Friday, March 04, 2005

Some Recommendations

Encylopedia Neurotica, by Jon Winokur, looks promisingly funny with definitions like the ones below:
  • "Bad choices-Psychobabble for 'dumb mistakes.'"
  • "Quiet desperation-Mute resignation to a life blighted by the grinding conformity of postindustrial society." (The book was excerpted in the March/April issue of Utne magazine.)

    I also have to plug two DVDs that came out recently: Nausicaa and Porco Rosso, both by the Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and released in the United States by Disney. Most Americans might know Miyazaki from his films Spirited Away (currently at number 11 on's DVD/video list!) and Princess Mononoke.

    Nausicaa originally came out in 1984 and Porco Rosso followed in 1992. I was lucky enough to have seen both as fan translations several years ago. Both movies have the reassuring optimism and beautiful colors characteristic of Miyazaki's other films. I particularly like Nausicaa because of its young female protagonist. I think stories rarely feature young girls as heroes, at least not without lots of male support, and the fact that this story is by a man makes it all the more remarkable to me. I highly recommend both movies and for the love of God, watch the subtitled versions because I have never found the English voices in the dubbed versions to be as good as the original Japanese voices.

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