Claire Danes

3.3897058823764 (1088)
Posted by kaori 03/19/2009 @ 21:10

Tags : claire danes, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Claire Danes, Stephen Daldry, Liam Mower, Bebe Neuwirth, et al ... - TheaterMania.com
In addition, there will be presentations by Claire Danes, DANCENOISE, and Martha Wilson; as well as video by Charles Atlas. There will be a pre-show cocktail party "decorated" by a performance installation by Butoh Rockettes and a post-show Party with...
Live Tonight & This Weekend: Ben Lee, Crocodiles, Momus - New York Press
Tonight check out former Claire Danes dater and '90s pop culture reference Ben Lee. With Low vs. Diamond and Dawes at Bowery Ballroom; 8 6 Delancey St. (betw. Bowery & Chrystie St.), 212-533-2111; 8 $18 There aren't a lot of shows where the opening act...
Claire Danes' Nipple Slip - Remains Of The Day - Celebuzz
Claire Danes reveals her nipple (the uncensored photo is in the gallery) as she leaves The Marc Jacobs Met Costume Gala After-Party at Monkey Bar with her fiance, Hugh Dancy. Other celebrities out and about today were Leona Lewis, Frank Lampard,...
Rashida Jones Is Jon Favreau Girlfriend - Right Celebrity
Jones is a friend of actresses Jessica Alba, Claire Danes, Natalie Portman, and Leonardo DiCaprio. She is also a family friend of Nicole Richie and British fashion designer Stella McCartney. Rashida has also dated actors such as, Tobey Maguire,...
Iman in Oscar de la Renta - FabSugar.com
The elegant event saw equally chic attendees like Ivanka Trump, Iman, Claire Danes, Lindsay Price, and Coco Rocha. The go-to designer of the evening was Carolina Herrera and almost everyone had the blues — a gaggle of blue dresses draped gorgeous bods...
Director, cast discuss latest chapter of Terminator' series - MiamiHerald.com
Claire Danes was Kate Brewster in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," which revealed she and John would marry. Howard was happy to get the call from McG to play Kate: "As it was written, the character was already wonderful. Then, in addition to that,...
Hollywood Hotties Check Out Time Gala - The Gossip Girls
They're some of the hottest actresses in Hollywood, and last night (May 5) Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, and Claire Danes were all in the house for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala. Miss Hudson looked absolutely lovely as she...
The Met Gala in NYC. Penn Badgely with girlfriend Blake Lively ... - Custer County Chief
Penn Badgely with girlfriend Blake Lively, Claire Danes with her husband Kerry Washington, Selma Blair, kate Hudson, Liv Tyler and kate Bosworth. They were all dressed to the nines to showcase their beauty and the beauty of the designers....
First Lady Dines Out in New York - Washington Post
The magazine's black-tie publicity extravaganza, in Rose Hall at the Time Warner Center, was attended by about 300 people including Oprah Winfrey, Claire Danes, John Legend, Valerie Jarett, the women of "The View" (Sherri Shepherd and Elizabeth...
REVIEW REWIND: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - The Daily News Online
Claire Danes is along to scream hysterically and have everything explained to her as Connor's future wife, who is also marked for death. Is there such a thing as fate? Are you still a hero if you stop the disaster that makes you heroic?...

Claire Danes

Claire Catherine Danes (born April 12, 1979) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated American film, television, and theater actress most known for the television series My So-Called Life and the films Romeo + Juliet, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Stardust, and voice acting for Princess Mononoke.

Danes was born in New York City, New York. Her mother, Carla, is a day-care provider, painter, and textile designer who would later serve as her daughter's manager, and her father, Christopher Danes, is a computer consultant and former architectural photographer. Danes has described her background as being "as WASPy as you can get"; her paternal grandfather, Gibson A. Danes, was the dean of the art and architecture school at Yale University. She has an older brother, Asa, who graduated from Oberlin College and works as a litigation attorney for the law firm of Paul Hastings.

Danes attended the Dalton School in New York City, the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, the Professional Performing Arts School, and the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. In 1998, Danes went to Yale University (her father's alma mater). Oliver Stone wrote her letter of recommendation to Yale. After studying for two years as a psychology major, she dropped out of Yale to focus on her film career.

In 1994, Danes starred as Angela Chase in the television drama series My So-Called Life, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy nomination. She played Elizabeth (Beth) March in the 1994 movie adaptation of Little Women. She also appeared as Holly Hunter's daughter in Home for the Holidays, which was directed by Jodie Foster. She portrayed Juliet Capulet in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo Montague. Later that year, she turned down the lead role of Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, also starring Leonardo Dicaprio because she felt exhausted after working on Romeo + Juliet. In 1999, she made her first appearance in an animated feature with the English version of Princess Mononoke, and took the lead role in Brokedown Palace, alongside Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman.

In 2002, Danes starred opposite Susan Sarandon, Kieran Culkin, and Bill Pullman again, in Igby Goes Down. She later co-starred as Meryl Streep's daughter in the Oscar-nominated, The Hours, with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris. The following year, she was cast in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, followed by Stage Beauty in 2004. She earned critical acclaim in 2005 when she starred in Steve Martin's Shopgirl alongside Martin and Jason Schwartzman, and in The Family Stone opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton. In 2007, Danes appeared in the fantasy Stardust, which she described as a "classic model of romantic comedy", opposite Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Sienna Miller, and will appear in The Flock, opposite Richard Gere.

Danes appeared in Off-Broadway plays including Happiness, Punk Ballet, and Kids On Stage, in which she choreographed her own solo dance. She also wrote the introduction to Neil Gaiman's Death: The Time of Your Life. Danes auditioned for the role of Lois Lane in Superman Returns before the role went to Kate Bosworth.

In March 2007, Danes appeared with Patrick Wilson in a television commercial for Gap in which the pair dances to the song "Anything You Can Do" from the musical Annie Get Your Gun. Danes has recently appeared onstage at Manhattan's PS122 an avant-garde performance space, in a series of dance pieces by choreographer Tamar Rogoff. Danes made her stage debut at PS122 as a child.

On October 19, 2007, Danes made her Broadway debut in the revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, starring as Eliza Doolittle.

