldboy is one of the famous Korean movies before Korean Wave existed. This movie is aethesic, and filled with great casts that made it become one of cult classic film from South Korea. Although this movie is not easily digest by some people because of it's dark theme, the great performance by Choi Min Sik who played the protagonist is going to make you love it. Oldboy is definitely a must seen movies for you who loved movies with unexpected twist. 

Train to Busan.jpg
2. Train To Busan
        And number 2 is 2016 horror movie, Train To Busan which become the highest grossing South Korean movies in 2016 with 10 million viewers in the country. Train to Busan is the first Korean zombie apocalypse film that managed to prove that movies with zombie theme are not just belong to Hollywood.

   This theme of Korean social life is put in this film, showing us the truth behind the life in South Korea,where people prefer to care about themselves than others even as the world is coming to an end. This movie made me realize that in modern age like this when we prefer to use our smartphones than socializing with our neighbors, we tend to cared for ourselves. And so this is what the director of Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho showed us in this film. 

    The visual effects in this film is quite splendid for an action movies that isn't made by Hollywood, the zombie transformation effect that made me cringe. The bone breaking transformation effect is very nasty, resembling the effect in the movie World War Z. This is why Train to Busan is one of my favourite korean movies.

1. The Sound of A Flower
     Number 1 is 2014 movie, The Sound of A Flower that tells a story of a young woman who become a pansori singer in Joseon Era despite the fact that women are not allowed to do pansori singing. She disquise as a man in order to be taught from a very famous pansori singer, Je-hyo (Ryoo Seung-ryo). Her journey to become a first female pansori singer would be tested as many tried to stop her from achieving her dream. 

   This movie is inspiring and artistic, with a theme of an oldest art form in South Korea, Pansori. The message of gender equality in this movie really made me love it because we get know about how woman treated at that time. This movie showed about how a young woman deal with gender discrimination in Joseon era, not by orchestrated a rally but by showing her talent. And this is why I love this movie so much. 

   The costumes in this movie are good looking as well, with beautifully designed clothes. The colorful costumes would make you want wear them and show off in front of your friends because of it's simple but attractive designs. The Sound of A Flower is the must seen movies from Korea for you who are interested in South Korea culture. 

   What do you think about this list? Do you got other movies in mind that you think should have made in this list? Comment below and let me know.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The List of My Top 8 Favourite Korean Movies : Part 1

      Good afternoon readers, I am here to write about Korean movies. Korean movies are not very popular as Hollywood, but in the terms of quality, Korean movies can be better than Hollywood. Because of Korean filmmakers don't put too many visual effects in their movies and make the story in the movies boring just like the one Michael Bay did. Instead they create wondeful stories in their films that made me fell in love with them. So here is the list of my favourite Korean movies with my quick review of those films.

8. Friend : The Great Legacy
    Friend 2 Poster   This 2013 hit is a sequel to 2001 crime movie, Friend (2001) that tell story of Joon-seok who become friends with the son of his deceased friend, Sung-hoon and offered him to join forces with him after they got out from the prison. Their alliances become shaken as Sung Hoon begun to know about the connection of Joon-seok and his late father.

   I have to say that this movie is so good because of the gangster theme. We get to see Sung-hoon's past before he rise to power, a troubled boy with a dark past who join mob in order give a better life to his mother. His curiosity to his real father life and seeing him deal with the truth of his father's life is what make him a very interesting character.

    The story of this movie is very interesting, filled with drama, moral complexity and actions that is going to make the viewers remembering The Godfather.

 8.My Dictator
   My Dictator is 2014 movie with a story about an actor who acted as a body double for Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim II Sung. From time to time, the actor started to drown in his role, becoming "The Dictator".  His behavior made his son (who played by Park Hae-il) very concerned of his mental health.. So he decided to cast him away but later try to reconcile with his father to paid his debts.

   This movie is a mixed of family drama and historical fictions.The reason of why I love this movie is because of the heart touching story of a son who try to save his father, the man who believe he is "The Dictator" not a normal guy.  We can see that the father is really drowmed in his role because of that role is the one thing that made him feel like a new man. He put all of his heart to his performance because it's his chance to impress his son. But he start to become one with his role and that is why I think of his story as a tragedy. A tragedy about a man who become another person to impress his son.

