"To Boldly Grow: Some Celluloid Bonsai (Part IIIa)"
Through the Year 1992
 

Enterprise bonsai:
24th Century trees.
"Warp one?" "Make it so."

--- Hud Nordin


       A number of additional sightings were known of at the time the first two articles went to press, but for various reasons they could not be included.  Many other portrayals have, of course, been made since then.  Therefore, in the light of historical accuracy, the following is an ongoing listing of celluloid sightings of bonsai.  (No, not all the details were gotten from the first sighting and I don't watch TV round the clock.  Most of these were coincidental viewings.)  This list will be occasionally updated (see bottom). 


1956
TV - ABV2
Australia Unlimited

      "IN view of the events of the past 15 years it is strange to find in a Channel 2 programme called "Australia Unlimited" on Wednesday, November 21, that the subject will be of Japanese origin.  The programme will demonstrate the Japanese art of bonsai, the stunting of trees and plants.
      Mr. V. Koreshoff, an authority on bonsai and a leading Sydney nurseryman, will be the lecturer.  The A.B.C. says of "Australia Unlimited" that "each week . . . viewers will be shown unusual facets of rural Australia, of interest to the city-dweller as well as the country-dweller."  Per TeleVision Parade, The Australian Womens Weekly, Nov. 21, 1956, pg. 10, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/42111430?searchTerm=Koreshoff&searchLimits=.  (And to put things in perspective, this was two days after the station began broadcasting and the day before the opening ceremonies of the Melbourne Summer Olympics.  Five percent of Melbourne households owned a television set.)




1957
MGM movie
Sayonara

      * Some large trees are seen in front of the American-only officers' club in Kobe.  * Next, one tree is seen at the right of the doorway outside the dining pavilion -- after Eileen (Patricia Owens) crosses to the right in front of it, we see a medium-size tree with double-layer foliage on a grayish trunk in a perhaps oval pot.  * Then, in a bar-restaurant, a tall tree is seen in front of a shoji panel to the right of the bar where Maj. Gruver (Marlon Brando) meets up with Capt. Bailey (James Garner).  * A small tree is next seen behind Katsumi (Miyoshi Umeki) when she opens the screen to bring the pre-meal towels and sake to Airman Joe Kelly (Red Buttons) and Gruver.  This informal upright with light green foliage in a narrow brown cacade pot is also seen when she leaves.  * Then when Gruver returns to Kelly's house, there is a shot through the garden which shows at least 2 trees which the earlier visit did not show in the garden.  As he enters a room a two-tree composition is seen on a shelf, but not in a tokonoma.  The trees are in a trapezoid pot with feet (initially the lighting fools one into thinking there were an inauspicious four trees in the pot).  Gruver turns and goes into the cabinet right below this.  He then goes over to the garden to the right and picks up a small brass watering pot that he applies to a green Japanese maple in the middle of this same room as the two-tree on the shelf.  The garden is again seen as the camera moves into the room. The two-tree is seen a few more times, including at the upper left edge of the scene for a few shots.  * When Gruver is talking to Gen. Webster (Kent Smith), his wife (Martha Scott), and Eileen about Kelly being shipped stateside, there is a small Japanese black pine over a whitish-gray rock with moss in a small blue pot with pinched ends.  The pine could use a hair-cut.  The tree is in a couple of lengthy shots with the foilage at least showing at the bottom of the screen.  * Back at Kelly's there is a low containerized plant with an upright antler-like jin which Gruver uses to hold his marriage license.  A dwarf chamaecyparis, perhaps, but no branches or trunk is visible.  Another but out-of-focus tree is in the window behind and during shots of Gruver.  * In the puppet theater during 3 shots, behind the four principal actors, of the stage-left wall there are several large trees against raised gold screens, including a slant-style tree.  * When Gruver is being talked to by Gen. Webster, a cascade in a short brown pot is seen on a credenza to the left back.  Another tree is on the extreme right edge of the screen -- identification can't be made, but its pot is pale blue.  * Finally, when Gruver comes down the hall outside his officer's room, we see the slanting/informal upright tree that is to the right of the bar from the earlier scene.  Possibly in a dark reddish low hexagonal pot and elevated on a blue ceramic pot stand, the tree is at least 3' tall.  (A tree is also seen briefly near the beginning of the theatrical trailer behind Miyoshi Umeki -- possibly from the same scene as when she brings the towels and sake.)  Released in USA December 5 New York premiere, December 25 Los Angeles premiere.  




