Alfred Urrutia (ledzep@d2.com)
Wed, 31 May 2000 17:40:38 -0700


"L. M. Lloyd" wrote:

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> I understand what you are saying, but the simple fact is that
> American screen writers approach sci-fi from a totally different
> perspective, that is incompatible with Gundam. There has never been a

Ah, that is a flawed approach you have there. That's like saying that
every time you encounter a black guy he's wearing a track outfit and a
baseball cap therefore they all wear that crap. Yes, most *successful*
(I use that term loosely) screen writers are shit and are incompatible
with Gundam. But that's because of what the studios have determined that
we supposedly like here. There are really good screenwriters here who,
if given the chance, would do Gundam proud. I doubt they'll ever get
that far, though.

>
> The first problem here is that hard science fiction just does not
> transfer well to the screen. Many have attempted to get hard science

Does not transfer *easily*, no. Well? Yes, it does. But nobody cares
to take the time to try. Not enough explosions or nudity, probably. Too
many dummies in the audience, more like. Should movies not be just
entertainment? Shouldn't they be there, occasionally, as education, to
make viewers think? Man, what I'd give for a decent adaptation of a
James P. Hogan book or a Gregory Benford story (to name two hard SF
writers who haven't had their books adapted).

>
> second problem is that giant robots are innately counter to hard
> science fiction. Without introducing something even more improbable
> than warp drive, there is no scientific or strategic rationale for 15
> meter tall samurai!
>

Not completely. Hard SF would only be concerned with the how to do it,
not so much the should it or shouldn't it be done part.

>
> OK, I misunderstood what you were saying. When I hear someone say
> "Rock and Roll" I automatically assume they mean 4 piece band pop
> music. The reason score composers tend toward classical
> instrumentation, is because 112 finely tuned instruments, played by a
> trained symphony tend to be a bit more capable at conveying emotion
> than an electric accompanied by a drum set. Rock and Roll music

Depends on the emotion. While more limited, rock and roll is much better
at, say, conveying the "I'm going to beat you to a bloody pulp" vibe than
orchestral music. Most movies don't call for that, though. The music
Queen did for "Highlander" was perfect. Not dated, not "rock" in the
typical sense.

>
> good through a camera, and what looks good on a cel. The simple fact
> is that if you draw a cartoon as though you were shooting a live
> action movie, the results would be extremely disappointing. You would
> have entire scenes that made the later episodes of Evangelion look
> like they were positively brimming with high quality animation.
>

Don't tell me you don't notice the cinematography, the live-action-ness
of "Ghost In The Shell" and "Spriggan". Both those movies seemed, for
the most part, like rotoscopes of regular movies. Backgrounds with
depth, framing like a live action movie, understated character movements,
etc. It can be done. And it's better when it is, if you want a
realistic anime like, maybe, Gundam? Transfering that to film would be
almost too easy.

>
> 1: Anything that explodes must explode with an orange fireball, no
> mater what that items actual level of flammability is, and no matter
> what color the flames from said object should be.
>

Unless the hero is in it.

>
> 2: It is essential that if an object is destroyed, is must
> dramatically show that it has been destroyed based on its size and
> type as follows, otherwise the audience will not be sure it has been
> destroyed:
>
> A: All large objects explode (see 1)
> B: All household objects such as stoves, lawnmowers, and
> appliances must burst into orange flames.
> C: All small high-tech items suck as keypads, computers,
> and radios must emit sparks.
> D: All small items that crossover between both B and C such
> as TVs and microwave ovens must first emit sparks, then burst into
> orange flames.
>

Hahaha, no shit.

>
> The point is that each country has its own visual way of expressing a
> concept. To say that you want to see a more American style of
> directing, is really just a way of saying "I wish they would use
> clichés with which I am more comfortable."
>

True. What is familiar is usually what is demanded, here or in other
countries. I'm getting sick of the 3 act, story arc religion that these
movies follow, though. I liked "Pulp Fiction" for going away from that.
Same with "The Thin Red Line" and "Dazed And Confused".

>
>
> far some of the best live action movies made. However, I think that
> America has little or nothing to offer the world in the way of advice
> on how to handle either animation or science fiction series. I, quite
> literally, have seen exactly 1 American animated movie that I liked
> enough to watch more than once (not counting 3D efforts, as I think
> that is a totally separate genre).
>

Well, the Americans (if you want to view it in those terms) started it.
Disney, anyway, in a movie sense. They have since decided that the
medium is there only for children's movies, barring the occasional "Heavy
Metal" or "Fire & Ice". So, I'll watch "Sleeping Beauty" repeatedly *if*
I'm in the mood for romantic animated movies, which I typically am not.
But the Japanese have *got* to lose the idol singer/teenage angst ridden
superhuman-skilled hero deal because it's just as stale as the American
romantic leads who are from two different worlds but fall in love anyways
cliche'.

Alfred.

--
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"Dude, it doesn't matter what day it is.  Max shits bigger than Kirk."

- StJohn, during "my superhero is better than your superhero" day

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