Danes had her first onscreen kiss in an episode of My So-Called Life before she had one in real life. After meeting at her birthday party, she and Australian singer Ben Lee dated for almost six years, their relationship ending in 2003. She has dated Andrew Dorff, actor Stephen Dorff's younger brother, and Matt Damon. Beginning in 2004, she dated her Stage Beauty and Princess Mononoke co-star Billy Crudup, which generated negative publicity due to rumors that their relationship caused the end of Crudup's relationship to then-pregnant Mary-Louise Parker. Both denied that they were involved prior to the end of Crudup's relationship with Parker. Danes's relationship with Crudup ended in December 2006, amid rumors of an affair by Danes with Hugh Dancy, her co-star in Evening. Danes confirmed on the June 27, 2007 episode of Late Show with David Letterman that she is dating Dancy. The couple are now engaged to be married.

In 1998, just after the filming of Brokedown Palace in Manila, she was quoted in Vogue as saying that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city." She further remarked in Premiere that the city "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over and that there is no sewage system and the people do not have anything — no arms, no legs, no eyes." Kim Atienza, son of then-Mayor of Manila, Lito Atienza, responded to the comments by saying that, "those are irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements that we cannot accept." Her films were subsequently banned from being screened in the Philippines. Joseph Estrada, then-President of the Philippines, condemned her publicly, and she was declared persona non grata. Shortly after the incident, Danes issued an apology in Entertainment Weekly to the City of Manila.

To the top



Romeo + Juliet

William shakespeares romeo and juliet movie poster.jpg

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet is a 1996 American film and the 10th on-screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy of the same name. It was directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the eponymous roles.

The film is a modernization of Shakespeare's play, designed to appeal to a younger modern audience. The warring families (the Montagues and the Capulets) are represented as warring business empires and swords are replaced by guns. Despite the adaptation, the film retains Shakespeare's original dialogue, albeit edited down for modern cinema audiences.

Most of the film's story takes place in the fictional town or suburb called "Verona Beach". As with the play, a brief part of the film takes place in a location known as Mantua, which is depicted here as a trailer park in a desert-like hinterland. Verona Beach is the center of a corporate war between two leaders of industry, "Montague" and "Capulet", rather than just a mere family feud. Prince Escalus is renamed "Captain Prince", and instead of being Prince of Verona, he is the Chief of the Verona Beach Police Department. His relationship to Paris (called "Dave Paris" in the movie) is removed from the film. Romeo and Juliet's parents are given names here too, the names in this case being Ted and Caroline Montague and Fulgencio and Gloria Capulet. Dave Paris is stated as being the Governor's son rather than a nobleman, and throughout the film he speaks in a conceited and pompous manner around Juliet and her father. He only wants to marry her for wealth and ego rather than real love.

In addition to the characters being updated, many of the props were replaced with analogous contemporary props. In place of swords, the characters wield guns with fictional brand names like "Sword 9mm" (which was used in the beginning gas station shootout, "Dagger" (which Mercutio throws to the ground before using his fists, or "Rapier" (Which belonged to Tybalt, and Romeo uses it to shoot Tybalt); Lord Montague's "Longsword" is a South African MAG-7 shotgun. Instead of chasing Tybalt on foot, Romeo and Tybalt engage in a car chase. Romeo crashes out Tybalt's car by the central fountain of the city, during which Romeo presses the barrel of Tybalt's pistol to his head and asks him to end his life. Tybalt refuses and in a resurgence of anger Romeo kills Tybalt with his own custom handgun. Although most of the fights are done with guns (and fists) instead of swords, Mercutio's death comes at the hands of Tybalt wielding a large shard of glass found on the beach. Mercutio's "Queen Mab" is an ecstasy-like drug in the form of a pill that Romeo takes before attending the Capulet party. Friar Lawrence gives the letter for Romeo in Mantua to a postal service called "Post Haste".

Most of the film was shot in Mexico City and Veracruz, but other parts were shot in Miami. The Capulet mansion was set at Chapultepec Castle while the ballroom was built on Stage One of Churubusco Studios; and the church is Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in the Del Valle neighborhood.

Leonardo DiCaprio was Luhrmann's first choice to play Romeo, while the casting of Juliet was a lengthy process. Sarah Michelle Gellar was originally offered the role of Juliet, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with daytime soap opera All My Children. Natalie Portman eventually landed the role, even travelling to Sydney for rehearsals. After rehearsing a few scenes however, the producers began to feel that she was too young for the role; according to Portman, they felt that the footage looked like DiCaprio was "molesting" her. Eventually, Luhrmann agreed that the age difference between the two actors was too great. Filming was halted to find another actress for the part.

Financially, the film was very successful, grossing USD$147 million worldwide at the box office on a USD$14.5 million budget. The film premiered November 1, 1996 in the United States and Canada in 1,276 theaters and grossed $11.1 million its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the box office. It went on to gross $46.3 million in the United States and Canada.

The film won several awards. At the Berlin International Film Festival in 1997, Leonardo DiCaprio won the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor and director Baz Luhrmann won the Alfred Bauer Award. Luhrmann was also nominated for the Golden Bear Award for Best Picture.

Leonardo DiCaprio won Favorite Actor and Claire Danes won Favorite Actress in a Romance at the 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. At the 1997 MTV Movie Awards, Danes won Best Female Performance. DiCaprio was nominated for Best Male Performance, and DiCaprio and Danes were both nominated for Best Kiss and Best On-Screen Duo. At the 51st BAFTA Film Awards, Baz Luhrmann won the award for Best Direction. Luhrmann and Craig Pearce won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Nellee Hooper won the award for Best Film Music. And Catherine Martin won the award for Best Production Design. The film was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound.

At the 69th Academy Awards, Catherine Martin and Brigitte Broch were nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.

The film made use of modern alternative rock and pop music coupled with a dramatic symphonic score by Nellee Hooper, Craig Armstrong, and Marius De Vries. The film's soundtrack was also noted for featuring choral renditions of the songs "When Doves Cry" and "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" performed by Quindon Tarver.

The soundtrack album to the film was issued in two volumes, with the first release containing most of the songs from the film and Volume 2 containing the original score.

Although the film featured the Radiohead song "Exit Music (For a Film)" in the closing credits, the song did not appear on Volume 1; "Talk Show Host", a different Radiohead song. "Talk Show Host" featured heavily in the film overall, the entire song playing during a montage and the main riff playing at several pensive moments throughout the film.

A number of hit singles resulted from the soundtrack, including "Lovefool" by The Cardigans, "Kissing You" by Des'ree, "Young Hearts Run Free" covered by Kym Mazelle, "#1 Crush" by Garbage and Quindon Tarver's remixed version of "When Doves Cry". Tarver's rendition of "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" was later used in Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" single.

Choral arrangements were performed by Metro Voices.

The final scene in the film contains the final bars from Wagner's music-drama Tristan und Isolde.