1958
Paramount Pictures movie
The Geisha Boy

      O.K. -- we're stretching here:
      When Gilbert Wooley (Jerry Lewis) brings home Mitsuo Watanabe (Robert Hirano) after a night out, there is a very brief shot of perhaps a juniper bonsai inside Kimi Sikita (Nobu McCarthy)'s room.  The tree's foliage is seen against the panneled doors at an angle.  Perhaps 3' tall with wispy grayish foliage in the dim light.  Can't really identify the pot or other details.  (Tantalizing that in the traditional Japanese home of  Mr. Sikita (Sessue Hayakawa) that is all we see!)  Released in USA November 2.


1961
Universal International movie
Flower Drum Song
     Over a dozen Chinese penjing can be found in this musical, the first with an all-Asian American cast.  * After the film's second song and at Sammy Fong's Celestial Garden club when Dr. Li (Kam Tong) and Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) are eating, Sammy (Jack Soo) briefly sits by an octopus-style juniper.  * Then in the garden of Master Wang (Benson Fong)'s house, on a lacquered stand in a turquoise bowl is a medium-sized trunk with curving branches and little foliage -- an unknown type of plant.  A low spreading juniper is to its left, and a third tree is just inside the house, seen just before the third song, "The Other Generation."  During that song, a "pterodactyl-style" medium-sized conifer is noticeable inside.  The outdoor trees are seen again.  Three more can be found on the ledge of a low wall behind the central fountain/rockery, then three more to the left, two of which are on the ground.  * Later, after Master Wang's stick-up, a large splayed-limb sparse-foliaged juniper (?) is in the hallway of his house in front of the stairwell.  * The "pterodactyl" is shown in detail during the fourth song (a reprise of the first) -- we see it in a dark brownish bowl having brownish-red top and bottom rims and medallions in the center of the container at 90 degree angles.  This all rests on a short lacquered stand.  * Back in the garden we see the earlier trees plus a few more during the song "I'm Going to Like This Place" and less so in "Chop Suey."  * In the dream sequence with Fong and Linda Low (Nancy Kwan), two trees in orange flower-pot-type containers are on a wide/deep window ledge.  The plant on the left is more tree-like, and then the gardener starts working on the pair, spreading the branches of the left one.  * In the Family Association meeting room two larger trees, each in a pale white bowl, are seen behind the two elders.  * On the table inside the entranceway to Madame Fong (Soo Yong)'s house is another tree, flanked by a pair of tall-thin brown/bronze statues.  This tree is in a non-geometrically- symetrical pot (piece of driftwood?)  It makes a final appearance in the lower righthand corner of the kiss scene.  Released in USA November 9.  (Brought to RJB's attention by wife Shirley, this is one of her most favored movies, though she wasn't aware of just how many dwarf potted trees were in it.)


1962
United Artists movie
The Road to Hong Kong
     "Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and a young Joan Collins are in a hotel and there is a sort of potted tree in the background."    A little more than an hour into the film, when Diane (Joan) in white comes into her quarters where Chester (Bob) is resting, we see a perhaps 18"H x 24"W "mini-octopus-style" tree in an ornate pot.  The container might be described as an upside-down fancy bell-shape, decorated with a few small flowers.  It sits on a low stand on the carpet at the bottom of the small flight of stairs.  (The room is in an underground level of the home of a Hong Kong millionaire/mad scientist (Robert Morley).)  When Diane leans down to talk to Chester, the plant is seen behind them.  There are about 7 shots from this angle and we can see the thin branches with possibly deciduous foliage on the slight zig-zagging trunk -- large at the base moving to the left, then sharply to the right with a knob, then more tapered up and slightly to the left again.  The tree is seen between them when she gets up to leave.  When Harry (Bing) comes in next the tree is seen very briefly between the two gents, a cutaway shot, then back again shortly.   Released in USA May 22.  (Contributed by Uriah Heep in personal e-mail to RJB, September 1, 2000; additional details by RJB.)


