Mononoke aftermath

David Desser d-desser at
Sat Jan 15 10:27:56 EST 2000

My response to Aaron's query about the release pattern of PRINCESS MONONOKE
is:  I told you so.  See my post a few weeks back about Miramax's
deliberate mishandling of the film.  A couple of people slammed me for my
opinion at the time, but time has since told the tale.  A film which opens
to good discussion initially must be released reasonably quickly thereafter
to take advantage of whatever hype has been generated.  Failing to release
MONONOKE within a few weeks of its showing in the US's major cities was
guaranteed to drain the film of any glamor and thus any hope of significant
box-office.  It never opened wide here or even very much outside of a dozen
or so major cities. (One theatre in Chicago; a couple of theatres in
Philadelphia and its suburbs--Art Theatres, by the way in Philadelphia/New

I have seen neither of the two books Aaron mentions, though I am a regular
habitue of bookstores, including a recent visit to Tower Books in
Philadelphia, which specializes in film and media-related works. Helen
McCarthy has become something of a "pop" expert in anime with at least two
previous books on the subject, so it's not surprising to see her publish a
book on Miyazaki, though, as I say, I haven't come across it.  And except
for the flurry over the film when it was screened in New York initially, to
my knowledge there has been no public discourse on the film, only the
specialized or fan-zine stuff.

Alternately, has anyone noticed that PERFECT BLUE quite quickly appeared on
VHS for sale and for rental?  Any DVD out there that anyone is aware of?

David Desser

At 10:33 PM 1/14/0, Aaron Gerow wrote:
>It seems that the American run of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke is mostly
>over and I was wondering what people thought of what happened.  When the
>film was released, there were discussions about problems in the release
>strategy, but what do people think now?  In the end, it seems the film
>ended up with about $2.2 million in grosses, much less than even Shall We
>Dance? earned.  Still, the film got very good reviews and there was good
>fan response. St.Paul/Minneapolis was apparently a test market. What
>happened there?
>And for those of us not in the States, what kind of discussions went on
>over the film?  The following informative books were published in
>conjunction with the release:
>Hayao Miyazaki : Master of Japanese Animation : Films, Themes, Artistry
>by Helen McCarthy
>Paperback - 220 pages (September 1999)
>Stone Bridge Press; ISBN: 1880656418
>The Princess Mononoke : The Art and Making of Japan's Most Popular Film
>of All Time
>Hardcover (October 1, 1999)
>Talk Miramax Books; ISBN: 0786866098
>Any comments on these?  Anyone see any articles they liked?  Can anyone
>talk about the themes, shape, and nature of the discourse on Miyazaki?
>Just curious...
>Aaron Gerow
>Yokohama National University
>KineJapan list owner
>For list commands: send "information kinejapan" to
>listserver at
>Kinema Club:

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