The soundtrack was a popular and solid seller, and was especially successful in Luhrmann's native Australia, where it was the second highest selling album in Australia in 1997, going five times platinum in sales. A 10th anniversary release of the soundtrack with bonus tracks also eventuated.

To the top



Brokedown Palace

Brokedown Palace is an American film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, and starring Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale. It deals with two American friends imprisoned in Thailand for drug smuggling. Because it presents a critical view of the Thai legal system, most scenes were filmed in the Philippines; however, some panoramas and views were filmed in Bangkok.

Lifelong best friends Alice Marano (Danes) and Darlene Davis (Beckinsale) are like night and day. Alice is bold and daring, while Darlene is more quiet and reserved. The future looks bright for both of them as they graduate from high school and make plans to attend college in the fall.

Unbeknownst to their parents, they change their pre-college summer vacation destination from Hawaii to Thailand at Alice's insistence. Alice claims that the American dollar is much stronger overseas and they should take advantage of the opportunity. While there, they meet a captivating Australian man, Nick Parks (Daniel Lapaine), who befriends them and invites them along with him to Hong Kong. However, the girls are found to have large amounts of heroin at Bangkok International Airport while preparing to board their plane, and are quickly taken into custody for drug smuggling. As they are interrogated separately, Darlene is tricked into signing a confession in Thai, which she does not understand.

The story takes an abrupt turn as the girls find themselves sentenced to lengthy terms (33 years, plus 15 for an escape attempt) in a grim Thai women's prison, called the Brokedown Palace by its inmates. It is implied that there is no parole system in Thailand, and thus no chance of early release. During the first several months of their incarceration, Alice and Darlene accuse each other of attempting to smuggle the heroin, possibly at the behest of Parks. While their friendship falls apart, the facts surrounding what really happened become increasingly muddled and distorted by corrupt Thai politicians, and the girls become less and less likely to be found innocent and released. They eventually turn to Hank "The Yank" Greene (Bill Pullman), an American attorney living in Thailand, in hopes that he can free them.

At first, Greene is hesitant to represent the girls because they lied to him about leaving a Thai luxury hotel without paying. The girls eventually come clean about their attempts to "live dangerously" in their first venture far from home, and he agrees to continue representing them, though his efforts are in vain as he is beaten back by the Thai legal system at every turn.

Greene, though no longer getting paid, eventually grows fond of the girls and takes a more personal interest in their case. Trying a different tactic, he meets with DEA agent Roy Knox (Lou Diamond Phillips), who has influence with the police. Though Knox admits that the girls were probably duped, he firmly believes that someone has to go to jail for this crime. As long as no Nick Parks (obviously an alias) can be produced to clear the girls, he says, they will finish out the remainder of their sentences.

Greene goes to Hong Kong and is able to find another girl used by the smuggler whose alias is Nick Parks. He confronts DEA agent Knox, who informs him that Parks has friends in high places, namely the prosecutor who convicted the girls. Greene threatens the corrupt prosecutor with exposure to the American media and he agrees a deal. If the girls confess to the crime and withdraw their naming of Nick Parks, they will receive a royal pardon. The girls agree and sign a confession. However, they have been duped by the prosecutor, who by this time has eliminated Parks.

Alice, who realizes that Darlene will be unable to bear prison, and who is finally willing to take some responsibility for her life, falls on her knees and begs the King of Thailand to allow her to serve both Darlene's sentence and her own in exchange for Darlene's release. The offer is accepted, and the film ends with the girls' friendship restored. Darlene bids Alice farewell and returns to the States, promising that she will not stop trying to get Alice released from prison. Alice's voiceover indicates her acceptance of fate and the belief that Darlene and Hank will never stop attempting to get her released.

The movie Return to Paradise, released a year before Brokedown Palace, also concerns a young American trapped in a Southeast Asian legal system, and the difficult choices that must be made by the victim's traveling companions.

The 1989 Australian miniseries Bangkok Hilton is about a young woman who goes in search of the father she has never known. She travels from Australia to England and then on to Bangkok. There she meets a charming young man, Arkie Regan, who plants drugs in her luggage and leaves her to her fate when the authorities find them during a routine search at the airport. Following her imprisonment in the notorious "Bangkok Hilton" prison, she awaits the decision of the authorities on whether she should face the death penalty.

There are also similarities in the film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, in which Bridget travels to Thailand while filming with Daniel Cleaver and is left carrying Sharon's male companion's pottery snake. Authorities are tipped off, uncover the smuggled drugs, and subsequently arrest Bridget, while Daniel and Sharon board their flight home to England. Bridget is jailed in a women's Thai jail similar to the one in Brokedown Palace, but is later released with the aid of barrister Mark Darcy.

The movie Brokedown Palace is also claimed to be loosely based on the exploits of Patricia Cahill and Karen Smith.

In 1998, just after the filming of Brokedown Palace in Manila, Claire Danes was quoted in Vogue as saying that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city." She further remarked in the premiere of the film that the city "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over and that there is no sewage system and the people do not have anything-no arms, no legs, no eyes." Kim Atienza, son of then-Mayor of Manila, Lito Atienza, responded to the comments by saying that, "those are irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements that we cannot accept." Her films were subsequently banned from being screened in the Philippines. Joseph Estrada, then-President of the Philippines, condemned her publicly, and she was declared persona non grata. Shortly after the incident, Danes issued an apology in Entertainment Weekly to the City of Manila.

To the top



My So-Called Life

The young cast of My So-Called Life

My So-Called Life is an American television teen drama created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to January 26, 1995. Set at the fictional Liberty High School, it follows the emotional travails of several self-aware teenagers. The critically acclaimed, but short-lived, show ended in a cliffhanger with the expectation that it would be picked up in an additional season, but it was officially canceled on May 15, 1995.

The show placed #33 on Entertainment Weekly's "New Classics TV" list.

My So-Called Life deals with issues much discussed in the mid-nineties, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, homelessness, adultery, kinky sex, school violence, same-sex parenting, censorship, and drug use. While a lot of shows brought up these themes as a one-time issue (a "very special episode") that would be introduced as a problem at the beginning of an episode and resolved at the end, in My So-Called Life they are just a part of the continuing fabric of the storylines. The title of the show alludes to the perception of meaninglessness that many teenagers experience, and therefore encapsulates the main theme of the series. The show depicts teenage years as difficult and confusing as opposed to a light, fun-filled time of pranks and jokes.

The world of My So-Called Life was devoid of last-minute miracles, (aside from an angel in the Christmas episode) of simple resolutions and instant revelations.