Paramount movie
My Geisha
     This film "starring Shirley McClaine had bonsai in the background of quite a few scenes in a hotel in Tokyo."  These include the scene where Sam (Edward G. Robinson) is teaching a Japanese woman gin rummy (an evergreen specimen is against the back wall of the room); where Paul (Yves Motand) goes into Yoko (Shirley McClaine)'s dressing bus (a small juniper is briefly scene in front of the small screen which Paul sits in front of); where Paul and Sam are in one of the main rooms of the hotel (a large bonsai in a yellow bowl with a small one in a dark rectangular container to its right and a medium-large one in a dark blue pot against another wall), and on the far right corner of the hotel's front desk counter.  Released in USA June 13.  (Originally brought to RJB's attention in posting to rec.arts.bonsai by Michael Pollock of Westchester County, NY, March 14, 2001; details added later by RJB.)



Toho Company movie
Chushingura -- Hana no maki yuki no maki
     In part II of this wonderful period piece, during the first scene and right after the English subtitled words "Trusted my arm, they said," we are looking out behind the characters through open panels into a narrow front-to-back garden.  Just outside the lefthand panel, partly obscured is a tree in a dark-colored pot which is possibly a shallow elongated quatrefoil.  The trunk curves to the left and back over with indistinct foliage -- possibly light green of pine, as we then see from another angle.  (A later scene shows this perhaps 18"H tree with thin foliage and a first branch at maybe 6" above the soil.)   Behind it and in the visual center of the open panels, a deep tan-colored rectangular pot is on a bench but its contents are indistinct against the background.  (A later scene shows possibly more bonsai further behind on benches in the narrow garden.)  A few moments later outside a different location, we get a quick look at perhaps a 4' tall 7-tree bamboo forest on a bench in a brown rounded-rectangular pot perhaps 4"H x 12"L with an undercut lip.
     Also, there are brief scenes with Hollanders visiting Edo, and gardeners on ladders training ground-planted trees.  (In the first part, after Lord Asano (Yuzo Kayama) is killed, there is a scene in Lord Kira (Chûsha Ichikawa)'s castle where we see about a dozen potted plants on the edge of the porch next to the garden.  These are probably small broadleaf plants green with possible light variation on the edges, almost like Dracaenas.  What is so remarkable is that these resembled 20th century black plastic containerized plants -- in this otherwise very authentic movie, were these accurately depicted also?  Anyone?   Released in Japan 3 November 1962, in USA 3 October 1963.


mid-1960s?
TV
"What's My Line"
     Frank Okamura, longtime bonsai caretaker and teacher of the art at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, was a guest on one show.  (Per pg. 34 of Outstanding American Bonsai by Randy Clark, Timber Press, 1989.)


