Monday, June 6, 2022

|Podcast| Poupelle of Chimney Town - Tony Hale

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Tony Hale - American actor and comedian. Best known for his role as Buster Bluth in the FOX comedy series “Arrested Development ”, he also played Forky in “Toy Story 4” (2019), and Gary Walsh in the HBO comedy series “Veep” from 2012 to 2019, for which he won the 2013 and 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In addition to appearing in many feature films and being active as a voice actor, he created and voiced Archibald in the Netflix and Peacock original series “Archibald ’s Next Big Thing ”, played Jerome Squalor in the Netflix live-action adaptation of “The Series of Unfortunate Events ”, and stars as Mr. Benedict in the Disney+ original hit series “The Mysterious Benedict Society ”.

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The Beginning The film “Poupelle of Chimney Town” started as a story written by Akihiro Nishino in 2011. It was initially a very long story, consisting of 10 chapters, and presented quite a challenge to adapt into a shorter format. The picturebook was released first, serving primarily as a gateway to the film. To deliver this long story in its unabridged form, Nishino took his end goal of creating a film into consideration from the very beginning and chose to have the picturebook focus on chapters 3, 4, and 5 out of 10, leaving the rest of the story to be revealed when the film was finally released. In the chapters not covered in the picturebook, various mysteries are explained, such as why Chimney Town was born and the intentions of the people who created it. The story of Lubicchi and Poupelle remains the main focus of both the picturebook and the film. In addition to their marvelous friendship, the film also focuses on the parent-child bond between Lubicchi and Bruno.

The author’s own experiences are reflected in the story through themes within the film including warnings about social media: if you talk about your dreams, you will be laughed at; if you act on them, you will be beaten up and will have no hope in your society. The state of modern society seen through social media is like Chimney Town, a town in which truth is obscured by smoke. While the film is aimed at audiences of all ages, it is particularly geared as an anthem for those who challenge themselves, with a theme that will resonate specifically with adults. How do you visualize such a story? Who do you entrust it to? Nishino’s vision was decided from the beginning. He directly made an offer to STUDIO4ºC, with whom he had become fascinated through the overwhelming expressiveness and worldview of STUDIO4ºC’s “Tekkonkinkreet”. Eiko Tanaka, the founder of STUDIO4ºC and its lead producer, resonated with Nishino’s thoughts, and creation of the film “Poupelle of Chimney Town” was finally put into motion.

Photo Content from STUDIO4ºC

Poupelle of Chimney Town is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. Spectacularly beautiful, filled with inspiring performances and splendid music and sound effects, and produced at Tokyo's famed STUDIO4ºC, Poupelle of Chimney Town brings laughter, tears and joy.

Photo Content from STUDIO4ºC
The people who live in the black smoke-filled town of Chimney Town do not know the blue sky. They do not know the shining stars. There is nothing to look up to, so the people of the town do not look up.

Only a young chimney sweep and a man made of garbage dare to ask, “What’s on the other side of that smoke?” They wonder if there is something beyond the soot above, to which the townspeople scoff, and bullying them, say “There’s no way that can be.”

The story of Poupelle of Chimney Town is a microcosm of modern society, in which people are laughed at if they have a dream, and are bullied if they take action to follow it

It is also my story.

The day I left my work in television... the day I started drawing picturebooks, that day and this day, again and again.

Every time I chose to take on an unprecedented challenge, I was laughed at as if I was wasting my spare time, verbally abused, from all over Japan... there were many nights when I trembled with frustration.

While the story of Poupelle of Chimney Town was intended to be the story of a man who wasn’t allowed to even look up – just like I wasn’t – and the story of a man who took on challenges – just as I did – the once-in-a-century virus that struck the world dramatically changed the meaning of the story.

2020. The year in which so many shed tears, the year in which so many dreams and hopes disappeared. The world was covered in a black smoke, just like Chimney Town.

Nobody looked up.

There was much talk about postponing the release of the film. But Poupelle of Chimney Town is a story of hope, the hope that we can break through the black smoke to a starry sky. I thought it was a meaningful film to release in 2020.

The story of Poupelle of Chimney Town is no longer the story of one individual.

My sincere hope is that this film will be an inspiring song for all those still struggling with the coronavirus disaster.

I will keep up the good fight, just as you do.
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