From time to time, opinion pieces will be posted here.
CGI Clothing: As an ex-animator (from the now-ancient hand-drawn era) it frustrates me that all CGI characters must be animated wearing whatever they were modelled wearing. The clothing is part of the character, and forms an outer ‘skin’ – movement is dictated by the ‘bones’ (called Rigging) of the character. Clothing items cannot be (easily) added or removed during a scene, and CGI renders only what the camera can SEE. See my solution to this problem.
Culture Barrier: Japanese Anime strikes the right balance between reality and cartoon sham, by using real-looking CGI-rendered backgrounds, but with characters that look hand-drawn in a realistic style – not too real, and not too cartoony. Just stylized substitutes for real people, suitable for telling all sorts of stories. That SHOULD allow them to tell stories with adult themes, but their film censorship system is based on cultural values, not just legal values, and treats ALL film scripts as potentially REAL (not fiction), and all PUBLIC. Depicting privacy is forbidden – anything that could be comsidered culturally offensive in a public place, witnessed by anyone, cannot be shown in a film.
Japanese cultural restrictions require adults to act in a very formal, polite manner IN PUBLIC. Anime films work around this censorship issue by never showing emotional or adult-themed story elements, often by substituting magic and cultural customs that no adult audience could believe! See my scripting summary here or my privacy ban summary here.
Coffee-speak! Several short posts about making coffee ...since so many people seem to think that I am obsessive about this subject!
April 2020: Pandemic Thoughts: In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic I believe that there will be quite a few radical changes to world-wide trade and travel habits as a result of many countries being hurt by supply-chain issues – that world-wide web of delivery for manufactured goods. It’s inevitable that politicians will insist on changes, so I have listed issues that I think will prompt vigorous preventative measures.
September 2017 : Anime Failure, Anime Success: Japanese Director Makoto Shinkai made an Anime film named Your Name that broke lots of box-office records, so was very popular, and came close to being a masterpiece... instead, closer inspection reveals inherent Japanese scripting flaws unrelated to the undeniable artistic quality of the film, making it a disappointing failure. It looked great, but made little sense. I reviewed that film in 2019 here.
But then, in 2019, Shinkai released his follow-up film, Weathering with You, which was much better! Artistically stunning AND easy to understand. Hinting, for the first time, that Anime studios CAN make films with adult themes, without offending Japanese audiences. See my 2021 review of that film here.
August 2016 : Poutine on the Ritz: During my trip to Canada a few years ago I tried Poutine for the first time. For those who have never heard of Poutine it’s hot potato chips with gravy and cheese curds on top – often described as ‘A heart attack on a plate’... but, like most oily, fatty, cheesy fast food, it’s also bloody delicious. I was also amused by the story behind the the name – it was originally named Poutin ( pronounced ‘poo-tahn’ ) but the French language purists were furious when the Canadian English-speaking general public started referring to them as Poutine ( pronounced ‘poo-teen’ ) but common usage eventually won – the language purists had to back down and accept ‘Poutine’ as correct.
August 2015 : Vanilla Slices: I love the things! I found a way to make them in either ‘regular’ or gluten-free form, and there is now a separate page about it.
November 2014 : An illustrated diary of my trip to Tasmania, to catch up with Fiona, Chris & family.
May 2013 : An illustrated diary of Eric & Terry’s wedding, held at Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. See also: Canada trip, below.
May 2013 : An illustrated diary of my trip to Canada, mostly for Eric’s wedding, but also including some normal touristy things. See also: The Wedding, above.
January 2013 : A relieved analysis of the completion of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Fantasy series with the release this month of the 14th and final book. I expect that this series will rank among master-works in the Fantasy genre, even though I had some reservations about the way it was drawn to a conclusion.
March 2011 : An embarrassing account of what must be my first ‘Senior’s Moment’ and probably not the last!