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Your Name 君の名は inspiration, adaptation, thought experiment

Friday, 5 October, 2018


20181005 Your Name DVD and two books - DSC_3222.JPG

I LOVE Makoto Shinkai’s (新海 誠) Japanese animation Your Name 君の名は very much and is thrilled that the awesome Calgary Public Library has the movie (in both blu-ray and DVD) and also the two light novels (Your Name and Your Name. Another Side:Earthbound) as they serve for me as wonderful inspiration and chance for me to have some thought experiments re the adaptation!

NOTE: I will try to expand on this post as I have more time and things to say.

Created: Oct 5th, 2018        Last Updated: Oct 5th, 2018


I LOVE the storytelling and the animation, etc but my one key inspiration or reminder is more technical. Famed Hollywood producer Brian Grazer talked about when he was 24 studio boss Lew Wasserman told him to get a legal pad and pen to create some of his own IP (intellectual property).

Write a story. Write a book. Make a movie. Make … And create your own IP.

The light novels serve as wonderful examples of having back stories for the characters and the environments they are in. Case in point, teach Miss Yuki in Your Name is reported by fan wiki site as the same as Yukari Yukino (雪野 百香里) in Shinkai‘s The Garden of Words (another great film I LOVE, very different from the story usually told by the master Hayao Miyazaki).

re: Adaptation

There have been some negative press about Your Name being remade.

* Guardian, 2017 Oct 2nd JJ Abrams’ Your Name remake fuels fears of Hollywood ‘whitewash’ – Prospect of Star Wars director remaking universally acclaimed Japanese animation prompts backlash among film fans

* Forbes, 2017 Sept 29, Hollywood Has Its Sights On Ruining The Anime Movie ‘Your Name’ With A Live-Action Adaptation

*SCMP, 2017 Nov 26  ANOTHER PALE IMITATION AS HOLLYWOOD’S JJ ABRAMS PLANS REMAKE OF JAPANESE CLASSIC ‘YOUR NAME’ – ‘I will definitely not be watching any whitewashed c*** that comes out of Hollywood’: if this critic’s anything to go by, maybe not

I am much less harsh on “remakes” especially when sight and script unseen. New creative endeavours do NOT really have negative impact on great original works that came before them! I hope the team of J. J. Abrams and Eric Heisserer (who penned the script for the GREAT film Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve)does a good job

Thought experiment

I hope to have a few thought experiments of my own re how would I had adapted the screenplay if I were to have a chance to? And I would love to see how the HeissererAbrams version come out looking like.

*) Japan <==> US (NOTE: this seems to be a 90% must to fit the US audiences and the cultural fit of the two main leads)

*) Miyamizu shrine <<==>> Indigenous Americans religious beliefs (?)

*) Taki waking up as Mitsuha and checking her body out <==> ???? (NOTE: This has provided much comic relief but I am NOT at all sure how and if this will translate to a US script.)

*) Tokyo & Itomori <==> New York City (?) & (???) ; LA (?) & (???) (NOTE: Should be a fun task for location scouts)


Oct 7th, 2018 update: I LOVE the movie Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer based on the the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, which I enjoyed as well. The adaption was beautifully done and magical. I really enjoyed the last bit of non-subtitled Chinese dialogue fragment.

“將軍,我在美國營地。將軍,你夫人給我託夢了,她說你應憑藉勇氣[[來幫助拯救世界。戰爭]]不成就英雄,只會留下孤兒寡母。” (The words enclosed in “[[” “]]” are even more of a guess but reasonable enough as per what I slightly modified from this Reddit discussion thread.)

Or in English, “In war there are no winners, only orphans and widows.” (Note: I struggle between the more faithful “heroes” for “英雄” but ultimately settle with others’ choice of “winners” because that may be closer to the western sentiment for “英雄” as winners.) Ref reading: Thrillist, “THE MYSTERY LINE IN ‘ARRIVAL,’ REVEALED

I LOVE this The Atlantic interview, “Arrival’s Timely Message About Empathy – The film’s screenwriter talks about the movie’s geopolitical elements, creating an alien language, and the importance of communication.

Sims: A scene that really stuck out for me was the conversation between Louise and General Sheng. It felt like the lynchpin for the film’s message of understanding and communication, because we’ve only seen him as a stereotypical figure: the stern Chinese general that you see on the TV.

Heisserer: Right! And why? Because we’re seeing it through the filter of the U.S. intelligence network; it’s their version of him. We’re not seeing a person. It’s our misinterpretation of what we think China is doing. So it falls into a bit of a trope, again, simply because we’re the U.S., the military-industrial complex, whatever you want to call it. We’re think of them as a potential enemy. And we’re taking whatever’s being said in Chinese, whoever’s translating that is taking it to the U.S. news and saying, “Oh, this is the big bad general.” No. We don’t know what’s going on with him until we see him in person. We realize he’s not the character we thought him to be: He’s really honored to meet Louise, and something really poetic and personal has happened there.

For the longest time in the script, for the scene where they’re on the phone, I had just written, “She says something in Mandarin to him, and we know this is his wife’s dying words.” And I just found it lovely and poetic, and I didn’t think about it further until [the actor] Tzi Ma calls me and says, “Eric, Eric. What does she say?” And I reply, “Well, she says something in Mandarin!” And he replies, “This is the most important line in the film, this saves the world, Eric! What is the line?” So I kept bringing him ideas, and he would say, “Eric, I love you, but this is terrible.” So finally, I gave him something, and he said, “I deeply love this, this is the line, this is exactly what should be said, I will use this.” And I finally see the final cut of the film, and we get to that scene, and she says the line, and [the director] Denis [Villeneuve], the scoundrel, does not use subtitles. So nobody knows, unless you speak Mandarin, what she says to him.

Sims: So I’m going to have to get a translator? That feels appropriate.

Heisserer: Precisely.

BTW, the 2005 film Proof based on David Auburn‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof are both pretty cool. And I also LOVE the 1996 film The English Patient and even rushed to buy and read the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje.

Adaption from play, short story, novel, etc are magical art. So I refuse to point blank declare the Oscar nominated Heisserer must fail with Your Name. Those who often without much knowledge nor talent are often the fast to declare things/challenges as “impossible”!


(TBC) Hopefully more to be added later.

Natalie Portman

Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

Just a collection of Natalie Portman videos I found online. Will try to add more later. NATALIE PORTMAN In Conversation With… | TIFF15

Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech | Harvard Commencement 2015

Kate Winslet’s determination and “drive” got her the role in “Steve Jobs”

Friday, 30 October, 2015

How Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet‘s determination and “drive” got her the role in “Steve Jobs” (the almost complete fiction). Yes, Kate actually drove hours to try to win this role! Worth a watch. Especially for aspiring actresses (or actors).

Kate Winslet Interview – ‘Steve Jobs’ Telluride 2015

Note: Anne Thompson does amazing interview, check out her YouTube channel where I found the Kate Winslet Interview shared here.