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Today's Photos
Monday, October 31, 2005 -
10:30pm cst (link):

More Autumn photos before the winter strikes. Well, the winter would strike by now, if not for global warming. Thanks a lot, Canyonero owners...ya jerks.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

500,000 Hits in October!
Monday, October 31, 2005 -
10:20pm cst (link):

Break out the champagne! DanielThomas.org has surpassed 500,000 hits for October. That's half a million, kids. I've been recovering from the flu the past four days, so somebody score me some Halloween candy to celebrate.

 

Today's Photos
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 -
12:40am cst (link):

Okay kids, let's sit around the Fitzmas tree and sing carols.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Daily Site Traffic Update
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 -
12:30am cst (link):

Looks like Monday's traffic hit a new high - 19,020 hits. Just a year ago, this website was getting 2,000 hits a day. Now it's on the verge of 20,000. Not a bad achievement, eh? It can't all be because of people stealing photos, right? Right?

 

The Citizen Kane of Japanese Animation?
Monday, October 24, 2005 -
11:30pm cst (link):

Horus, Prince of the Sun

Quite likely. At least that's the thesis I find myself coming to. The movie I'm referring to is The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun, the Japanese animation masterpiece released in 1968. If it isn't the greatest anime ever made (and one could clearly argue the point), then clearly it is the most important.

Horus was conceived at the Toei Doga studio, which was a leading animation studio churning out movies and TV shows in Japan. It was the creation of a collective of masterfully talented animators: Yasuji Mori, Yasuo Otsuka, Yoichi Kotabe, and a brash, young Hayao Miyazaki. The leader of the group was a prodigously skilled director named Isao Takahata. Horus was his first feature film as director, and he schemed up a grand story that would forever destroy the slavish Walt Disney mold, reinvent animation as a form of serious filmmaking, and make a sweeping statement for his politically-charged generation.

Horus was birthed over the course of three long years, when Takahata endlessly battled the executives of Toei, who expected another simple, Disney-esque children's cartoon. He lost many of those battles: the film's setting was moved from Japan's native peoples to Scandinavia, 30 minutes were cut from the original two-hour length (a length unheard of at that time), and two key scenes were never animated, due to their extreme scale and complexity.

Toei never knew what they had on their hands. Horus, Prince of the Sun was released in 1968, and pulled from theatres after ten days. Takahata was permanantly demoted, never allowed to direct again. But like The Ramones, the film steadily built up a devoted following among college students. In time Takahata, Miyazaki, Mori, Otsuka, and Kotabe were vindicated a thousand times over, with the World Masterpiece Theatre productions of the '70s, and with Takahata and Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli.

Horus, Prince of the Sun, essentially, created modern anime. It pushed animation into the realm of serious, adult, complex themes - addressing socialism, the student union movements, and the war in Vietnam, wrapped up in the guise of a thrilling adventure. The film is loaded with visual and technical innovations, aggressive camera movements that would only be copied in the age of CGI, and in the tragic heroine Hilda, the most psychologically complex character ever created for an animated film.

Horus is available on DVD in Japan, Portugal, France, and now the UK with English-language subtitles for the first time. The French DVD, as usual, has all the best extras, including over an hour of interviews and features, and a 24-page booklet. The Japanese version has the classic movie poster. The UK release, for some infuriating reason, has slapped on an asinine, stupid title: "The Little Norse Prince." 37 years later, and the suits still don't know what they've got on their hands.

Note: I'll be expanding upon this on the Horus film review page in the coming days.

 

Today's Photos
Monday, October 24, 2005 -
11:30pm cst (link):

We're in a mad rush to capture as many photos of the fall colors before the leaves finally fall. Hmm. Reminds me, I really should stock up on squirrel photos before winter limps in.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Rosa Parks Has Died
Monday, October 24, 2005 -
11:00pm cst (link):

Rosa Parks, a great American. She showed the power one person could make, and proved that even the smallest resistance against injustice can bring results. To anyone who feels powerless to fight against the wrongs in the world, I say, look to Rosa Parks. She will be dearly missed.

 

Picture of the Day
Saturday, October 22, 2005 -
8:00pm cst (link):

Sorry about the light posting this month. I'm quite busy working at the bank, catching up on sleep, reading hate mail from Stryper fans, and wondering why the site traffic continues to rise (around 18,000 daily hits now). Oh, I've also been taking many photos of the autumn colors:

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Fall of the Rovian Empire
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -
8:15pm cst (link):

Sydney Blumenthal has written an excellent primer of Republican corruption during the Bush/Karl Rove era at Salon. You'll have to watch a commercial to enter the site (the "free day pass" thing), but that's a small price to pay. If you want to know the basics of the various scandals swirling around messirs Rove, Delay, Frist, Abramhoff, etc, then here's the place to start.

Oh, and did I mention that Bush's approval numbers are now in the 30's? The Miers pick is proving a political disaster. To the increasing number of former Bush supporters, I say Welcome to the Reality-Based Community. About time your common sense kicked in.

 

Pictures of the Day
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -
8:00pm cst (link):

Here's a photo from Wednesday night's rainstorm that pummeld its way through Minneosta, causing local flooding and ushering in real Autumn weather (yea!). Also, some pics from the Uptown area of Minneapolis earlier today and this evening.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

A Visit to See My Neighbor Totoro
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 -
2:00am cst (link):

Totoro and the Catbus have come to the Minnesota Children's Museum, and they will stay in the Twin Cities until next February. Naturally, I had to pay our neighbors a visit when I finally had a day off from the crummy "ghetto" bank.

This is part of the museum's "Jump to Japan" exhibit, which also features Japanese books, comics, and stations where you can create drawings and animations. But most of the exhibit is devoted to My Neighbor Totoro, with statues of the movie's characters, clips from the movie, and more. I even saw a Japanese movie poster, which I'd love to score one of these days.

The Totoro exhibit is a joint venture between Studio Ghibli and the Children's Museums of Minnesota and Seattle, WA.

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

This exhibit recreates one of Miyazaki's most iconic moments, the comic scene at the bus stop. Here, Setsuko and Mei, while waiting in the rain for their father to arrive on the bus, encounter the giant Totoro instead. They offer him their father's umbrella, and Totoro is overjoyed once he discovers just what it is used for (note the leaf on his head).

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

I wanted a profile shot of Totoro, in reference to the Studio Ghibli logo which appears on all their films.

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

A great shot of Catbus at a distance. You can walk inside and sit on his seats if you wish.

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

A really good two-shot of Totoro and Catbus. The route sign on Catbus reads "Mei" in Hirigana. It refers to a scene late in the film where Mei becomes lost and Satsuki asks Totoro's help in finding her.

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

Here's a shot I'm really proud of. I took a couple photos with Totoro visible through the window. It looks like he just hopped on for a ride. I'll definitely be adding this one to my photography portfolio when I send out for freelance work.

Daniel Thomas visits his neighbors Totoro and Catbus

 

Picture of the Day
Saturday, October 1, 2005 -
11:30pm cst (link):

Some pictures to fondly remember summer by, as we finally pass into autumn. Personally, I'm more of an autumn person, but I originally hail from northern Minnesota, so maybe it's just me.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

An arts and entertainment webzine that's actually worth visiting.

Featuring online art galleries, movie and game reviews, and political commentary. Stryper still sucks.

Weblog Archives:

2005

October 1-31
September
1 - 15
August 1 - 31
July
1 - 31

June 1 - 30
May 1 - 30

April 16-30

April 1 - 15