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NEWS: Ursula K. Le Guin on Gedo Senki


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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:27 pm Reply with quote
This translation was provided by Evan Miller (Jariten).



現地時間の8月6日、
今日はル=グウィンさんのための試写です。

Today is August the 6th.

Today is the preview screening for Ms. Le Guin.

試写は午後にあるので、午前中は遅めの朝食をとってから、
鈴木プロデューサー、海外事業部の武田さんと 
WILLAMETTE川に行き、
レンタル自転車を借りて、川沿いを少しの時間走ってきました。

The preview was scheduled for the afternoon. So, after a late breakfast that morning, Suzuki (our producer), Takeda from the International office and I went to the Willamette River. We rented a few bicycles and rode alongside the River for a little while.

レンタル自転車屋さんに残っていたのは、
ロードバイクが1台、二人乗り自転車が1台。
当然のように、私がロードバイクを借り、
鈴木さんと武田さんが二人乗り自転車を借りました。

The rental company left us with one road bike and a bicycle for two riders. As if we decided it ahead of time, I ended up with the road bike and Suzuki and Takeda ended up with the bike for two.

カラッとした晴天の下で自転車に乗るのはとても気持ちよく、
しばし緊張を忘れられました。
二人乗りの前に乗せられ、
後ろから鈴木さんにあれやこれやと指示されていた
武田さんはそうでもなかったようですが。

It felt truly wonderful to ride beneath that crisp, clear blue sky, and I briefly forgot how nervous I was. I rode ahead of the bike for two, and although Takeda was pointing out the scenery to Suzuki behind me, it felt as if I was there by myself beneath that beautiful sky*.

その後、ホテルに戻って身支度をしてから、
試写会場の劇場に向かいました。

After that, we returned the hotel, got changed, and departed for the theater where the preview screening was held.

初めてお会いしたル=グウィンさんの印象は、
色々な人から聞かされて想像していたとおりで、
小柄な方なのですが、瞳の力強さ、
そして大きな存在感をお持ちでした。

When I first met Ms. Le Guin, my first impressions were similar to what other people told me she was like. Although she is short, her eyes were vibrant. She had an air of greatness that others can feel when they are around her.

試写に来ていただいたのは、ル=グウィンさん御夫妻、
息子のテオさん御夫妻ほか、ご友人たち総勢70人あまり。
試写前にご挨拶をし、
上映中は劇場近くの喫茶店で時間をつぶていたのですが、
その間、緊張は最高潮に高まり、生きた心地がしませんでした。

Ms. Le Guin and her son Theo were our Guests of Honor. We also had 70 friends of the Le Guin family in attendance. I gave a few opening remarks before the screening, and while the movie was playing, I killed time at a café near the theatre. While the film played, I was beside myself with nervousness.

上映終了間際に会場にもどると、
ちょうどエンドロールが流れているところでした。
鈴木さんや私の名前が出たところでは大きな拍手を頂き、
そして、上映後には皆さんからお褒めの言葉を頂きました。

I returned to the theater right as the ending credits rolled. When my name and Suzuki’s names were read, we received loud applause from the people in the theater. We also received a number of compliments from the audience after the film.

夜にはテオさんがご自宅で
ホームパーテーを開いてくださいました。
夕暮れ時の気持ちよい空気の中、
集まった皆さんはとても楽しそうでした。

That night, Theo held a party at his home. The breeze that night felt wonderful, and it looked like everyone was having a wonderful time.

こういう時に、口下手になってしまう私は
あまり沢山お話をすることができませんでしたが、
渡米してから初めてリラックスできたような気がします。

At that time, I felt very shy and therefore couldn’t converse with people that well, but as time progressed, I began to relax for the first time since I arrived in the US.

そのパーティーの最後のお別れの挨拶のとき、
自分からル=グウィンさんに映画の感想を求めました。
これだけはきちんと聞いておかなければと思ったからです。

As the party ended and I had to give my parting remarks, I went up to Ms Le Guin and asked her for her impressions of the film. I felt that it was the one thing that I absolutely had to ask.

彼女は短く答えてくれました。
「It is not my book.
It is your film.
It is a good film.」
と。

She answered briefly, saying: “It is not my book. It is your film. It is a good film.”

彼女としては、本当はたくさんおっしゃりたいことが
あったのではないかと思うのですが、
それでも温かい笑顔とともに下さった言葉です。

I felt as if there was more that she wanted to say, but her warm smile conveyed more than what words could have*.

この短い言葉を素直に、
心から感謝して頂戴したいと、思ったのでした。

I accepted those words gratefully, appreciating all the meanings they conveyed.