My So-Called Life was also the basis for Mein Leben & Ich ("My life & me"), a German television program.

Winnie Holzman was an award-winning writer but had not written much for television and was not making a living with writing at the time she got the idea for My So-Called Life, a project she had initially been calling 'Someone Like Me'. Holzman spent time at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles (through a program with the Writer's Guild in which writers could guest teach) as research for writing the show.

Her brother Ernest Holzman had been working as a cinematographer with producers Zwick and Herskovitz on their hit show thirtysomething when he introduced his sister Winnie to the producers, who grudgingly agreed to look at her "spec" script for what would become the pilot of My So-Called Life. They were pleasantly surprised that the draft pilot was brilliant and worked with Winnie to shape the show. Ernest Holzman went on to work as director of photography on several episodes of My So-Called Life. Zwick and Herskovitz, in many ways pioneers of the type of naturalistic television characters that distinguish the shows they have produced, had worked on the TV series Family in the mid-seventies and had struggled to develop a young female character that was played by Kristy McNichol on the show. They have said that in some ways, the character of Angela Chase on My So-Called Life was a "spiritual descendant" of the earlier character and that the chance to portray a young woman honestly in a television drama drew them to the project.

The genesis of Angela Chase's signature voice-over was in Winnie Holzman's struggle to write. The producers encouraged Holzman to write in the voice of a character as if she were writing a diary. Much of what was written for this exercise was used in Angela's voice-over dialogue in the pilot for the show.

Sixteen-year-old actress Alicia Silverstone was one of the actresses who read for the lead part of Angela and was very good but was deemed to be too polished and too self-possessed to effectively play a character who could project a sense of doubt and anxiety about her place in the world. A 13-year-old Claire Danes had appeared only in one small part on the show Law & Order, but on the strength of her appearance was noticed by casting directors and was brought in to read for the part of Angela Chase while she was in Los Angeles reading for a Steven Spielberg project. The producers and casting director were impressed by the depth of Danes's audition and knew she was the one to bring the character of Angela to life. However, they had grave concerns about having a 13-year-old actress in the lead on an hour-long drama shot on film, as her working hours would be so restrictive as to make production very challenging. To that point, most shows about young teenagers were played by actors over 18. The producers argued about this issue and eventually decided to take a risk and cast Danes in the lead. The limits of Danes's working hours turned out to serve the show as the producers were forced to expand the screen time of the ensemble actors, making a richer dramatic structure. The producers settled on a four-act formula in which there would be at least two major scenes in which Danes's character would not appear. This challenged the writers to expand and develop additional characters, like Rickie Vasquez, played by Wilson Cruz. The alienation felt by the character of Rickie only mirrored and added depth to that felt by Angela, adding to the complexity of the show.

Jared Leto was not initially envisioned as a series regular, having been originally hired only for the pilot, but the casting director and producers were impressed with his auditions and early performances. They said they "could never catch him acting." In fact, for a while he did a good job of fooling the producers into thinking he was somewhat like the dimwit he played as he often remained in character between shots. They were genuinely surprised to discover that Leto was such an articulate, intelligent person. He did not initially see himself as being on a television series, as he was mostly interviewing for film work at the time he landed the role.

By design the parent characters were written flatly in the pilot, as that was how the lead character Angela perceived them. However, Bess Armstrong and Tom Irwin were such strong actors and brought so much to their portrayals that it was difficult to keep them that way.

The show was written gradually as the network ordered additional episodes. Holzman has said that she did not allow herself to think too far ahead but instead she wrote "in response to what was feeling and seeing on the set as characters were developing." She was very interested in "polarized people who come together." The characters of Rayanne and Sharon were created as two opposing forces who were gradually brought together to great dramatic effect. The relationship between these opposing characters was something that was decided upon well into the season.

Production of the show was spread out over an unusually long period of time. More than two years lapsed between the shooting of the pilot and the final episode of the show. The pilot itself was not picked up until after the normal time the networks made their orders for shows for the fall 1994 season. The network was still unsure about the show after picking up the pilot, thus they only ordered the production of six episodes, as opposed to the standard order of a half-season of 13 or a full season of 22. Each time the network made a request for new episodes they only ordered six or seven shows at a time. This often caused long gaps in production. Vigilant viewers may notice some subtle changes in the appearance of various actors (especially Devon Gummersall, who had the most dramatic physical change) and in some of the sets. Despite the uneven production schedule, episodes were generally shot in sequence, though there were one or two episodes (such as the Rayanne-overdose episode, 'Other People's Mothers') that were flipped in sequence and aired in a different order than they had been shot. However, as the storylines for each of the episodes were self-contained and were not contingent on dependent narrative elements, continuity was not affected.

The producers developed a strong working relationship with ABC from having created and produced thirtysomething. Zwick and Herskovitz were allowed to rely on their own judgment and were not subjected to interference or pressure from the network brass, which is a fairly rare situation in network television.

The producers were routinely impressed with Danes's natural acting talent. Danes's audition was a scene that appeared in the pilot in which Angela Chase confronts her best friend Sharon Cherski (later played by Devon Odessa) in the bathroom at school. The producers said that when Danes read the part, her face flushed red and her eyes filled with tears as she read the scene. They were impressed by the physical reaction and authenticity she was able to conjure. Danes repeated the exact reaction when she read a second time for the producers, a third time for network executives, and then when they shot it numerous times during the actual production of the pilot.

While filming the scene in the pilot in which Angela, Rickie, and Rayanne are unable to get into the nightclub 'Let's Bolt', Wilson Cruz approached Holzman and in a candid moment confessed that he was incredibly intimidated watching Danes work as her performances were so natural and they apparently came so easily to her. Holzman told him that he should not be intimidated but should learn from it as it was truly a gift.

Holzman has said there was something wonderful about working in the presence of someone so talented. She said that all of the young actors gave 110% percent of themselves and that there was great pleasure in writing the show because everyone in the cast and crew was so strongly behind it. There was something magical about using kids who were actually in such a stage of growth and transition. She saw it as one of the key advantages of using actors who were authentically the ages they were portraying.

The producers have said that Danes possessed such genius, maturity, and a sense of inner grace that they often were at a loss to know where to pitch their sensibilities with her.

For its original run in the United States, it aired on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET against four top-10 hit sitcoms — Mad About You and Friends on NBC, as well as the popular Martin and Living Single on Fox, undoubtedly contributing to the series' low ratings.

The producers said that they could not fault ABC for the creative freedom and support they gave them during production, as there were probably few networks that would have even put My So-Called Life on the air in the first place. However, it was clear that ABC had tremendous difficulty in effectively promoting the show.