1966
Columbia Pictures Corp. movie
Walk Don't Run
     "Quite a few bonsai trees...  it is set in Tokyo [during the 1964 Olympics] and has Cary Grant in it.  (I never knew Cary Grant was so naturally comedic!!!).  Anyway, the couples are touring a Japanese estate/garden and Cary Grant is discussing bauxite prices with the milkdud fiancée, when he says 'Look!  Miniature bonsai trees.'  Pretty funny stuff.  The trees are set out on a bench.  Very typical Japanese trees.  They seemed to mostly be pines."  Released in USA June 29. (Per malhomme from Austin, TX in posting to bonsaitalk.com on Oct. 20, 2005)
     A more detailed look: The first bonsai is seen as Sir William Rutland (Cary Grant), after a first night in Tokyo, approaches a doorway, a dozen or so foliage poms on 3' tall tree in dark blue pot, the side flaring up from the bottom, to the left of the door.  A second matched tree is seen to the right as he enters.  At least two more are seen indoors to the left when Grant comes down the stairs after signing a contract.  When Steve Davis (Jim Hutton) then stands up to photograph, a low juniper is seen at the edge of an elevated pool.  The tree's right half is seen in close-up, not very defined.  As they walk around the elevated pool, Grant and his Japanese transistor mfg. contact pass by two more of the pom trees.   At the restaurant seen between and behind Christine Easton (Samantha Eggar) and Davis there's a 3-plant Sago palm in a dark brown footed pot with a wide lip, sitting on a tall thin-legged table.  Then to the left of the pink-clad all-girl band is another of the pom foliage trees (as seen earlier).  Then in Easton's bedroom we finally get to see a leggy juniper, without much shaping, in a tall light brown hex pot.  (Earlier we saw this in a much too quick shot as a character crossed in front of it.)
     [In Scene 19, a section just under a minute in length occurs, with correct pronunciation of the term.]  While walking from a park into a garden area in Mikawa, Easton asks Davis "Do you know about bonsai trees?  They're very famous in Japan."  A few scenes later they all pass by a group of at least four compositions, the right-most being a 5 or 6 small-needle conifer forest in a flat ceramic tray, pale gray with darker trim on the top lip and bottom.  Second from the right in a small dark blue oval is another tree, somewhat broom style.
     Grant states, "Now, here's some splendid examples of miniature bonsai trees."  Further to the right on a two section wooden bench are 6 more, starting with a 4' tall shari-trunked shimpaku on the left in a large brown earthenware oval.  To the right separated is another wooden bench shelf with at least 4 more trees.  Then we cut to a shot from the back looking at Rutland and Davis back across 3 more pines, a short bench on the right side.
     Rutland to Davis, "You were saying 1,099,000 tons of what?"
     Davis: "Bonsai."  [the conversation is actually about bauxite.]
     Rutland: "Incredible."
     Davis: "I can show you pictures of it."
     Rutland: "You should do a book about that."
     Davis: "I am."
     Cut to Rutland and Davis in front passing by another double wooden bench with more trees.  A lawn and trees are behind the benches going up the hill and next to a building.  Rutland and Davis are talking about transistors with this last shot of the benches and trees slightly behind them in the middle of the shot.
     Next, Easton and Davis are welcomed at the front of the house and we see another pom foliage tree in a deep dark blue round pot sitting on a wood on a low raised bench.  (George Takei, soon to be from "Star Trek," is a police captain here, in the police station interviewing Davis and Easton.  However, there is no sign, thankfully, of the Boldly Grow Curse... and Samantha Eggar, who is Grant's character's fiancée, would voice "M" for the 2002 video game "James Bond 007: Nightfire" -- see Celluloid Bonsai V.) 
 


1967
Arcola Pictures & Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. movie
Tony Rome
     "Spotted a bonsai today while watching ... an old [Frank] Sinatra movie.  If you have the movie it's in the houseboat that's decorated in a Japanese style."  Released in USA November 10. (Per zoot from Gloucestershire, UK in posting to bonsaitalk.com on Oct. 18, 2006)


1969
United Artists movie
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
     Right before James Bond, undercover as Sir Hillary Bray (George Lazenby), meets Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savales) fairly early in the film, a medium-sized juniper bonsai in a brass round deep basin is seen in the room.  It is also seen in three shots of Bond.  This compact tree, with somewhat squarish/cubic shaped foliage (as opposed to pyramidal/triangular), has a thin curving trunk and branches.  It is seen also in two shots much later in the film as Blofeld talks with Tracy (Diana Rigg) when the three helicopters approach.  (As usual, the bonsai's location gets blown up.)  Released in USA December 18.


1970
TV - ABC
"Bewitched" episode
"Samantha's Better Halves"
     In this episode Darrin Stevens (Dick Sargent) is in a Japanese house conducting buasiness in Tokyo with Mr. Tanaka (Richard Loo).  (Samantha is back in the States pregnant.)  There is one large fake tree in the corner of the house.  A thin multi-trunked conifer is seen behind golfer Darrin in a dark round uneven-edged bowl.  Other trees can be glimpsed behind and in the next room. Original air date Jan 1.


1973
Warner Bros. movie
Enter the Dragon
     There is a scene in this "first American produced martial arts spectacular" starring Bruce Lee where a sort of Chinese elm is shown in the background on a tall narrow flower stand inside the mansion/fortress of the villain, Han (Kien Shih).  Released in USA August 19.  (Contributed by Uriah Heep in personal e-mail to RJB, September 1, 2000.)


