Sunday, July 26, 2009

Camera Obscura: Comic-Con News; Miyazaki's 'Ponyo'; Scorsese's 'Shutter Island'

Filmmakers and fans and media reps from all corners have been busy at the Annual San Diego Comic-Con this week. When first held in 1970, a few hundred fans and comic creators attended and the event was barely noticed - except among fans and creators. And it grew quickly.

In the last few years, all major movie studios, every news agency, agents, actors, writers, artists, fans and fans and more fans swirl about the convention center in the must-see and must-be-seen event.

From Time magazine, writer Lev Grossman spoke with legendary animators Hayao Miyazaki and John Lassiter - though the newsman can barely contain his fan-boy appreciation for Miyazaki, whose newest animated feature (as always a hand-drawn movie) "Ponyo" is set to hit American theaters in a few weeks, boasting a cast of top name Hollywood talent:

Grossman writes:

"I find it doesn't help to get fanboyish in situations like this -- it just freaks famous people out -- so I keep it together, helped by Miyazaki's translator -- she's a calming presence. I'm not going to run through the whole interview, which I have to save for the print magazine for now. But we talked about where Ponyo came from -- she was a frog before she was a goldfish, and her story to some extent parallels that of the Little Mermaid, a story Miyazaki loved as a child, though he didn't like the ending. ... We talked about the cartoons Miyazaki loved as a little kid.

At the very end I broke character and thanked him for everything he's done, and how
Totoro is the first movie my daughter and I really loved together. I am not a stone."

Fans get more than a chance to learn the latest news about projects they like, such as the long anticipated "Avatar" from director James Cameron, another long-in-planning production for a sequel to "Tron", the new movie "District 9" from producer Peter Jackson and they can get into a Q and A with some very famous directors (Sam Raimi, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez) on breaking into the business:

Cinematical and IGN have very complete coverage on just about all topics, panels and news from the Comic-Con.


Director Martin Scorsese works once again with his favorite actor in recent years, Leonardo DiCaprio for "Shutter Island", based on a novel by Dennis Lehane and set in a grim (what else for Scorsese??) asylum for the criminally insane located on a island. The preview for the movie follows:

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