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|Princess Mononoke Screening at the New York Film Festival|
The following is my personal account of the Princess Mononoke screening at the New York Film Festival.
Sept. 26, 1999
PM, I arrived at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall
together with several people from the
Miyazaki Mailing List, Tom Wilkes, Justin Sevakis,
Griffin Waldau, and his beautiful mother and sister.
There were some fences put up, to make a passage to the entrance. This one was without a red carpet, but there were several people with big cameras and press passes, so Justin and I went to investigate (actually, I was too shy, so Justin did most of the talking.) There were TV crews from NTV (a Japanese TV network), who said that they are going to air the segment on the Monday evening news in Japan. There were also crews from a PR company, who said that they are going to sell the footage to the news companies who are interested in the story. But they said that since the Saturday Night Live 25th Anniversary party at Rockefeller Center to be held that night would get a lot of coverage, this footage wouldn't get used so much. And there was a guy from ForeignTV.com, who said that they basically attend every premiere of a foreign movie. Also, a reporter from Metro Guide (a local TV station) was filming a report there. There were some other people, and later, we found more press, but we didn't figure out who they were.
We went inside, and
picked up a ticket I ordered by phone. Then, we noticed
that Miramax had a table set up next to the box office
(for those who were invited to the screening to pick up
their tickets) and there is a Princess Mononoke poster
behind it. It's a poster with San's face and the head of
her spear. The image has been given a "bronzed"
look as if it's on a coin or the face of a shield. The
bottom part of the poster was an image of Tatara-Ba
("Iron Town" in the dub), also in a bronze
color. I took a picture of the poster, but accidentally
deleted the data. Sorry. The poster had a line, "The
fate of the world rests on the courage of one
warrior". It might not represent this film
accurately, but if American audience would be lured to
the theaters with such a description, I won't complain.
But at least Miramax had a lot of staff people working there, and they were having the last-minute meeting. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear what they were saying.
|It was around 6 PM,
and we went outside again. People were starting to gather
around the entrance. There were fans who were making a
hand-made Mononoke Poster, drawing a face of San on the
spot. It made me smile to see that American fans do the
same thing as Japanese fans.
We continued to talk with
several people, including folks from the Blue Sky Studio,
whom I went to Ghibli with in last May (oh, what a day
that was!). They were invited to the festival by
Miyazaki-San, and they were going to the dinner hosted by
Miramax afterwards. Well, of course I was jealous.
(The picture was taken a bit later, when he was talking with Neil Gaiman while Miyazaki-San was being interviewed by the press.)
(More pictures of him.
He stopped several times to talk to the press, and
then talk to Havey Weinstein and Neil Gaiman, who were
waiting for him near the entrance. Miyazaki-San and
Gaiman talked briefly, and shook their hands.
Afer that, there was a photo opportunity for the press. Miyazaki-San, Gaiman, and Weinstein lined up for camera.
Miyazaki-San went inside, and I overheard Harvey
Weinstein telling someone, "A truly amazing film.
Really great. It reminded me of..." Oh! what was the
movie's title? Might be "Young Jessie James",
but I'm not sure.
already around 6:45, and people started clapping. The
seats were almost full, but there were some empty seats.
Finally, the organizer appeared on stage, and made a
brief comment on how fortunate they were to get to show
such a film. Then he introduced Jack Fletcher (the
dubbing director), Neil Gaiman, Harvey Weinstein, Scott
Martin (a Miramax guy who was responsible for MH), Claire
Danes, Suzuki-San (Ghilbi's producer), and finally,
Miyazaki-San to a huge cheer.
Miyazaki-San made a little speech. He said that he had worried how the people with different cultural backgrounds would react to such a movie, but the people he met in Toronto, LA, and NY made him feel that there are people who understand this movie well, and that turned his trip into a happy one. (Sorry for not a good picture here. I was sitting far back, and the Hall was really dark, even with flash.)
|When the movie ended, there was
a huge applause, but as American audience always do, they
started leaving the theater as soon as the ending credits
started rolling. Unlike other Miyazaki movies,Mononoke
Hime has no image during the ending credit, so it is
understandable that they felt that they can now leave.
In the middle of the ending credits, a spotlight was on one of the balconies, where Miyazaki-San was sitting, and people applauded again. When the credits ended and the lights came on, there were still some people, who stood up and applauded for Miyazaki-San again. He waved, and left.
I went to a dinner with Tom and two other nice people, Paul and Pamela, where we talked over the film we had just seen. Each one of us had different complaints against the dub, but we all liked it over all.
that's about it with my report. It was really nice
meeting you guys from the ML, and it was certainly a
great day for me!
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