1974
Sequoia movie
Golden Needles
     In this kung fu movie set in Hong Kong and starring Joe Don Baker and Elizabeth Ashley, there is a scene where a medicated [sic] young lady is pretending to trim a sort of windswept Podocarpus Buddha's pine.  Released in USA in July. (Contributed by Uriah Heep in personal e-mail to RJB, September 1, 2000.)


1976
TV - BBC
"Dr. Who" episode
"The Seeds of Doom"
     In this episode featuring the fourth Dr. Who (Tom Baker), there is mention of the "atrocious act of Bonsai" by a plant defender.  Richard Dunbar (Kenneth Gilbert) introduces himself as from the World Ecology Bureau, to which Harrison Chase (Tony Beckley) replies: "And what is your bureau doing about bonsai?"
     "Bonsai, Mr Chase?"
     "Mutilation and torture, Mr. Dunbar.  The hideous, grotesque Japanese practice of miniaturizing shrubs and trees.  What is your bureau doing about that?"
     Original air date Jan 31.  (Originally mentioned by Khaimraj Seepersad, Caribbean / W. I., in posting to rec.arts.bonsai on July 20, 1999.  Specific reference by spookybonsai from Melbourne, Australia in posting to bonsaitalk.com on Apr. 4, 2005]


1977
TV - NBC
"The Rockford Files" episode
"There's One in Every Port"
     Jim (James Garner), Angel (Stuart Margolin), and some friends, including Steve Landesburg, did a con involving duel registry of ocean tankers or some such thing, towards the end, a bonsai is seen in someone's office, on a shelf or a mantle on the wall.  Original airdate January 7.  [per Mat Carter in personal e-mail to RJB on July 19, 1999]


MGM movie
The Spy Who Loved Me
     In a hotel (?) room scene just before they go out to the American submarine, James Bond (Roger Moore) tells Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) that he killed the man she loved three weeks earlier.  Behind them, the fireplace mantle itself appears to be the marble base for a perhaps 4 foot long penjing.  A thin-trunked tree curls to the right among tannish rocks and some moss.  Released in USA August 3. 


1979
MGM movie
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
     AUDIO ONLY  In the Japanese-dubbed version of this film, in the scene where we meet the Knights who say "Ni," the three-headed leader says (per English subtitles) "You Must Bring Bonsai" instead of "We Demand a Shrubbery."  King Arthur (Graham Chapman) responds "We will certainly bring a bonsai," to which the three-head comments "Not too expensive."  Released in UK April 3, 1975, New York City April 27, 1975, general USA May 10, 1975... and Japan August 11, 1979.  (Per extra features in Special Edition 2001 DVD version of this film.  Confused yet?)


1981
20th Century Fox movie
The Final Conflict
    In a very brief scene, a 75 cm high informal upright Chinese juniper is to be seen.  (per caption of photo on pg. 58 of Bonsai, The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees by Peter Chan, Wellfleet Press, 1985)  Released in USA March 20.


1983
Century Pacific distributed movie
Zu shu shan
(Warriors of the Magic Mountain)
     There are dwarf potted trees throughout this Cantonese film.  One of the characters, the drunkard of the group, lives in a greenhouse.  He wakes up in one scene and knocks over some of the trees.  (Boldly Grow!)  Re-released in USA January 4, 2002.  (Contributed by Dustin Martinez in personal e-mail to RJB, June 1, 2001.) 


1986
MGM/UA movie
Nine 1/2 Weeks
     In one of the first scenes, inside the Spring Street Gallery where Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) works, on top of a white panel divider to the right of her office cubicle is a small bonsai.  The black-rimmed office clock on the wall is seen just to the left of the tree.  In a rectangular brown tray perhaps an inch deep is a broom-style tree with a thin upright trunk, probably not a juniper.  The soil at its base is mounded up, higher than the tray is deep.  The overall composition is less than a foot tall.  It is also seen later in the film.  Released in USA February 21.
     Editor's Note:  Adult Situations elsewhere in this film.



