Friday, August 19, 2011

Sam Raimi's Noir, Part IV

Why the 1960s?

I mentioned in my last post I wasn't big on the 1960s as a setting for this new Noir series due next summer in 2012. The anime series took place in about 2010 (perhaps earlier if you pay close attention) and you know what it worked jus
t fine. Dating a series, movie or whatever is always risky because you risk dating your proje

ct. Really who among us doesn't chuckle when we watch an 80s movie with their old time dinosaur computers? But you know what Noir spectacularly avoided that. When you think of the old cel animation of 2001 it looks quite good today compared to some of the others of the early 90s and further back. But I'm not here to talk about the series am I? No I'm here to talk about the possible setting in the 1960s. I must wonder what reason for this is?

Now a lot of those who are following this project have expressed some interest in the 60s setting. I guess it's understandable it does give it a new flavor. As for me, I don't like it. Of course I don't like all the changes in the live action series maid by Sam Raimi and his scurvy crew. The first and foremost reason I don't like the 60s setting? IT'S BEEN DONE! The radical groovy setting that was the 60s has been exploited as much as World War II has been exploited by The History Channel. From Forest Gump to Mr Hollands Opas and even Austin Powers have shown us the crazy 60s. Okay in fairness assuming they have half a brain to keep this in Paris we don't see much of Paris in the 60s here in America. Who knows maybe Paris didn't have hippies and peace and love and The Manson Family. But it brings me to my next point.

Paris doesn't matter. Regardless of the decade, Paris doesn't really make a huge diffrence in the 60s or 2000s. Of course one thing Noir gets praise for is the Eurocentric setting. Set in Paris even I admit I liked the change from Japan for this series. It worked sure and now that it has, I still wouldn't want it changed. But the fact is Paris and France in general for t
hat matter is simply the backdrop of the story. The series could have been set in rural America, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea, wherever and it still probably could have worked.
I mentioned Forest Gump in an earlier paragraph which brings to another point. Forest Gump if you ask me is a great movie. But it has set a horrible habit for film and television. This habit so is any period piece is now required to play all the songs of the era. And boy it's annoying. If you are like me and think The Beatles are overrated and really don't care much about oldies much less the new music scene the last thing you want is another bombardment of the "golden oldies." Even more so if you loved loved loved Yuki Kajiura's music for the series, you are gonna hate having it replaced. Now, in fairness this can also apply today. It would be just as easy to play Katy Perry, Lady GaGa (shudders). Frankly I don't want either. As much as it would be great to have Kajiura's music back, chances are it would be original. Though I would settle for a mix of original and covers or direct licenses of the OST. Another topic entirely.

Final thought into the matter, setting this in the 60s how are Kirika and Mireille going to connect? Of course I'm operating under the assu
mption they are still going to connect and not randomly be in the show together.

Look how they connect in the anime:

Perfect right? Simple mysterious E-Mail sent to M. So does this mean Kirika will call on a rotary phone? I don't know. So I think safe to say the 60s setting is simply to further the stupid KGB vs CIA Subplot they're injecting into this. Well bullshit to that I say. I'm getting my letter ready:

Dear Sam Rami,

You have raped my teenage - no -my childhood!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sam Riami's Noir, Part III

STARZ Massacring Noir OR
Jumping to Conclusions?

Perhaps it's not a good idea to jump to conclusions. I know that in the world of film and television things do change rapidly. How rapidly depends on the production really. Now with Sam Raimi's Noir getting the greenlight from Starz, the pre-production phase has begun and already things are looking grim for the anime's transition to the live action screen.

Previous posts and message board comments from around the internet and this blog have mentioned I was cautiously optimistic for a live action Noir. Even with the hyperrealism of the show, it still was just crazy enough to work in a Bourne Identity sort of way, maybe. Unlike shows like Dragonball and Speed Racer, Noir has a fairly serious plot line. Also unlike the others Noir is also very Eurocentric. So really gotta be pretty hard to fuck this one up? Well they did. At least based on these casting sheets released by the Actor Resource Showfax. Sheets like these are used by casting directors based on the writer and development notes as to who to look for when to cast. Let me sum it up for you.

Short Description –
[MIREILLE DUBOIS] 26/28, blonde, beautiful, sexy, graceful and stylish, "Bardot meets Deneuve." Mireille is an artist plugged into a sexy Paris avant garde. She is also one of the top assassins in Europe - cold, efficient and deadly - working under the codename 'Noir'. Mireille is a survivor of the War in the East, a woman who experienced horrors and traumas that forged her into 'Noir'. She embraces life and lives it to the full, but always on her own terms. Deep down Mireille is all about control - of her environment, people and herself. She can make you feel like the only person in a crowded room, and then, when you are, kill you without compunction.

Short Description –
[KIRIKA] 18-20, Japanese, stunning, chilling, balletic and agile. Kirika is a human guided missile. Programmed from infancy in the ways of The Soldats, an ancient society of assassins. Kirika follows her orders without question and would happily die to achieve her mission. Knows nothing of the outside world, and relies on her trainer Lance for guidance. After a fight with Mireille, Kirika develops amnesia and cannot remember her Soldat past. Suddenly she's an 18 yr old girl with 1960s Paris at her feet, and Kirika is going to experience it all, with only Mireille as her guide.

Already you can tell a lot has been changed and if you ask me not for the better. Now you probably guess I'm already a Noir fan. But I'm not as engrossed in it as probably some of my others. But I give my gripes of so much change for what seems to be the sake of change. The plot being set in the 1960s, personally don't like it. It wasn't a period piece to begin with, why make it one? But not the worst thing you can do. The introduction of CIA Agents a whole pointless KGB sub-plot? Male love interests for Mireille and Kirika because they're so clearly afraid of subtle girl x girl thematic elements? Why Starz? Why does this have to become Generic American Crime Show #20184?

There is so much more and others have their vocal opinions on it as well. I can bitch all I want and yeah probably won't change anything but never stopped other internet critics before right?