A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What I'm Watching

Kiki's Delivery Service
A charmer, more linear, less crowded with mysterious detail than other Miyazaki films such as Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. And hence, I guess, more suited for children -- although I certainly wouldn't want to deprive a kid of the wonders of the other films. I wonder, though, at the mittel-Europäisch detail of the streets and architecture of the city in the film (also found in Howl's Moving Castle for that matter), and the absence of Asian people in the crowds on the street. Why are Miyazaki's cities not identifiably Japanese? Is it the Disney influence, the feeling that a "storybook" film has to look like it was written by the Brothers Grimm?

Noise of the Day

Ronald Brownstein on the disaster of Bush's presidency.
On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country's condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton's two terms, often substantially.

James Rucker on why fighting back against Glenn Beck is important.
The right wing media machine, of which Beck is now one of the leading members, is the single greatest force standing in the way of change. They have already helped derail the conversation on health care.... And they will do the same to the upcoming debates over clean energy, immigration, and every progressive policy priority. We simply don’t have the luxury of ignoring them. We must challenge them head on, expose their distortions, take away their advertisers, and position their views where they belong: far outside the bounds of any rational political discourse.

Frank Rich on the problems caused by Obama's no-drama style.
Obama’s leadership poll numbers have also suffered from his repeated deference to Congress. Waiting for the pettifogging small-state potentates of both parties in the Senate’s Gang of Six is as farcical as waiting for Godot.