ル=グウィンさん、
そしてずっと私たちとの仲立ちをしてくださったテオさん、
本当にありがとうございます。
これで安心して日本に帰れる気がします。

To Ms. Le Guin, and to Theo, who always looked after us, thank you very much. Now I feel like I can return to Japan feeling truly satisfied.

Translator’s notes:

1: I added “beneath that beautiful sky” since the tone of the original Japanese indicates that the author enjoyed riding alone and felt as if there was no one else there. Literally translated, however, it sounds a bit darker, as if he was left behind.

2: Literal translation of the last line: “her warm smile were the words I asked for. ” As you can tell this sounds a bit off, so I changed it to a similar _expression in English.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Goro just got 0wned. Laughing
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Dranxis



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 591
Location: Ohtori Academy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Well, if anything I'm glad it's a good film and not a good adaption. I liked the books, but if one were to try to make a faithfu movie out of them, they would end up being inexcusably boring.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:39 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Goro just got 0wned. Laughing


Yeah, I kinda feel bad for him.

-t
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5944
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:43 pm Reply with quote
geeks are so objective. she said it's good for what it is: a film. you think the average parent who takes their kids to this is even gonna care that it doesn't follow the Earthsea books to a T? hell Peter Jackson cut an entire part out of "Return of the King", but it was still a damn good movie. the same with "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

Last edited by v1cious on Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kensukeyura



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 38
Location: Rochester, NY
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:58 pm Reply with quote
Le Guin sounds like... gently, a difficult woman to please, or more bluntly, a real snot. I think it's incredibly rude that she wouldn't tell Goro directly about her problems with the film when he asked for her opinion but rather felt the need to publicly criticize the movie on her website afterward. If she couldn't tell him in person, she could at least have written a letter to him.

Also, she didn't even try to say one genuinely positive thing about the film. Her comments were all double-edged swords, like, 'It was exciting, but only because it was violent!'. Really, now... can't she be a little more grateful? Regardless of the quality of the film, a lot of time, money, and effort were put into its production, and furthermore Goro is a human being and deserves some respect as such. Her behavior both embarasses and appalls me.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:45 pm Reply with quote
kensukeyura wrote:
Le Guin sounds like... gently, a difficult woman to please, or more bluntly, a real snot.


That might be a bit harsh. Most creative types I've known are harder on themselves and their own work than anyone else -- their own most damning critics... initially. But as the work matures and grows (as hers have), they become very protective of the images they had while creating.

I doubt anything would have pleased her 100%, but I don't hold that against her. I think some of her attitude comes from the disappointment that Hayao was not directing, and that her work would be the first film of a novice director.

I agree, the comments seemed a bit spiteful, but they are out of pride and disappointment. And at this stage, there's nothing really to be gained from diplomacy.

I somehow doubt she'll watch the film again, except maybe to check out whatever dub is produced.

As for Goro, I hope he continues to make films. Making films is a terrible process, and feeding your just-finished work to a cynical public is nothing short of terrifying. For a first-time director, I think the sort of luke-warm responses he's been getting are probably best for him. Too much praise and you become a self-absorbed auteur, trying to repeat what you did the first time and it never coming out quite as well (see: M. Night Shamyalan). On the flip side, universal derision has it's obvious results on the psyche. "Good, but room for improvement" is probably the best thing a first-time director could hear, as it promotes the most meditation on what to do next.
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Kouji



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:57 pm Reply with quote
I've never read the Earthsea books before but I would like to check them out sometime. However, I must say that Le Guin comes across as rather hypocritical to me. She claims that movies aren't supposed to be exactly like the books and she even gives Goro shady compliments he obviously was able to see through and then she proceeds to tear his film apart with comparisions to her novel. Almost all the complaints Le Guin made about the film were about the changes Goro made to her story. She hardly said anything positive at all about the original elements in the film. Diana Wynee Jones was able to truly enjoy Howl's Moving Castle as a seperate story from her novel and she didn't make any complaints about the differences between the two despite the two versions being drastically different from each other. Le Guin claims that she believes the same but her opinions don't seem to support her philophosy. I can understand why she doesn't want her books' plots to be screwed around with but at the same time I do wish Le Guin would be more consistent with her criticism. As for her complaints about the animation, come on Le Guin, this is anime. Companies taking shortcuts in the animation is one of anime's trademarks. That should almost be expected in anime movies. I still want to read her books because they really do sound like interesting stories, but now thanks to Le Guin's complaints, I actually want to see Goro's film more than I did before. Do we really have to wait until 2009 to see it, though? I hope there'll at least be fansubs of it until then. I'm not sure I could wait that long.
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Peter Ahlstrom



Joined: 06 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:05 pm Reply with quote
She compared the animation quality to previous Ghibli movies, not an unfair comparison.

