Thursday, September 20, 2007

Celebrity II

It's been busy days for me here, which is why the blog posting has been lagging. Sincere apologies for that.

What have I been up to? Well, funny you should ask. I spent yesterday morning being interviewed** on-camera for the 2008 release of APPLESEED: EX MACHINA. (Japanese site here.) EX MACHINA as y'all might know is the sequel to Shinji Aramaki's 2004 hit anime, which at the time of its release already had designs for two sequels and a possible Hollywood live action remake. (No news on that latter point, as I can find. Perhaps it's dead in the water?)

Well, round two is finally here and what's interesting about this outing-- perhaps more so than John Woo and Terrence Chang's (imdb) participation in it as Executive Producers-- is the fact that Masamune Shirow has taken a more participatory role in the film. Known as a recluse, Shirow's typical involvement in one of his adaptations typically begins and ends with his name appearing somewhere in the credits. With Ex Machina, Shirow is contributed some new designs and offered his 'insights' during production so with some luck perhaps this time we might actually see more than a cursory amount of his 'juice' in this production. (Though what kind of 'juice' and how potent it is, waits to be seen.)

Other interesting aspects of the film include: fashion impresario Miuccia Prada contributing two outfit designs for APPLESEED's heroin Deunan (is this a first in the history of animation??) and a reformation of the legendary Japanese electronic pioneers YMO aka. Yellow Magic Orchestra (and subsequent group HAS) as a kind of new band concoction called HASYMO, headed by Haruomi Hosono, to compose an original score for the film.

According to press statements, director Shinji Aramki promises new and revolutionary animation in this production. Whereas the previous film was mainly animated with software from out of the box-- with the obvious exception of the 'Toon Shading' software-- this time out he promises something new. We'll have to wait and see.

The Japanese will get this first on October 20, 2007. But for those in the US and abroad, we'll have to wait longer.

Here's the trailer:

Here's the long preview, which includes both the Prada designed outfit and the HASYMO music:

And here's a link to my interview with the director Shinji Aramaki that I did on the eve of the first film's US release.

** The reasons why I was interviewed are still a bit of a mystery to me, but I was filmed for an hour and a half (in HD no less, so now you can see all of my blemishes in glorious high definition!) for the various featurettes planned for the DVD release.

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