Woefully OT (was Re: DVD regions)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Sep 26 12:12:29 EDT 2003


On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:59:09 +0100, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:

>>> >> >Jennifer
>>> >> >
>>> >> >S
>>> >> >M
>>> >> >A
>>> >> >L
>>> >> >L
>>> >> >
>>> >> >S
>>> >> >P
>>> >> >O
>>> >> >I
>>> >> >L
>>> >> >E
>>> >> >R
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >Why did No-Face want to give her things? Was it just for
>>> >> letting it in, or
>>> >> >was it attracted to her for some other reason- given that it
>>> >> seemed to be
>>> >> >paying her attention on the bridge before she let it in?
>>> >>
>>> >> It appears that this is how the Noh-Face monster (Noh being
>>> >> the type of mask
>>> >> it wore, associated with the theater form of the same name)
>>> >> got victims.
>>> >> She wasn't the only one it offered stuff to, beginning
>>> with the little
>>> >> froggy guy it devoured first.  I think it was bait.  And she
>>> >> was the only
>>> >> person it met who had absolutely no interest in anything it
>>> >> had to give.
>>> >
>>> >But she did take a bath-token from it- although not the
>>> handful it then
>>> >offered her. I guess that belonged to the bath-house,
>>> though, so perhaps it
>>> >didn't count as legal bait.
>>>
>>> She didn't take the bath token from it, she merely accepted
>>> them after it
>>> dropped them all over the ground.  It left them; she made use of them.
>>> Before that, she kept saying "I don't need these" even after
>>> it offered them
>>> several times.  Given how the other victims seemed to be
>>> trapped by greed, I
>>> think it's that motivation that the creature is actually
>>> preying on.  It
>>> didn't just dump piles of gold nuggets on the floor and then
>>> wait to leap on
>>> the first person who bends over to take some.
>>>
>>> (This is mostly Jacob's analysis, by the way.  In the
>>> interests of full
>>> disclosure.  I thought it made sense.)
>>
>>Yes, it does. I just thought that when she was asking the frog-foreman for a
>>token, it took one from his basket and gave it to her while he was
>>distracted, before it offered her the whole handful of tokens. Possibly my
>>recollection is wrong.

She asked for one and it brought out an entire armful.   She said she didn't
need that many, but it kept offering them and she wouldn't take them.  Then
it had to leave or be detected, and left them behind.  So she never actually
accepted them for herself--plus, as Minnow points out, she didn't use them
for herself even after being told just how valuable they were.

>I also thought the Noh-Face did at one point scatter gold onto the floor
>for people to scrabble after rather than offering it individually. 

I didn't say it had to offer things individually, just that it had to offer
and they had to accept.  My example of piles of gold on the floor is because
you can find money on the ground and take it without necessarily being
greedy.  (I hope.  I find quarters all the time.)  If Noh-Face does prey on
greed, that's a pretty uncertain way to get victims.  And at first, it was
starving--I think it had to go for the sure, obvious thing while it was
building up its strength.  Basically, the whole personal-acceptance thing
strikes me as the kind of magical contract that binds most unearthly
creatures...the restriction that keeps it from eating the world, so to
speak.

But I do think things changed as it became stronger.  Didn't it start
chasing the girl after a while?  And she still hadn't fulfilled that
greed-clause.  I think what I'm saying is that the bait is how it
establishes whether or not its prey is greedy.  It *would* be interesting
if, in its full strength, it were able to observe others being greedy and
devour them without ever offering them anything.  But it never really got to
that point.

>Not being greedy does rather run through the film.  Greed was what got the
>parents, too.  And I have a feeling that stealing from her sister (and thus
>being greedy) was Yubaba's big mistake.

That's definitely a major theme (along with the pollution thing).  And I
think Yubaba was at the center of it; just about everything she was doing
was focused on her needs, her desires, and not on being selfless.  Even the
baby...it was so huge, even compared to her, that I wondered if it wasn't
really an adult in age that she had artificially kept as an infant so she
could have someone to love and cuddle.

Melissa Proffitt

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