Monday, April 21, 2008

The View from Abroad...

Abroad from me, anyway.
So, I'm catching up on the blogs at The Guardian website and there's a few interesting points to be made.
First what is the next big fictional sport that'll become real-world popular:
Stranger than fiction - new sports for the 21st century | Sport | Guardian Unlimited
The planet is obviously screaming out for new sports. So I combed the annals of fiction for an admittedly incomplete but still fascinating list of the games that might just make the grade when the tired old Brit-invented warhorses of football, baseball, basketball and cricket finally get boiled down for glue.
Anbo-Jitsu (aka anbo-jytsu) From: Star Trek: The Next Generation. What is it: Staff-fighting with blindfolds. Chances of replacing an old Brit invented sport: 2%
Assassin's Guild Wall Game Disc World "A cross between squash, urban rock climbing and actual bodily harm." Chances: High, especially with suburban white kids who aren't racist but are desperately seeking out expensive new sports still free of rough blacks and working-class types.
But more importantly, what is the best title sequence in TV?
The number one spot is obvious:
Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - TV & radio: Take 10: TV title sequences
1. The Simpsons. As explained - and displayed - above.
The YouTube highlight reel of Simpsons sofa gags is here.
And the here are the ten most important movies of the noughties (really is that still the best we've come up with for the name of the decade?
Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - film: The noughties, cinema's decade of urgency
1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
2. City of God (2002)
3. Lost in Translation (2003)
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
5. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
7. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
8. Caché (2005)
9. Borat (2006)
10. There Will Be Blood (2008)
In addition, there's a few Japanese moments that have been creeping onto my radar.
First of all, don't you find all of the western celebs who do incredibly bad ads for Japanese tv amusing. Well, let's just pretend that you do so I can finish the paragraph. Japander finds them funny, anyway. has a pretty comprehensive list of ads by faces you never thought you'd see in commercials.
And yes, they have the risible Harrison Ford cm's from when I first came to Japan. I remember watching them and thinking that I'd only been here for 8 minutes and could speak Japanese better than that. Pay me the half-million dollars!
That's a job: mangling a foreign language and drinking beer!
Oh, and something got into Hollywood's brain and thought this was a good idea:
Richard Gere to Star in Hachiko: A Dog's Story
Richard Gere will star in and produce Hachiko: A Dog's Story, a drama that will begin production in September, according to Variety.
The film will be fully financed by Inferno Entertainment, whose Bill Johnson and Vicky ShigekuniWong will produce with Gere. They are closing in on a director.
Gere will play a college professor who takes in a dog he finds abandoned. Both man and hound find their lives changed forever as they form an unbreakable bond.
Written by Stephen P. Lindsay, the project is based on a true story and inspired by the 1987 Japanese film Hachiko monogatari.

Check out the old Akira Kurosawa move Rhapsody in August to see how well Gere speaks Japanese.

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