In conversations with then ABC President Bob Iger, producers Zwick and Herskovitz told him that by broadcasting My So-Called Life the network was giving a voice to millions of young women who otherwise had no voice on network television. The show was making money for the network, and, as such, they told Iger he should keep the show on the air for no other reason than "good corporate works"; yet ABC could simply not yet see the economic appeal of an audience of teenage girls.

Not insignificant was the arduous schedule and the mental and physical demands of the production of episodic television, especially for young actors who must balance school work with rehearsal and time on the set. Herskovitz said Danes and her parents approached the show's creators and told producers that she did not want to be involved with the show moving forward if they were picked up for a second season. The producers were fully committed to continuing the show. In perhaps one of the first times in the history of the new and burgeoning World Wide Web, fans were using the new technology as a tool for grassroots mobilization of fan support. Fans also took out expensive advertisements in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter urging ABC to renew the show, yet they had no way of knowing about the internal strife in the show's last days.

The rumors of the end of the show strongly divided its passionate fans. Flame wars raged across the Internet, especially after Steve Joyner of Operation Life Support (the group that worked so hard to save the show), as well as some cast members, confirmed the rumors—angrily themselves, in some cases. Joyner's letter was entitled "Claire Danes Brings Death to 'Life'." Fans were sharply divided between those who believed or disbelieved the reports, and those who thought it was forgivable in any event for a teenage actress to find a way out of a long contract. Others believed Danes's desire to leave was not acceptable, especially given her feigned support for the movement to save the show. Many fans felt betrayed due to having spent significant time and money to save the show when its star was secretly working against them.

In a September 2004 edition of Entertainment Weekly, Danes admitted her role in the show's demise, while insisting that she didn't have enough power to cause the cancellation by herself. It is generally accepted that ABC seriously considered bringing it back for a second season and may have even intended to—as then-executive Ted Harbert claims—because of its devoted fanbase, its quality, and its critical acclaim. However, the low ratings combined with Danes's reluctance to return ended the series. ABC had no interest in getting into a public quarrel with a 15-year-old actress. Winnie Holzman theorized that the network was so on-the-fence about renewing the show that in some ways they used Danes's unwillingness to return as a convenient excuse not to renew the show.

On November 19, 2002, BMG released My So-Called Life: The Complete Series on DVD in a 5-disc box set. This set has gone out of print, as BMG lost the distribution rights for the show. The distribution rights are now owned by Buena Vista.

On October 30, 2007, Shout! Factory re-released My So-Called Life on DVD in Region 1 in a 6-disc box-set that features a disc of special features, including an interview with series star Claire Danes. Shout! Factory is a distribution company that has released short-lived shows in the past.

In promotion of the October 2007 DVD release, ABC posted the My So-Called Life pilot on its online Full Episode Player on Friday, November 30, 2007. The second episode, entitled "Dancing in the Dark", was released the subsequent Friday, followed by the third episode, "Guns and Gossip", the next Friday. Each episode was available online for two weeks.

On September 13, 2007, Eurovideo released the complete series on DVD in Germany in Region 2; The 5-disc boxset featured German and English soundtrack but no special features.

On June 10, 2008, Beyond Home Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Australia in Region 4.

On December 3, 2008, Free Dolphin released the complete series on DVD in France in Region 2, with a 32-page booklet but no other special features. .

Atlantic Records released a soundtrack of the show, which originally released on August 25, 1994, then re-released on January 24, 1995.

To the top



Les Misérables (1998 film)

Les Miserables.jpg

Les Misérables is a 1998 film version of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, directed by Bille August. It stars Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes and Uma Thurman.

As in the original novel, the story line follows the adult life of Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson), an ex-convict (paroled following 19 years of hard labor, for stealing bread) pursued by police Inspector Javert (Geoffrey Rush). The movie is only true to Hugo's novel in the most basic plot points, shortening and simplifying the story considerably and taking very large liberties, mostly by substituting the tragic ending by a cliché happy end. The film received a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. and was filmed at Barrandov Studios in Prague.

The movie follows Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson), a man arrested for stealing bread. When released on parole, Valjean stays with a bishop as no one else was willing to allow a convict to stay the night. Through the kindness of the bishop, who Valjean attempted to rob, Valjean starts his life anew. He becomes a wealthy industrialist and a mayor. He eventually befriends Fantine, a single mother turned prostitute (Uma Thurman) whom he rescued when she was nearly arrested by the police officer Javert (Geoffrey Rush). Javert was also a guard previously at the prison Valjean was held in and starts to become suspicious that the Mayor and Valjean are the same person. When Valjean receives word that another man is mistaken as him and about to be rearrested, he reveals his identity. When he visits Fantine, he finds that she is deathly ill and he promises to raise her very young daughter, Cosette. When Fantine dies, Valjean escapes from Javert and buys Cosette from the Thénardiers, corrupt innkeepers who were supposed to care for her (but were actually abusing her). Many years later, the late teenaged Cosette (Claire Danes) falls in love with a revolutionary, Marius (Hans Matheson). By this time, the trail of Valjean is cold, and Javert is undercover as an insurrectionist trying to undermine the organization to which Marius belongs. Javert, however, is captured by Marius and is brought to the barricades as a prisoner to be executed. Valjean journeys to the barricades himself when he learns how much Cosette and Marius love each other, intending to convince Marius to return to Cosette. When the soldiers shoot and kill Gavroche, a young boy allied with the revolutionists, Valjean uses his influence with Marius to have Javert turned over to him, to execute him. Instead of killing him however, Valjean frees Javert. The movie ends with Javert, unable to reconcile the goodness shown to him by Valjean with his perfectly lawful existence, freeing him, then committing suicide.

The film greatly reduces the roles of many of the characters in the novel, especially the Thénardiers, who are only seen when Valjean buys Cosette from them. Éponine also does not play a major role in the film. She and her sister Azelma only appear in one scene together as children playing at a table in the Thénardier Inn, whilst Cosette makes stockings for them, as their mother calls their names.

Marius' role is changed from reluctant participant in the Revolution to principal leader, resulting in Enjolras' role to also be changed and reduced. The subplot involving Marius' political shift is also not present.

A large number of names have also been changed. Valjean is the mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer in the novel, not of Vigau. A town of that name does not even exist in France. The man he saves after the cart crash is called Fauchelevent, not Lafitte. The man mistaken for Valjean is called Champmathieu, not Carnot, and the prisoners identifying him are Brevet, Chenildieu and Cochepaille; the film only changed the last two names to Lombard and Bertin.