1988
MGM movie
A Fish Called Wanda
     In the opening credits, the segment showing Michael Palin has what appears to be a bonsai in the window sill on the upper left side of the screen.  The dark blue or green pot has soil mounded up.  In it is a thick trunked tree -- not a conifer or maple.  The top is a tangle reminiscent of an African native specimen.  The foliage is sparce or like thick short strands.  Released in USA July 15.
     Editor's Note:  Adult Situations elsewhere in this film.



 
20th Century Fox movie
Die Hard
    * During the opening credits, a medium-sized plume-branched juniper is briefly seen -- but not its bottom trunk or pot -- at a hallway juncture in the Nakatomi headquarters.  * In the room with scale models of the company's holdings, two large junipers (?) flank a large golden statue.  A tall vase is on the outer side of each tree; the left tree is in a deep celadon drum pot.  Both trees are in somewhat dim light at the time.  (They are run past a little later in the film.)  * Another slightly smaller juniper (?) is seen in a room off the far end of the table of the "Project in Indonesia."  * Another large juniper in a lip-flaring pot is in the room outside the vault.  Its foliage is very briefly seen past the shoulder of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).  * After John McClane (Bruce Willis) gets Hans on the radio, John goes into a room where at least four large junipers reside, two tall, one being lower, both of these in pale blue glazed Chinese-style garden pots.  The camera sweeps past the trees briefly.  Later, as the hostages are going downstairs, one of the terrorists is seen running.  The camera looks through the foliage of one of the trees, from one direction and then another.  * A tall tree is seen again in the hallway as the "Boldly Grow Curse" continues.  The tree is backlit behind John in a firefight.  Just about all the trees shown were not as compact as we are used to seeing in Japanese-school bonsai.  Released in USA July 15 [sic]





Walt Disney Company animated movie
Oliver & Company

     About 45 minutes into the story, in the New York 5th Avenue brownstone Foxworth residence as Winston the butler responds to the poodle Georgette's call, he passes in front of a penjing styled composition on a hallway table against a wall just past the stairwell on the second floor.  In a shallow, rounded bottom coppery-brown bowl, the twin trunk has some unbleached deadwood and foliage which is more natural and ragged-edged rather than sculpted smooth.  The trees are the equivalent of about a foot tall.  A non-Oriental (ancient Grecian?) vase is on the table to the right of the plant.  Other plants seen in the house were a palm and orchids, but no other Asian decor.  Released in USA November 18 (with re-release March 29, 1996).  (Brought to RJB's attention by daughter Raechel.)


1989
New Line Pictures movie
The Punisher
    Two bonsai are visible in scenes in New York (or Chicago?) where Frank Castle (Dolph Lundgren) goes into a kendo dojo in a highrise building.  One tree may be visible in a final scene when a villian is playing a piano.   (Contributed by Dustin Martinez in personal e-mail to RJB, August 9, 2001)  Released in Germany October 5, in USA on video April 25, 1991. 






Paramount Pictures movie
Black Rain
     At about the 130 minute mark, when Nick Conklin (Michael Douglas) goes to Masahiro Matsumoto(Ken Takakura)'s apartment in Osaka, two small bonsai are seen near a window and a larger one is to the left of them on a shelf.  The room is a typically dimly-lit scene by director Ridley Scott -- see 1982's Blade Runner.  The first two trees are on a low table to the right of a telescope.  The larger tree (up to 15" tall) is on the top shelf of a bookcase.  That tree is possibly a conifer, a sinuous trunk informal upright in a medium-sized blue/blue-gray glazed rectangular pot.  To its left is an unlit lamp.  Light coming through the window to the right of the tree casts its shadow on the wall.  Released in USA September 22. 






Lorimar Film Entertainment movie
Second Sight
     Not quite 10 minutes into the film, just after Wills (John Larroquette) introduces himself at the diner, the cast is back in the office of the Second Sight Detective Agency.  On the far right side of the receptionist's desk is a small potted juniper with foliage in a bow.  A few seconds later in a front shot of the desk we see another but medium-sized lower and wider juniper to the right and behind.  The first juniper is briefly seen again, and then the second tree peeks out behind the secretary's shoulder in two long shots.  Later, in the scene with Maria (Marisol Massey) and Sister Elizabeth (Bess Armstrong) at Wills' office, the first tree is viewed a ways through the doorway.  The second tree is just outside the doorway at the end of the scene.  Released in USA November 3.