I don't think she was at all wrong in any of what she said. The only reason she let the movie get made in the first place was because she thought Hayao Miyazaki would do a faithful job. If she'd known it would turn out like it did, she wouldn't have given the green light. Having just been burned by the Sci-Fi channel's adaptation and their public comments misrepresenting her vision of the Earthsea world, she had just cause to be upset.

As for what she said to Goro in person, it obviously wasn't a forum where she could seriously sit down and discuss her issues with him. And as Goro was the first to go public with her comments (without asking her first), she has every right to want to publically frame them in their proper context.

Personally, I think Le Guin is sad that, judging by the final products they have put out, the people who have made film versions of Earthsea are people who don't "get" the books in the way she meant them to be gotten.


Last edited by Peter Ahlstrom on Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mskala



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:15 pm Reply with quote
If you read her other blog-type material, you'll note that Ursula K. Le Guin treats everybody that way. She has a reputation in fandom, she's not just picking on him, and nobody should get too wound up about it. Goro Miyazaki should just be glad he didn't have to deal with let's say Harlan Ellison, or Anne Rice.

Someone does need to tell her that "Mr. Hayao" isn't the correct form of address, though. Very likely she knew that Japanese names come surname-first in Japanese, but didn't know that the name "Hayao Miyazaki" is already reversed to English order, so that he and Goro Miyazaki are both correctly addressed "Mr. Miyazaki" in English and you have to be a bit more clever if you need to distinguish between them. I'm sure Ms. Le Guin would be horrified if she knew she was being rude inadvertently.
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Mushiko



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:17 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
I doubt anything would have pleased her 100%, but I don't hold that against her. I think some of her attitude comes from the disappointment that Hayao was not directing, and that her work would be the first film of a novice director.


I agree. It seems that she had really high expectations initially, and she just couldnt help but be dissappointed with the whole process (including the squabbles between Miyazaki Sr and Jr, which she very indirectly refers to) and the result.

You should also keep in mind that her website is generally read by people who are fans of her books, not anime fans or casual movie-goers. As such, I think she addressed exactly those questions that fans of the Earthsea novels would have about the movie - at least pretty much all the things I've been worried about. She did give praise, as well, and she was very diplomatic with the skin colour question. It's just, completely revamping the story and especially characters is a bit heavyhanded. Why not make a completely original story then?

I'll definitely go and see the movie. I just hope I can forget the books then and see it for itself. For that purpose, I think her appraisal was helpful - now I know the "problems" beforehand and can perhaps put them aside better.
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LydiaDianne



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:48 pm Reply with quote
The biggest problem in adapting a movie from a book is that you can't get all the little thoughts and nuances into the movie. And due to time constraints, things MUST be left out. That's why fans of the books get upset...they forget these things.

I've always tried to treat the movie as a seperate entity from the book. For example the Lynch version of Dune is nothing like the book, but I enjoy the heck out of it (**remembers a half-nekkid Sting bouncing up and down shouting "I WILL kill HIM!"**) I actually like it better than the Sci-Fi channel mini-series from a few years ago.

That's the problem with fans of the book (IMO), they want the movie to be EXACTLY like what in the book and they can't have it that way. I've never read the Lord of the Rings books myself, but someone once told me that if Peter Jackson had followed the books faithfully, the movies would have been like 8 hours long each or something.

I think that I'll watch the movie when it's released here and judge it on it's own merits.
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sabriyahm



Joined: 24 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:08 pm Reply with quote
LydiaDianne wrote:
The biggest problem in adapting a movie from a book is that you can't get all the little thoughts and nuances into the movie. And due to time constraints, things MUST be left out. That's why fans of the books get upset...they forget these things.


I completely agree but I myself have not forgotten this fact. Which is why I won't being seeing this movie. I LOVED the Earthsea books when I was younger. I don't think I could bear to sit through a very loose adaptation. I read Howl's Moving Castle when I was young and I enjoyed that movie mostly because I could barely remember the book. However with Earthsea my memory is much sharper and I don't want to be disappointed.

Also the people who thought her comments were rude and harsh I think are being a bit harsh themselves. I don't think it would have been appropriate to pan the movie to his face as not being close enough to the book. And as someone pointed out her blog readers are the books fans who may or may not even know Miyazaki. Her comments were appropriate for the forum.
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hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:24 pm Reply with quote
I just have to ask this...

What the heck is her beef about skin color and who appointed her a spokesperson for realistic minority representation in anime? I could tell Ghibli 'Caucasian" from Ghibli "Asian" in Ocean Waves. Some characters in the promo were shown with more of a tan than others.

I just don't get it.
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Romuska
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:02 pm Reply with quote
I hate to make another Goro/Hayao comaparison, but Kadono Eiko (Kiki's Delivery Service) wasn't happy with the film adaptation either, but it was still a great film. I'm still looking forward to Earthsea.
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