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Andersen, Ponyo, Dorobo

2009 November 15

I spent another fun weekend back and forth from 石央文化ホール, the cultural center in town. Saturday night I was gifted a ticket to the musical Andersen, which is a biography of fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen featuring an abbreviated version of the Little Mermaid ballet. The traveling musical group that performed it was fantastic, bizarre as it was to see a story set in Europe performed in Japanese by an all-Japanese cast.

Today, after the monthly English conversation breakfast at Cafe Michéle, I headed back to see a screening of Ponyo, the latest film from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. Ponyo came out in Japan last year, but I didn’t get a chance to see it, and I just missed its American debut over the summer. We don’t have a movie theater in Hamada, so I jumped at the chance to see a movie, especially one I’ve put off for so long. It’s definitely a film for children, but I found it really enjoyable for the gorgeous background art. The seaside town where the story takes place has a lot in common with Hamada. 🙂

Before any movie in Japan, an anti-piracy ad is played. I’ve seen the following ad twice now and find it very well done and entertaining.

The campaign is called “NO MORE 映画泥棒” (NO MORE eiga dorobo) – “no more movie theft”. The voiceover and text behind the excellent dancing camera informs you that recording sound or video within a theater is a crime for which you can be fined up to 1000 man yen (more than $100,000), spend up to ten years in prison, or both. If you see any strange behavior in the theater (for example, a man with a video camera for a head breakdancing), report it to the theater staff so they can report it to the police.

The most ironic thing is that, in looking for a copy of this ad to share with you, the first one I found was obviously pirated from a theater. Bad Youtuber!

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