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Princess Mononoke

Japan 1997
produced by
Toshio Suzuki, Yasuyoshi Tokuma (executive), Seiichiro Ujiie (executive) for Studio Ghibli, Dentsu Inc, NTV (= Nippon Television Network), Tokuma Shoten
directed by Hayao Miyazaki
written by Hayao Miyazaki, music by Joe Hisaishi


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Prince Ashitaka saves his village from Nago, a giant boar possessed by a demon (which looks like the boa is covred in worms), but during the fight he is infected y the demon, & the infection will be  growing & taking more possession over him when he feels anger, until eventually he will turn into a demon himself too. To prevent that, he sets out for the lands in the East on his own, to sek salvation from the Spirit of the forest ... but first he gets to Irontown, where Lady Eboshi produces guns ... to kill the Spirit of the forest as it soon turns out, as she needs the Spirit's head that can heal & grant eternal life for her own ends.

Eventually, the town is attacked by the wolf girl San, the daughter of the wolf god Moro (but a human), & Lady Eboshi desperately tries to kill her, but ultimately, Ashitaka gets his hands on her & drags her out of the town into the forest, & away from Lady Eboshi. But a bullet shot from behind seriously wounds Ashitaka, & soon he breaks down, & now it's San's turn to save him, & she drags him to the Forest Spirit's pool deep in the forest ... & there, Ashitaka is healed of his wound by the spirit himself, but not his little demonic problem.

Later, Lady Eboshi, helped by treacherous monk Jigo, has set a trap for the boar-tribe, led by giant boar Okkoto, as she figures if she wounds their leader he might lead her to the pool of the Forest Spirit. Meanwhile, her Irontown is attacked by enemy troops, & the women & lepers who Eboshi has left behind have their hands full defending the city.

Learning about the attack n Irontown, Ashitaka tries to get Lady Eboshi & her army back, but she is now more interested in getting to the pool, & somehow her plan has even worked even if Okkoto has temporarily turned into a demon, & carries San around in his mouth.

At the pool, Lady Eboshi shows all her talent as a gunwoman when she shoots the Forest Spirit's head off - even if that leaves her gravely wounded - & Jigo shows all his cunning as a treacherous monk when he snatches the head & makes off, no looking behind.

The headless Forest Spirit meanwhile has turned into a giant monster that turns the forest into a wasteland & destroys everything in its path. It's now up to Ashitaka & San to catch up with jigo, take the head from him & return it to the spirit. Only eventually they succeed.

The Spirit-turned-bad evaporates upon retrieving the head, but takes Irontown with it ...

The forest meanwhile starts to bloom again, Ashitaka's demonic infection is gone, & even Lady Eboshi has turned into a better woman.


Upon it's release in Japan, Princess Mononoke was an enoormous success, the highest grossing Japanese movie until then, actually ... & besides that it's quite an interesting movie too, a very inventive fantasy tale that's jsut wonderfully crafted & ahs a quite complex but understandable story to tell. The only thing is, the ecological message is a little too unsubtle to actually make this film a classic.

Still, not bad.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD