In about 1985, I saw the horribly mangled version of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind called "Warriors of the Wind". I don't really remember what it was about [the plot was basically edited out :( ] but I remember being blown away by the depth of the animation.
When I went to UNC, I heard that my friend Ron Azuma was showing Japanese animation. I knew I wanted to go, but it wasn't until I heard he was showing Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind that I finally went! And when I finally saw the true version of this amazing film, I was utterly hooked!
Ron screened his movies in Japanese-only, and he read an english script aloud. It takes a few minutes to get used to this, but soon, you ignore the spoken english and feel like you're understanding Japanese yourself! I didn't ever notice he was reading, except during Kiki's Delivery Service once when -- in his deep masculine voice -- he said a bit emphatically "be a good broom and do as I say!" :) For a half-moment I remembered he was reading. :) [I take this as a lesson not to act when I read. :) ]
Another tradition I have taken from Ron is he would always show a clip from his next planned screening -- to whet your apetite and let you know what to expect. I saw Nausicaa with a Kiki clip, then Kiki with a clip from a movie called "Omohide Poro Poro", which took my breath away!! ...and then he graduated a moved to LA! AK!! It took me 6 months before I finally saw it. It is my all-time favorite Ghibli film.
I started doing showings at UNC myself, mostly saturday afternoon when a big group of us would get together to watch The Tick every week. I'd serve up buckwheat waffles with blueberries and/or pecans, and real maple syrup and real whipped cream -- mmmmm! I'm getting hungry remembering! Since The Tick is only 1/2 hour, I often threw something in and read a script. I miss those days!
Later, I started doing showings at Pixar Animation Studios, where I used to work. My new friend, Erika, was just getting hooked on anime and kept pestering me to do some showings -- which should go to proove that pestering with me works! [It really does! : ] They have a 14' screen and a theatre-like screening room with surround sound! Someone -- mostly Erika -- would bring Zachery's Pizza, and I'd read the script. Most folks came from South Bay, which is a long way to drive to Point Richmond! [I was always a bit disappointed how few Pixar folks atended... The anime is so lovely, and the story-telling so clear yet subtle. :( ]
My friend Onny Carr would also show anime occationally at Pixar. There I learned of some series I didn't know about, namely, You're Under Arrest, Fushigi Yuugi, and others. He never came to my showings, though, because he is learning Japanese and finds the script-reading too distracting.
Now, I hope to start the showings up again, either at my friend Will's and Dan's workplace, or at their [and Scott's] apartment! Loren might also get me in to Pixar to do screenings there.
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