7. Spin Kick   Image result for Spin Kick 2004 Spin Kick is 2004 sport film that tells the story of a school director who is forced to train a group of punks before leaving school. For you who love Taekwondo, I recommended this movie. It is fill with comedy and beautifully choreograph action scenes. The story is not really appealing like other movies in this list, but the relationship between characters are so good. The theme of friendship is the elements that really stand out in this film. We get to see how 6 friends trained together to win at Taekwondo Championship despite their differences. And this is why I love this movie.

6. Veteran Veteran Poster   Veteran is a 2015 action film that will make action movie lovers keep sitting on their seat. This movie is fun with great action scenes and beautiful visuals. Ah In Yoo did a terrific job as a spoiled rich kid who doesn't care about anyone but himself. Beside him, other actors who did a terrific job is Hae Jin Yoo as the main antagonist's assistant who did anything to keep the rich kid from being locked up in the prison.

  And that is the list of my top 8 favourite Korean movies of all time.  I'm going to write part 2 of this list tomorrow,  so check it out. If you have an opinion, please write it down.  

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Mental Illness in Hungry Hearts

    Yesterday I just saw a movie in FX Channel on my cable tv. It is an indie film called Hungry Hearts. The film starts Adam Driver who made me look at him not as Kylo Ren from Star Wars episode 7 but as a promising new actors and Alba Rohrwacher. This movie is directed by Saverio Costanzo, an italian filmmaker who caught my eyes because his style in directing. Hungry Hearts is a not-so-psychological thiller about a toxic relationship between wife and husband, mental breakdown and what is it like to try to protect your kid from the person who is the love of your life.
Image result for Hungry Hearts
   The opening scene features the meeting between Jude (Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) in the toilet. Their meeting scene is quite funny because of they first met when they got lock up in the toilet. I mean it's not like everyday two persons become a couple after their meeting in a locked up toilet.

   Their encountered lead to a relationship as the two of them live together. Mina got pregnant and then she and Jude decided to get married. The pregnancy thing seems to bothered Mina so much because she said that she didn't want to get injected with modern medicines and prefer to use "alternative medicines". Jude agreed to give Mina the medicines and treatments she wanted. About a month later, Mina give birth to her son and then the situation start to take a wrong turn because of Mina didn't give her son the food he needed. Knowing about his son's life is threatened by his wife, Jude started to do everything he can to protect his son's life.
     This movie should have been called Gone Girl With A Son because the character of Mina as a psychotic wife who has done some fucked up shit to people around her. Mina is a sick twisted person who didn't give her son the nutritions he needed. Seeing her made me want to know about what is really going on inside her head that made her believe that she can protect his son by giving him anti-nutrient oil which is dangerous for a baby. It seems that she suffered meatyphobic so she don't want to eat meat at all and believe that meat and protein are dangerous to her baby.
Image result for Hungry Hearts

   This make me realize that Mina is experienced some kind of mental illness. The movie didn't showed anything about the mental illness of Mina but it cleary that she has it because of her unusal behavior. So it cleary that Mina has some kind of mental problem. She has an extreme fear to meat which is shown by her attitude in the house of Adam's mother. But the director didn't show about why she suffered a fear to meat so I don't know about why she's like that. This means that we couldn't know about why the director didn't show the viewers about the definiton of the mental illness that whose owned by Mina.

   Furthermore this film showed us that a mother can be dangerous to her child because of her mental health.This film is related to the real life because of many people think that a mother is not dangerous to her child. But the problem is that many people in America thinks that a woman is a victim because her husband hit her but in reality a woman can play victim to convinced everyone that she is innocent. And so that is the problem about the person with mental health problems in America which I try to explore by using this movie as an example.

    What do you think about the mothers with mental problems? Write a comment below and let me know.    

Welcome To My First Blog

    Hi everyone, welcome to my first blog. My name is Raven Grey and I am student at Binus University majouring in Japanese Literature. This is my first blog and the topic will be about movies. The reasons of why I chose to write blogs about movies is because I love them. Since I was a child, I have seen many movies from USA, Japan and even Korea. Some movies made me feel so amazed because of the good stories and the visual effects. Because of that I dreamed to be a blogger who wrote about movies and the process of filmmaking. So please read my blog and give comments 👩.