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Don't be ashamed of your rubber suit
An edition about different topics, including dressed aliens fighting Kaijus.
WELCOME TO THE END OF THE SUNNY SUMMER DAYS
September is here! Maybe you are working hard again or like me, are trying to balance part of your late holidays with the rest of the world asking you why didn't you send your pages. Anyway, here I am with a new edition of the newsletter.
BACK FROM SARAJEVO
This past August I finally finished my third of three tallers of TV production/writing I was selected for, attending three different events and sponsored by the CNC and the European Union, this time in Boznia Herzegovina after the France (Lille) and Spain (Toledo) festivals.
The experience of meeting again my partners of the Going European program was great (people from varied countries like France, Serbia, Burkina-Faso, UK, Croatia...). Honestly, I think Sarajevo festival needs to fix some organization issues but I appreciate the chance to visit a city so full of History (sadly with tragic events linked to wars). But it was exhausting too. If I need to travel again in the future due to my TV/film projects, I hope the reason would be looking for locations, research or something similar.
(We stayed in this fascinating Soviet-era hotel, the same the European press spent their days covering the Boznia war during the 90s.)
So it's done! It was a fantastic experience, I have learnt a lot and like I never could to attend a cinema school, it has been like an express degree on production to me.
THINGS TO COME
Project Monarch’s release is delayed to October due to editorial reasons. No problem, you just need to wait a little more. I did this INTERVIEW in comicon about this graphic novel I co-created with my friend Mike Oeming.
Corvus Belli announced a new graphic novel set in its wargame Infinity, the third I wrote, this time with artist Pedro R.M. Andreo. After Infinity: Outrage and Infinity: Betrayal, comes Infinity: Aftermath. It’s SciFi in the line of shows like Cowboy Bebop, The Expanse or Firefly, and you don't need to have a previous knowledge of this game to enjoy the books.
This past August I watched Shin Kamen Rider and Shin Ultraman. If you don’t know it, cult director and writer Hideki Anno has been revisiting and recreating some of the greatest Japanese icons in a “Shin movie trilogy”. I love Hideki Anno’s previous animation work, especially Evangelion and its rebuild (even though the final movie was too much even for a hardcore fan like me.)
I really had enjoyed Shin Godzilla and it is still my favorite. Kamen Rider and Ultraman have a more episodic structure (I think paying tribute to the original TV shows) and sometimes the viewer’s interest on the story has ups and downs. I think Shin Godzilla is more compact and solid but they form a very enjoyable trilogy I’m sure I’m going to revisit often.
Anno introduces his themes and obsessions in these icons (which were influences in his own development as a creator) but at the same time the approach is faithful to the original concept, colorful and funny as hell movies.
The visuals are astounding. One thing I love about these movies (and part of this kind of Japanese new versions of classic genres like Tokusatsu or Kaiju Eiga) is that they never repudiate their humble origins. Maybe the original Ultraman was a guy with a rubber suit and you have a new CGI Ultraman in the movie… But the CGI looks like a guy in a rubber suit!
I think it’s a very different approach to the American way to represent superheroes. Even Marvel, with its more colorful light movies, uses the resource of self-awareness comedy to recognize “well, maybe this is a little dumb”. Japanese are light but they are serious about their pop culture legacy. They have no shame and they shouldn’t feel ashamed!
For compensating Anno’s solemnity I also watched Karate-Robot Zaborgar, a cheesy low-budget remake of an old Japanese TV show with a, indeed, Karate performer robot. This time the story shows the usual sexy-exploitation, gore and absurd comedy of the label Sushi Typhoon (creators of Z-grade jewels like Rise of the Machine Girls or Yakuza Weapon). A very funny option if you like this kind of films.
And that’s all, folks! See you in the next newsletter edition! Like right now I haven’t a webcomic to alternate with the regular editions, not sure when I’ll return to your mailboxes. Soon, I hope!
Meanwhile, take care.
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