Much of the events surrounding the love story between Marius and Cosette have been removed, including Marius and the Thénardiers living in the same apartment house as Valjean and Cosette; the events involving Gavroche; and most of the events involving the Revolution.

Javert finds Valjean's trace in Paris when he leaves a note for him, warning him about his daughter's involvement with a "dangerous revolutionary". The words "she betrays you every night" in said note have already been the source for many speculations.

In one scene, Valjean slaps Cosette, which is an act he would never do in the novel. Valjean also confesses his convict past to Cosette, while in the novel he reveals this to Marius, begging him not to say a word to Cosette.

Valjean does not die at the end of the film as he does in the novel; the film closes with him walking away smiling from where Javert threw himself into the river, free from the "shadow of the past" that the Inspector represented.

To the top



Me and Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles is an upcoming period-drama film directed by Richard Linklater and starring Zac Efron, Christian McKay and Claire Danes. Based on Robert Kaplow's novel of the same name, the story, set in 1937 New York, tells of a teenager hired to star in Orson Welles' production of Julius Caesar, where he becomes attracted to a career-driven production assistant. The film was shot in the Isle of Man, London and New York over February, March and April 2008, and is slated for release in 2009.

In New York in 1937, seventeen-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) meets theatre director Orson Welles (Christian McKay), whom he convinces to give him the role of Lucius in Julius Caesar, Broadway's first Shakespearean production. Welles, who is having an extramarital affair with the leading actress while his wife is pregnant, couples Richard with production assistant Sonja Jones (Claire Danes) to rehearse. Welles decides the entire production crew would benefit from a coupling game, and Richard cheats to ensure he is paired with Sonja. After a night together, Richard declares his love for her but she later informs him that she is to spend the following night with Welles. He discovers that, to further her career, she had sex with Welles, who promised to introduce her to a theatre producer. Richard argues with Welles over the incident and is fired, only for Welles to apologise later and rehire him. After a successful opening night, Richard learns that Welles' apology was only to ensure a successful night and that a new actor has been found to replace him. Richard tells his family that he quit because of poor pay; he returns to school and decides to pursue a career in writing rather than acting.

Holly Gent Palmo and Vincent Palmo Jr. adapted the film's screenplay from Robert Kaplow's novel of the same name, about a teenager involved in the founding of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. After receiving funding from CinemaNX, a production company backed by the Isle of Man film fund, and an offer from Framestore Features to co-finance the film, Richard Linklater came on board to direct Me and Orson Welles. Zac Efron signed on as the lead in early-January 2008, claiming he decided to take the role of Richard Samuels because "It's a completely different project than I've ever done before," while Claire Danes joined the cast as the protagonist's love interest Sonja Jones in late January. Me and Orson Welles underwent filming in the Isle of Man, Pinewood Studios, London and New York from February to April 2008. Filming in London commenced first in mid-February, before scenes in the Isle of Man were shot on a schedule from February 24 to March 14, 2008, where filming locations included Gaiety Theatre and various other parts of Douglas. During filming in Douglas, Efron and Danes believe they sighted a ghost, or "supernatural" being, outside a window on set at Gaiety Theatre. Filming in Britain commenced again in late March, where the crew filmed for six weeks at Pinewood Studios. Other locations included Crystal Palace Park, where a facade of New York's Mercury Theatre was set up for a scene. Actor James Tupper claimed that the best replica of an old New York theatre they could find was in England, while many of the actors who filled the company were from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The production crew only briefly visited New York; photographs were taken and footage shot to be added into the film as digital effects. Every exterior shot was filmed on a single street built at Pinewood Studios with a greenscreen at one end; different angles and slightly altered set designs were used between shots to make the street appear different each time.

Select footage of Me and Orson Welles was screened at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where financing and sales agency Cinetic Media were looking to sell the film to a distributor. Although, before its Cannes premiere, The Hollywood Reporter predicted that the film would attract distributors with Linklater's résumé and Efron's teen "heartthrob" status to appeal to a younger demographic, Me and Orson Welles failed to secure any American acquisitions. Its first full screening was at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, running from September 4–13, 2008. In spite of its failure to find a buyer at Cannes, Toronto's co-director Cameron Bailey predicted that it would be "one of the hottest films" in the lineup, Anne Thompson of Variety magazine also believed that the film would be one of "only a few lucky winners" to secure a seven-figure deal. Again, however, the film's distribution rights were not purchased and it went on to show at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, reviews for Me and Orson Welles have generally been positive. The Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert called the film "one of the best movies about the theater I've ever seen". Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film for its "terrific acting" and called it "a must for lovers and students of the theater". Variety magazine's Todd McCarthy labelled McKay's performance as "an extraordinary impersonation" of Welles, though he wrote that "Efron never feels like a proper fit for Richard".

To the top



Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke Japanese Poster (Movie).jpg

Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫 ,Mononoke-hime?) is a 1997 Japanese animated historical fantasy feature film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. It was first released in Japan on July 12, 1997 and in the United States on October 29, 1999 in select cities and on November 26, 1999 in Canada.

It is a jidaigeki (period drama) set specifically in the late Muromachi period of Japan but with numerous fantasy elements and centers on the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans who consume its resources as seen by the outsider Ashitaka. "Mononoke" (物の怪 ?) is not a name, but a general term in the Japanese language for a spirit or monster.

Roger Ebert placed the movie sixth on his top ten movies of 1999. Mononoke also became the highest grossing movie in Japan until Titanic took over the spot several months later. Overall, Mononoke is the third highest grossing anime movie in Japan, next to 2001's Spirited Away and 2004's Howl's Moving Castle, both also by Miyazaki.

Set in feudal Japan, a time of upheaval of samurai warriors and isolated villages, Princess Mononoke follows the journey of the last Emishi prince, Ashitaka, and his attempts to make peace between the human settlement, Irontown (Tataraba in the original Japanese), and the creatures living in the forest that surrounds it.

The film begins with Ashitaka receiving a curse during a battle with a demonic giant boar which is threatening to destroy his village. During the fight, Ashitaka receives a wound on his right arm; the cursed wound will spread to the rest of his body and eventually kill him. Ashitaka resolves to journey to the boar's origin, the lands to the West, and find a cure for the curse. He cuts his hair, signifying his permanent departure from his village, and rides out with his steed Yakul, his loyal red elk. On his journey, Ashitaka passes by a village suffering a samurai attack. Some samurai attack him, and Ashitaka defeats them with the supernatural strength of his cursed arm. In a nearby town he meets Jigo, a wandering monk impressed by his feats of arm, who informs Ashitaka that the god of the forest in the mountains of the west may be able to help him.

