April 2021



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Sita, Totoro, Nancy Drew...

It's been a self-indulgent weekend so far, monster to-do list notwithstanding. One of my best friends from college lives in the same city as I do, but between her work and mine, we hadn't seen each other in months, so last night we made a point of getting together to catch Sita Sings the Blues at the Nashville Film Festival.

It's a fascinating melange of a film -- 1920s torch songs, multiple styles of visuals and animation, and multiple perspectives on the Ramayama. (The film's website and Paley's blog are also rich in content, as Paley is actively disenchanted with current models of content production-distribution-compensation and has much to say/pursue on the subject. And it's neat to see so many translations in progress...) As far as I'm concerned, the trio of shadow puppets who periodically appear to pick apart the story stole the show, and they amused G. greatly as well -- she's Indian American, and they reminded her of her uncles and aunts debating things like the Ramayama.

It's showing again in Nashville Sunday afternoon. If you don't live here, or you have other obligations, you can see it for free online (and legally!) via Reel 13.

This morning, I saw My Neighbor Totoro, a Japanese animation classic from 1988. The version shown by the Belcourt was the 1993 English dub by Troma (there's a later one by Disney). I didn't know much about it beforehand, but I'd liked the stills I'd seen a while ago in a book about anime, so it's been on my to-see list.

It is a gentle, beautiful, and charming film. It also unexpectedly made me weepy (though it does have a happy ending), but I noticed another adult wiping away tears when the lights came up, so maybe it's sneaky that way. I have a feeling I may be proposing it for next Yuletide, because I'm now yearning for gen futurefic about its characters (I did see one story on ff.net, but oh, so many possibilities. And finding out the actress who voiced the older daughter died in a car wreck in her early 30s -- that's adding to my disproportionate sense of melancholy as well).

In the meantime...
transcript of the Troma dub by Bill Pellowe

website devoted to the Catbus and Kittenbus

A Canadian Catbus in an American desert. Holy meow!

Totoro plushie slippers. Eee, the CUTE!

I am far too lazy ever to attempt baking Totoro cream puffs myself, but again, EEEE, THE CUTE!

(No wonder I can't settle down to Verdi just yet -- I have clearly regressed to my six-year-old self...)

On the way home, I stopped by the library to pick up some books for work, and decided to try a couple volumes of Nancy Drew, Girl Detective over lunch. Agh. Classic Nancy Drew may be too good to be true, but that's part of her appeal, as far as I'm concerned: this modern Nancy rang so completely false (doesn't care about her clothes? is absent-minded about practical details like having enough gas in her car? huh???) that I couldn't get through the opening chapter. So, that route of escapism is closed, at least for me. It probably wouldn't have scratched the actual itch anyhow, since what I really wanted, when I think about it, was something more like the Nancy Drew/Frank Hardy futurefic I devoured a month ago, or more Stacie at Shrewsbury (Chalet School/Wimsey-Vane-St. George crossover WiP).

Hrmpf. Maybe I'll see if I can come up with another 500 words on "Not as Dumb" before supper. After dinner, those spreadsheets and stylesheets will get their due, no matter what mood I'm in. Onwards!