1990
TV - Fox
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode
"Brothers"
      About halfway through this Oct. 6 episode, the camera pans to the left in Dr. Noonien Soong's study and very briefly a bonsai is seen.  It is elevated, against an evenly lit back wall, and the tree has two thin trunks holding up two bright medium green foliage pads, one above the other. The pot is dark brown and flares slightly at the top.  When Soong sits down to talk across from Lt. Cmd. Data a moment later, the right edge of the tree's foliage is just visible at the left edge of the screen.  Then the camera is repositioned so that Soong's white hair is barely back lit by the green foliage.  Data's brother, Lore, now makes his entrance.  (In a nice little tour de force, Brent Spiner plays all three characters.)


TV - Fox
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode
"Reunion"
     The first scene after the opening credits of this Nov. 3 episode shows five backlit bonsai behind Alexander (Brian Bonesall).  Other similarly displayed trees are then also seen.  (See "Rascals" episode, 1992)


1991
movie
L'Amant (The Lover)
     A French art film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud which takes place in Saigon in 1929.  An 18-year old French girl (Jane March) from a family whose fortunes have fallen has an affair with a rich Chinese merchant's mid-30ish son (Tony Leung Ka-Fai).  In his "bachelor room" (called that in the film) he has two dead or dying penjing.  These are a small part of the story as the girl waters them twice -- once in the nude [sic] ...  Released in USA in October 1992.  (Contributed by Craig J. Hunt in personal e-mail to RJB, March 2, 2000.)


1992
TV - Fox
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode
"Hero Worship"
     In the room where Data and Timothy (Joshua Harris) are painting, a thin-trunked small bonsai is seen during a few shots of the boy.  The tree is behind him in a low wide rectangular tray.  The foliage is nondescript, not triangular-shaped.  It, perhaps, is better described as "cotton candy on a thin stick" style.  A display of eight small bonsai is then seen about five minutes later in one long shot when the two characters are in the children's playroom.  The trees are on three shelves, brightly backlit in this January 25 episode.


TV - BBC
"A Bit of Fry & Laurie" episode
"#3.3"
    AUDIO ONLY  In this January 23 episode, one sketch has Hugh Laurie as an English bobbie who stops the cameraperson and asks if the crew has permission to film there.  He then puts his walkie-talkie on automatic answering and continues: "...with people pretending to be film crews and actually stealing Japanese bonn-zai trees."  


TV - Fox
"The Simpsons" episode
"Bart's Friend Falls In Love"
     Within the first five minutes of this May 7 episode, a small juniper-like bonsai in a flat round bowl is seen on the credenza opposite Principal Skinner's desk as he is interviewing transfer student Samantha Stankey from Phoenix [sic].


TV-
"Baywatch" episode
"River of No Return"
     The first of this two-part episode has some bonsai in a nursery or garden setting.


TV - BBC
"Absolutely Fabulous" episode
"Fat"
     A pine, perhaps 2' tall but barely an inch in diameter, is in a dusty-brown pot (4" deep?) on the front right edge of the desk of Edwina (Jennifer Saunders).  The informal upright, a not particularly shaped tree, is seen in the often smoke-filled fashion office as secretary Bubble (Jane Horrocks) goes over to the overflowing fax machine.


Paradis Films et al Production,
Sony Pictures Classics distributed (USA) movie
Indochine
     Set in 1930s French Colonial Indochina (Vietnam), this Catherine Deneuve film includes a huge "penjing" in a courtyard of the mandarins.  French with English subtitles.  Released in France April 15, in USA December 23.  (Contributed by Uriah Heep in personal e-mail to RJB, November 11, 2003.)



Through 1992
1993 to 1999
Incomplete Sightings


Overview
Celluloid Bonsai I
Celluloid Bonsai II
Celluloid Bonsai IV
Celluloid Bonsai V
In Video and
Computer Games

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