A nearby iron town in the mountains of the west continually clears the nearby forests to make charcoal to smelt ironsand, leading to battles with animals attempting to protect their diminishing forest. In one such battle, a pack of wolves, led by the wolf god Moro, attack villagers transporting rice. They are accompanied by San, a human girl adopted by the wolves whom the people of Irontown call 'Princess Mononoke'. In the attack Moro and several villagers are injured. The day following the battle, Ashitaka finds two injured villagers near a river. While rescuing them, he sees San treating Moro's wounds, and she disappears quickly. He returns the villagers to Irontown passing through a forest full of animal gods, including diminutive sprites called kodama. Also in the forest is the Forest Spirit (Shishigami in the original Japanese), described as a "god of life and death", which takes the form of a deer-like kirin during the day and a large shadowy "night-walker" (Daidarabocchi) at night.

Ashitaka is given a warm welcome when he reaches Irontown. He learns from the leader of Irontown, Lady Eboshi, that the giant boar which cursed him was once a forest god called Nago and that Eboshi had shot the boar, driving it to madness. On hearing this Ashitaka is filled with rage and must restrain his right arm from killing Eboshi. He is dissuaded from doing so by lepers whom Eboshi has taken under her care and employed as gunmakers. She also employs former prostitutes in her famous ironworks in order to free them from brothels. Irontown is then infiltrated by San, who attacks Eboshi. Ashitaka intervenes to stop the two sides' fighting and takes San back to the forest, but is severely wounded when he is shot through the chest. With his curse's power, he manages to open the gate and leave the town, but collapses soon afterward. San presents Ashitaka to the Forest Spirit who heals his wounds but does not remove the curse.

San soon learns that the boars, under the leadership of the boar god Okkoto, are planning another attack on Irontown. Eboshi prepares for the assault and sets out to destroy the Forest Spirit. The head of the Forest Spirit is believed to grant immortality. Jigo, who is now revealed to be a mercenary-hunter, plans to give the head to the emperor; in return the emperor promises to give Irontown legal protection against the envious daimyos coveting the town's prosperity. Eboshi, however, suspects (rightly) that the emperor's agents are also assigned to take control of Irontown at the most opportune moment. Meanwhile, Ashitaka recovers and falls in love with San, something she has difficulty accepting due to her lifelong hatred of other humans.

In the ensuing battle, Irontown successfully sets a trap for the boars, devastating their army. Jigo's hunters also succeed in corrupting Okkoto in the same way as Nago, and San becomes entangled in Okkoto's demonic tentacles. Moro, also badly wounded, saves San, and then is killed, along with Okkoto, by the Forest Spirit, in mercy for their suffering. Eboshi then succeeds in shooting off the Forest Spirit's head while it is transforming into the night-walker. Jigo collects the head while the body is transformed into a god of death covering the surrounding land with a lethal black ooze that completely destroys all life and turns the land barren. The hunters scatter before the ooze and the population of Irontown moves into the surrounding lake, leaving Irontown to destruction. Ashitaka and San manage to take the head from Jigo and return it to the Forest Spirit. It collapses into the lake and the land becomes green again. Ashitaka and San part, vowing to see each other occasionally while Ashitaka, finally freed of his curse, helps rebuild Irontown. Eboshi survives, albeit without an arm, and vows to rebuild Irontown along more harmonious lines. The film ends with a kodama appearing in the rejuvenated forest.

Ashitaka is an Emishi prince who was meant to become leader of his tribe. While rescuing his village from Nago, the demon boar god, Ashitaka’s arm is afflicted with a curse that will eventually consume and kill him. Under the effect of the curse, Ashitaka gains superhuman strength, but causes him to grow weaker as time passes. Ashitaka is exiled from his village and goes westward to find the cause of the demon’s corruption as well as a cure for his curse, despite being told there is no such thing.

After arriving at Irontown, Ashitaka is caught up in the town’s war against the mountain gods. Amidst the battle at Irontown, Ashitaka meets San and soon becomes enamored with her. Ashitaka takes San back to Moro and attempts to negotiate a ceasefire between the warring sides. He is unsuccessful. Throughout the film, Ashitaka develops deep feelings for San and eventually falls in love with her. It is stated by Moro that he wanted to share his life with her. At the end of the film, Ashitaka’s curse is eventually removed and, though San and Ashitaka have grown close, they go their separate ways: to the forest and to Irontown respectively. However, Ashitaka promises to visit San in the forest whenever he can.

When San was a baby, the wolf goddess Moro attacked her parents, who were found damaging the forest. San's parents threw her to Moro as a sacrifice to save their own lives. Moro raised San as her own daughter, and in turn San treats Moro as her mother and Moro's two natural pups as brothers. The wolf pups accept San as a sister.

San’s primary concern is protecting the forest and the animals she lives with. San rejects her own humanity and even thinks of herself as a wolf. She has attempted to assassinate Eboshi of Irontown many times, as San believes that Eboshi’s death will result in the end of Irontown and human growth into the surrounding forest. It is only by Ashitaka's affection to her that she slowly comes to acknowledge her human side as well.

After the battle for the Forest Spirit's head, San tells Ashitaka that he is very dear to her, but since she cannot forgive the human race for what they have done to the forest, she will continue to live apart from the humans. San returns to the forest and Ashitaka remains in Irontown.

Eboshi is the strong-willed and independent leader of Irontown. Though seemingly callous and distant to others, she actually cares a lot about the welfare of her people; the guns they produce are primarily intended to secure their independence from hostile parties. She also takes in lepers, treating them as humans instead of parasites, and helps them with their wounds - a fact which Ashitaka acknowledges to the point that he cannot condemn her for inflicting him (indirectly) with the curse.

Eboshi has many enemies, including San, men and the animal gods. Eboshi and her ishibiya troops are responsible for the cursed iron bullet in Nago which eventually affects Ashitaka. She shoots the Shishigami's head off, causing it to turn into a God of death and sending forth a dark liquid that kills anything it touches. The liquid falls on Moro's body, separating her head from the body. After Eboshi throws the Shishigami's head to Jigo, Moro's head resurrects long enough to bite off Eboshi's right arm. This event redeems her and she decides to rebuild Irontown not as an industrial center, but as a modest settlement.

According to the producer Hayao Miyazaki, the character of Lady Eboshi was supposed to have a traumatic past, but whether she was previously a prostitute like the girls she employs, is not made clear. She has a strong and secure personality, evident in the fact that she lets Ashitaka move freely through the settlement unescorted, despite his unclear motives. She also almost never acknowledges the Emperor's authority in Irontown, a revolutionary view for the time and displays an untypical attitude for a woman of that era in that she wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice herself or those around her for her dreams.

