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Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Q&A, Featuring Steve Blum And Peter Ramsey

Cowboy Bebop-001On August 25th, I was happy to attend a screening of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, which was then followed by a panel discussion featuring actor Steve Blum (voice of ‘Bebop’s lead character Spike Spiegel) and director and illustrator Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians).  As a huge fan of the popular anime series and the film it spawned, it was exciting to see the film on the big screen again (I was fortunate to see the film during its very limited, original theatrical run in America, back in 2003), but also a very fun panel to listen in on afterward.  Continue on to listen to the entire Q&A and learn more about this fun event.

To provide a bit more context for this recording:  it begins with moderator John Muto introducing the event before the screening, followed by a switch into the panel afterward.  Muto talks with Blum and Ramsey and allows audience members to ask questions as well.  I did my best to make the audio all listenable enough, but hopefully the recorded video of this event will make it online soon and I can update this post accordingly.  For now, there is a lot to enjoy from this panel for fans of Cowboy Bebop, as there are details about Blum’s relationship with the series, some information regarding Keanu Reeves involvement with the possible live-action film, Ramsey’s origins and how he factors in, and more.  Enjoy!

Find the YouTube link HERE

Here is the original post concerning the event:

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Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) Screening and Panel

Showcases Anime Production Design and Genre

Presented by the Art Directors Guild Film Society and the American Cinematheque

LOS ANGELES, August 25, 2013The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque conclude the 2013 ADG Film Series with a special screening of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Tengoku No Tobira) (2001), a futuristic animated feature from Japan that blends film noir, spaghetti western, Hong Kong style action, and much more into a remarkable work of film art on Sunday, August 25 at 5:30 pm at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, though considered anime, has all the emotion and visceral impact of any great live action film, with a story that mixes past and future architecture and wild action with a feeling of genuine urban realism. Cowboy Bebop is unique as it creates its world with a minimum of computer graphics and just a bit of clever rotoscoping — the vast majority of both human and mechanical action is rendered entirely by hand.

The program, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, will begin with a short visual presentation introducing the audience to the special universe of Cowboy Bebop. A discussion will follow with Peter Ramsey, an ADG Illustrator who advanced to feature Director on the award winning Rise of the Guardians (2012) and special guest Steve Blum, the acclaimed actor who voices “Spike Spiegel,” Bebop’s lead character, as well Wolverine, The Avengers, and Transformers, among many others. ADG Film Society Founder, Co-Chair and Production Designer John Muto will moderate the program.

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Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is significant not just for the amazing world that the designers created, but because its cinematic, dramatic, emotional, and even musical elements set it apart from what we ordinarily think of as “anime,” said John Muto. “While Bebop takes place in the future, and includes plenty of violent action, pyrotechnics, sly humor, and even eroticism, there is very little that is silly or cartoony about it.  The characters and their struggles make it very easy to forget that one is watching animation at all, and simply enjoy the picture just as if it were a contemporary live action movie.”

“From the design point of view, Cowboy Bebop, like almost all great animated films, creates its own unique world – in this case a terraformed Mars of the next century,” adds Muto. “Much of the action takes place in a city that, while it has futuristic elements, also recalls old Earth cities like Paris, Tokyo, New York, and Cairo. The integration of such disparate designs works flawlessly. Equally impressive is the integration of the character design into the created environment – an aspect of animation design that should be given more recognition.  The brilliant music score, a mix of jazz and blues, by Yoko Kanno, must also be acknowledged for the special ambience it lends to this very special film.”

Shinichirō Watanabe directed Cowboy Bebop and Atsushi Morikawa was the Art Director. Other credited designers include Toshihiro Kawamoto, who designed the characters; Kimitoshi Yamane, the mechanical elements; Shiho Takeuchi, the sets; and Shihoko Nakayama, the color scheme.

“The 2013 ADG Film Society/American Cinematheque Screening Series has been a great success,” said Muto. “We are looking forward to putting together another eclectic and challenging slate of films showcasing unique production design in 2014.” In addition to Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001), the 2013 Screening Series included The X- Files Television Show (1993-2002), design by Corey Kaplan; Touch of Evil (1958), design by Robert Clatworthy;  and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), design by Harper Goff.

Feel free to purchase a copy of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie on Blu-ray Here:

Check out the trailer for Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Here:


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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS3.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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