Jigo is an Imperial agent traveling in the disguise of a monk who was assigned by the Emperor to capture the forest spirit's head, in return for an entire hill of gold. The Emperor believed that the forest spirit's head would give him immortality. Jigo used a pack of skilled hunters, and a group of his own men, to help him hunt down the forest spirit. He also manipulated Lady Eboshi to kill the forest spirit for him, in exchange for tracking it down for her.

When director Miyazaki was creating the Jigo character, he was unsure whether to make him a government spy, a ninja, a member of a religious group or a very good guy. In the end he decided to give Jigo elements of all of the above groups.

The Forest Spirit is the ancient spirit of the forest. During the day, the Forest Spirit resembles a great elegant stag with many antlers, bird-like feet, and a long deer-like face similar to that of a baboon. The Forest Spirit is protected by the Wolf Clan. As he walks, flowers bloom up at his feet, though they quickly wither and die. He is capable of both giving life and taking it away, which includes healing wounds.

At sunset, the Forest Spirit becomes the Nightwalker (known as Daidarabocchi in the Japanese version), a huge god in a humanoid form that appears to be made out of stars, with a long pointed face and tentacle-like spikes on the back. When Lady Eboshi shoots off the Forest Spirit's head whilst it is transforming into the Nightwalker, it becomes a raging god of death and his starry appearance changes to a dark tar-like liquid, searching for his head, and brings death to all it touches. At the climax of the film, the huge god retrieves its head, just as dawn breaks, and then apparently dies and collapses into the lake. However, Ashitaka claims that the forest spirit cannot die as it is the embodiment of Life as well as Death.

Princess Mononoke is mostly hand-drawn, but incorporates some use of computer animation.

When released, Mononoke was the most expensive anime ever made, with production of the film costing ¥2.4 billion (approximately US$20 million). Miyazaki personally checked each of the 144,000 cels in the film, and is estimated to have redrawn parts of 80,000 of them.

Computer animation was used during 5 minutes of footage throughout the film, and a further 10 minutes used digital paint, a technique which is used throughout all subsequent Studio Ghibli films. The computer animated parts are designed to blend in and support the traditional animation, and are mainly used in images consisting of a mixture of CGI and traditional drawing.

This is the only anime directed by Hayao Miyazaki that does not feature a flying sequence, his well-known trademark.

This story takes place in Japan during the Muromachi Period, which is considered to be the transition period between the medieval period and the early modern period. It is notable that the power of the shoguns greatly declined in this period. The landscapes which appear in Princess Mononoke are said to have been inspired by the ancient forests of Yakushima, off Kyūshū, and the mountains of Shirakami-Sanchi in northern Honshū.

Ashitaka comes from a tribe called the Emishi, which used to be natives of northern Honshū, that had been resisting subjugation by the Japanese emperor for centuries. However, the Emishi were defeated by the samurai of the Yamato clan, which proceeded to become the rulers and government of the Empire. The Emishi thus went into hiding, around the Northeast part of Honshū, Japan's largest island. By A.D. 1300, the Emishi were becoming integrated into Japanese society. However, Ashitaka supposedly comes from a tribe of the Emishi that had resisted integration and still lived in exile.

The film was extremely successful in Japan and with both anime fans and "arthouse" moviegoers in English-speaking countries. In those countries, it was widely interpreted as a film about the environment told in the form of Japanese mythology. Disney's Miramax subsidiary purchased U.S. distribution rights, but wanted to cut the film for American audiences (and for a PG-rating). However, Miyazaki balked at this, and the film was instead released uncut with a rating of PG-13. Miramax also chose to put a lot of money into creating the English dub of the movie with famous actors and actresses, yet when they released it in theatres there was little or no advertising and it was given a very limited run, showing in only a few theatres and for a very short time. Disney later complained about the fact that the movie did not do well at the box office. In September 2000, the film was supposed to be released on DVD in the U.S. but Miramax announced that only the English dub would be included on the disc. Outraged fans demanded the Japanese track be put on the disc as well and the threat of poor sales prompted Miramax to hire translators for the subtitles, holding the DVD release back by almost three months. When the DVD was finally released it sold very well, due to no limitation in availability. According to Ultimate Disney, the film is due for a two-disc Special Edition treatment in the near future.

It was rated PG-12 in Japan, PG in the UK, M in Australia and PG-13 in the U.S. for images of violence and gore.

The film was promoted with the tagline "Live!" (生きろ ,Ikiro?), inflected in the imperative.

The United States and United Kingdom DVD releases have both the English and Japanese soundtracks, together with subtitles for both the English dub and a more literal translation.

At Miyazaki's insistence, the film was uncut for the English release, so that only the soundtrack was altered. The English dub of Princess Mononoke is a translation with some adaptation by Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman. The main changes from the Japanese version are to provide a cultural context for phrases and actions which those outside of Asia may not be familiar with. Such alterations include references to mythology and specific names for groups, such as Jibashiri and Shishigami, that appear in the Japanese version, that are changed to more general terms, such as Mercenary and Forest Spirit, in the English version. The rationale for such changes is that the majority of non-Japanese viewers would not understand the mythological references and that the English language simply has no words for the Jibashiri, Shishigami and other terms. However, some critics (Michael Atkinson, Mr. Showbiz) have said that the translation from Japanese to English and the alterations in which it has resulted have weakened the film somewhat.

The English dub received mixed reviews from critics. While most of the reaction was positive, others criticized the dub for most of its casting choices, notably Billy Bob Thornton as Jigo and Claire Danes as San, claiming that they detracted from the experience. Despite this love-hate atmosphere, the dub has been hailed as one of the best ever done alongside Spirited Away, which has been met with the same criticism.

The film has also been recently dubbed in Mandarin as well. There are not a great number of differences, and the translations seem to be accurate enough. Still, there are three translations mentioned of 'Princess Mononoke/Mononoke Hime', while most of the other names use either Chinese or sound translations.

The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and currently garners a 94% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Leonard Klady of Variety wrote a positive review of an early release of the picture. On Roger Ebert & The Movies, the film received two thumbs up from Harry Knowles and Roger Ebert. Ebert also gave the film four out of four stars in his print review and has added it to his 10 best movies of the year list. Despite positive reviews, the film did not fare well financially in the United States. It grossed only $2,298,191 the first eight weeks.

Princess Mononoke ranks 488th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia