"To Boldly Grow: Some Celluloid Bonsai (Part IVa)"
The Year 2000 through 2005

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

--- Hud Nordin



2000 through 2005
2006 through 2013
2014 and beyond


       Magical miniature landscapes continue occasionally to grace our large and small screens.  One might almost be inclined to think that some of the very brief portrayals were being planted like Easter eggs.  Or is it that the art is finally achieving a certain level of widespread acceptance?  Now, if we can only get most of these plants into the outside and out of harm's way... 

(We have become aware, of course, that not all movies have their premiere or other first showing in just the U.S.A.  For the present time, however, we shall continue with the now-standardized release information, knowing that anyone so interested can look up the detailed release information at the appropriate movie's Internet Movie Database location provided in the titles here.)

2000
TV - FOX
"X-Files" episode
"Orison"
     In the Jan. 9 airing, Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) had a bonsai in her apartment, possibly a juniper, but not in a well-lit location.  It is not known if it survived the pitched battle that occurred <like readers of these Boldly Grows didn't see that one coming...> but it probably wasn't long for this world anyway.  (Contributed by Marc Zimmerman in posting to rec.arts.bonsai, January 10, 2000)


TV - FOX
"X-Files" episode
"The Amazing Maleeni"
     And airing one week later, comes this glimpse of a small, very shaggy juniper with a thick, perhaps braided trunk.  It is seen briefly next to the computer of Mr. Pinchbeck (Ricky Jay) at the Cradock Marine Bank about 40 minutes into the episode.  In the 2 or 3 shots, not the entire tree is seen at once and what is visible is slightly out of focus.  (This tree goes unnoticed by the forces of chaos.)


United Artists distributed movie
Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her
    In the segment "Someone For Rose," Rose (Kathy Baker) is working at the computer when the doorbell rings.  She goes to the front door but there is no-one there.  She looks down and there is a small bonsai on the front step.  She takes the bonsai inside and puts it next to the computer and later it is in the kitchen.  (Released in the U.S. on January 22)  (Contributed by Bronwyn Woodward, Essendon, Victoria, Australia in personal e-mail to RJB on March 1, 2003)


TV - CBS
"Judging Amy" episode
"The Wee Hours"
     Brother Vincent (Dan Futterman)'s "new editor was working on a bonsai in his office, and I counted at least two more on the sidelines.  Couln't make out type of trees though (bad eyes).  Probably mallsai that aren't expected to live.  Interesting though."  Original airdate Feb. 22.  (Contributed by Flemming Hansen in posting to rec.arts.bonsai on March 13, 2000.)


TV - PBS
"The Victory Garden"
     The 25th anniversary retrospective show on April 8 included an encore visit to the Osaka Expo (original airdate June 30, 1990) with a brief glimpse of the Imperial Household Chamaecyparis obtusa bonsai.


TV - Snickers candy bar
commercial
     In an ad seen in early June, a man is talking to a picture of a panda bear which he is holding out to his left.  Asking what the bear wants for lunch, the man responds to himself in a falsetto voice.  A very brief shot from behind reveals a thin-trunked bonsai on a book case/office divider just to the left of center.  The bonsai has several distinct horizontal thin-foliaged branches.  The man's co-workers are then shown viewing him from outside the frosted window of his office door which he is facing.


TV - WB
"Batman Beyond" cartoon episode "Curse of the Kobra" (Part I)
     In a brief scene indoors at a martial arts dojo, a medium-sized curving trunk pine (?) is seen in one corner.  At the opposite end of this particular non-sparring room is a dry sand garden, the equivalent of perhaps 6' long x 3' deep.  In the center of the room is a koi pond/wading pool arrangement.   We return to the room later in the episode.


TV - Zyrtec®
commercial
      In an ad seen once in early September, perhaps four adults are shown individually admitting to allergies.   After use of this Pfizer U.S. brand of antihistamine, each is seen doing some out-of-doors activity which, presumably, had formerly been difficult to complete.  One woman is seen clipping the underside of the foliage layer of a small/medium "mallsai" style juniper.


TV - Lancia Lybra 
commercial
     "Harrison Ford, according to Italian press reports, recently earned $2.3 million for endorsing Lancia Lybra cars.  The content of the ad is just about enough to cause most Indiana Jones fans in the United States to hang up their bullwhips -- it featured Ford reviving a withered Bonsai tree by taking it for a ride."  ("Roman Holiday" by Andrew Morse, abcNEWS.com, RJB hardcopy printed 03/23/01, http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/italy000420_ads.html)


Sony Pictures Classics/Columbia Tri-Star movie
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(Wo hu zang long)
     This mostly positively reviewed and English subtitled film, with lush cinematography and score, takes place in and around Beijing in the early 1800s.  There are over a half dozen scenes with pensai and penjing as set decorations.  These range from closeups of a person talking (indoors) while there is a tree just over her shoulder -- the pot and trunk tantalizingly just out of focus, large and near upper right screen edge -- to long shots of a venerable six foot plus tall slanting style specimen with shari in a large rectangular basin (outdoors) in a modest-sized courtyard throughout a fight scene.  At least one other scene has a quick view of a small but respectable collection of medium-sized compositions lined up on a bench/shelf outside someone's residence.  Medium-sized, deep bowled untrained trees, flowers and other plants grace several indoor sets.  [The martial arts with and without weapons are astounding and, yes, even a bit magical in this which is said to be the middle of three eventual films.  RJB does admit feeling that in one fight scene the Boldly Grow "curse" would show up but, xie xie, it did not.  :)  ] 
     Some of the trees were also seen in the various clips used for the many award shows in which this film was a nominee.  Shown at New York Film Festival October 9; general USA release December 8.
      (See also Episode 19 of "Lindsay Farr's World Of Bonsai" for a tour of some of the locations used in Crouching Tiger.)


Beacon Communications movie
The Family Man
      Past the halfway point in the film, Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is showing Kate (Téa Leoni) the luxury apartment that is a perk for being in the new company.  He opens a door to the left side of the room and through the doorway we see a bonsai against the cream-colored horizontal-pleated drapes.  It appears to be a two-foot tall pine in a deep round dark bowl.  There are no distinct foliage pads or deadwood splashes of jin or shari here: the numerous thin curving branches are reminiscent of a style from earlier days.  The tree is visible over the actress's shoulder in perhaps six shots during the scene.  Premiered in USA December 12.


2001
TV - IBM e-business
commercial
     "There is a respectable looking bonsai behind one of the characters being convinced this is the way to go; I couldn't tell what species it is, but it's actually proportionate and is in a low-profile pot.  Maybe they're looking after all....."
     "But you notice it's in the dark instead of in front of the window."  (Contributed by Merida Weinstein in posting to rec.arts.bonsai, January 13, 2001, with note by Greg Nicholas on January 15.)


TV - CBS News
"Sunday Morning"
     During an interview with Billie Jean King for a segment on "Women in Sports" which began perhaps fifteen minutes into this Jan. 28 show, there are five shots of a bonsai over the tennis great's left shoulder.  In an indoors living room-type setting, a somewhat thin-trunked small juniper with triangular foliage is seen in what is probably a dark round pot with flaring lip.  The container rests on a low stand on a piece of furniture against the wall a few feet behind King.  The tree's trunk curves slightly to the right at its base and then rises more or less straight upwards.


TV - PBS
"Wall$treet Week with Louis Rukeyser">
     In the first half of this February 16 half-hour episode, John Kim is one of the guests.  Out of focus several feet behind him and off his left shoulder is a small bonsai.  The brown trunk, diagonally to the right with green foliage on left top and right bottom, rises from an elliptical tray which rests on a dark brown (cherry?) table.  The table appears to be against the wall with its front and back semi-circular wings folded down, only the front one being visible.  The table and tray are also seen in a few wide shots of the three panelists with Rukeyser. 


TV - UPN
"Star Trek Voyager" episode
"Workforce, Part II"
     Originally airing on Feb. 28, this one has what looks to be a large juniper, in a rectangular blue glazed pot, on the window to Capt. Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew)'s right during the final parting scene.  (Contributed by Mike McCallion in personal e-mail to RJB on October 24, 2001.  Mike says he's seen trees in her quarters on previous episodes.  Anyone have details?)


TV - DIY
"Episode Epcot Flower & Garden Festival" episode
"The Basics of Bonsai"
     Throughout the lush landscapes of Epcot and the Walt Disney World Resort, visitors are treated to the sight of beautifully sculpted trees in almost every imaginable size and shape.  Among some of the most compelling forms are the miniature bonsai trees that grace the Japan exhibit.  To provide a close-up look at how these shapely little trees get their unique silhouettes, host Kim Haworth talks with bonsai expert Jim VanLandingham of the Bonsai Society of Florida.  VanLandingham begins by explaining that the actual technique of creating bonsai is called "bonesigh," then he gives a step-by-step demonstration of the art.  Episode EFF-201 air date of May 7.


Montecito Picture Company /DreamWorks Distribution movie
Evolution
      AUDIO ONLY  In the deleted "Original Hotel Scene in Allison's Room" in the DVD version extras, Dr. Ira Kane (David Duchovny) comments about Dr. Allison Reed (Julie Moore)'s hands: "You got the tiniest little baby hands.  They're like a bonn-zye tree."  Released June 8 in the USA.


TV - PBS
"Tojo's War" episode
     Almost 20 minutes into this documentary, historical newsreel footage shows a large room filled with diplomats.  India's Chandra Bohse (in 1943?) is speaking of his support for Japan, and a large bonsai is seen against the far wall.  This is a conifer in a slightly rectangular bowl.  This WGBH production had an original airdate of June 8.


Paramount Pictures movie
Lara Croft, The Tomb Raider
      Awakening suddenly from a dream and holding her curved dagger, Lara (Angelina Jolie) goes to investigate a metallic clanging noise in her mansion.  She goes down a short stairwell and pauses at the bottom, then walks right to left.  Behind her, between two white shaded lamps, is a bonsai seen briefly.  She passes it and turns back: we can see the plant again.  More shapely than a pom-pom, it is an upright juniper (perhaps) with a slightly curving dark brown trunk holding four foliage masses.  It is in a light brown, tallish columnar pot with at least two brass bands encircling the container's wood.  Lara moves to the paneling at the side of the stairwell and starts to smash the wood there.  When she makes an opening, there is a shot from under the stairwell of her looking into the dark recess.  The bonsai's foliage is just barely visible along the right edge of the opening, just out of focus.  "Boldly Grow's curse": it is not known if the tree survives the fire fight that later takes place in the mansion.  Premiered in the USA on June 11.  (Brought to RJB's attention by son Andrew and then pointed out by son Kenny.)


TV - BBC
"Absolutely Fabulous" episode
"Menopause"
     AUDIO ONLY  Not quite 10 minutes into this episode and getting ready to leave Edwina's kitchen, Bo (Mo Gaffney) states to shorter-by-a-head husband Marshall (Christopher Ryan), "Uh, hold up my little bonn-zye tree.  I know you have dreams of running with the redwoods, but you wouldn't last a second out there on your own."


Touchstone Pictures movie
Corky Romano
      Released on Oct. 12, this one is essentially an Easter egg: In a single shot we see part of a dwarf potted tree.  Intercut right after Corky's brothers have beaten up a group of skinheads, Agent Davis (Matthew Glave) is talking to Agent Shuster (Richard Roundtree) in the latter's office.  As his secretary appears at the door, Shuster listens and responds to her.  The foliage from the right-hand side of a juniper with a flattened "Y" trunk is seen over his right shoulder.  That's it.  The shape can only be that of a bonsai, albeit, indoors and as usual underlit.  (Ah, the joys of the rewind button.)


TV - DIY
"Oilcloth Cafe Curtain, Zen Gardening and more... " episode
"Zen Gardening"
     Jessie Mack Burns, Ask DIY gardening expert, builds a small dry garden with a potted bonsai in one corner.  Episode ADI-303 air date of October 20.


TV - Ford Explorer commerical      In a spot seen on Nov. 2, the Ackerman family is presented as 3rd generation Ford owners.  At one point, the father is said to be "working in the garden" -- as he is shown by a workbench with at least one bonsai.  The tree has a wide "Y" trunk and is in a rectangular pot.  The 2002 model year vehicle is in front.  The tree is seen very briefly in close up.  Another tree is shown being put into the trunk/hatchback.   (With assistance by Parris Janusek in personal e-mail to RJB on November 26, 2001)


Touchstone Pictures movie
The Royal Tenenbaums
     Towards the end of this film, two rather excellent bonsai -- a shimpaku and momiji -- are seen in what we later learn is the courtyard garden of the Japanese Consulate, which is next door to the Tenenbaum's house.  The trees are well seen, although briefly.  After crashing his car and being chased, Eli Cash (Owen Wilson) has been thrown over the wall and Chas (Ben Stiller) then joins him flat on the ground in front of the two bonsai.  No notice is signalled that these would be there.  On the left is the shimpaku, perhaps 2 to 2-1/2'H, its brown trunk curves to the right and has a few lighter jin visible under the dark green canopy of foliage.  The pot is dark brown, medium-depth rectangular with curved bottom edges and slight flare to the top.  To the right is the momiji forest, perhaps 3'H with rust-colored foliage above the thin black oval container.  A bamboo reed screen with bamboo crosspieces is the background these are set against; they rest on a platform of gray planks (placed front-to-back) not quite 6" off the light-gray gravel ground.   If you rent this film, do pause at the sight of these: they are, alas, all too fleeting.  (But at least they are not "cursed.")  World premiere at New York Film Festival October 5; general release in USA December 14.  (Contributed by Jeff Aldridge, Minnesota, in personal e-mail to RJB on December 31, 2001; details later by RJB)


2002
TV - DIY
"Hedge Border, Ferns, Replacing a Bathroom Vanity, Hand-Rubbed Finishes" episode
"Bonsai"
     Walter Reeves, Ask DIY Gardening expert) shows how to use overgrown plants from the nursery as bonsai.  Episode ADI-515 air date of July 23.


TV - CBS
"CSI: Miami" episode
"Kill Zone"
     A sniper is targeting downtown Miami in this November 18 episode.  The sniper left a partial Japanese Black pine needle at the scene, leading the detective to conclude a connection with bonsai, remarking that it required as much patience as being a sniper.  (The tree is obviously not indigenous to the area.  To get a perfect rifle shot at 900 ft (?) requires similar patience as training a tree for thirty years.)  When the sniper's beautiful trees are seen, they are indoors on pedestals in a dimly lit room.  (The writers need to do more research.  BTW - this is at least the second time a bonsai has appeared on this show.  Earlier in the season there was a rather large bonsai tree in the background at one of the crime scenes.)  (Contributed by Bart Thomas and Sean Nemecek in postings to Internet Bonsai Club, Nov. 19, 2002, with input by Bob & Michelle Hall June 10, 2003 from the previous night's re-run.)


TV - HGTV
"Winter Gardener" episode
"Growing Bonsai"
     A few tips for starting a bonsai of your own by host John Cretti and guest Harold Sasaki.  Episode TWG-109 air date of November 23.


2003
TV
"Andromeda" episode
"The Dark Backward"
     "On this [February 3] episode of the science fiction series Andromeda, a bonsai (or mock-up thereof) played a central role to the storyline.  Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram) is an alien who can see various possible futures.  As she is exploring different outcomes of a conflict, she uses the pruning of a bonsai tree as a tool.  She cuts off a branch, and experiences the playing out of a string of events.  Most futures lead to the deaths of her crewmembers, but she is able to 'go back'.  The nice trick many bonsai enthusiasts would love is that the pruned branch 'comes back' as well.  After exploring several dead end futures, she takes a risk and cuts off the main branch of the tree, representing the life of the captain.
     "Nice to see a bonsai in a storyline actually being part of the storyline, rather than a prop in the background to look pretty or say something about a character it belongs to.
      "This is actually about the 4th or 5th time bonsai or bonsai-esque plants are used in this series, but this is the first time where it really takes a spot at the center of a plotline."  (Contributed by Sam Crowell of Klamath Falls, OR in posting to Internet Bonsai Club, February 9, 2003)


TV - PBS
"George Shrinks" episode
"From Bad to Worse"
     In the February 3 episode (#20) of this Mixed Live Action/Animated program, Mom and Dad are going out and leave George and Junior with Aunt Eunice.  Aunt Eunice is the only person who treats George like he is three inches tall and can't do things that a regular 10 year old boy can do.  George sets out to prove himself to Aunt Eunice but in the process everything turns into a catastrophe.  Until, by accident, Aunt Eunice's prize bonsai tree gets broken and only George can fix it.  Aunt Eunice is so impressed by George, she apologizes for pre-judging him and they become fast friends.


TV - DIY
"Repairing Grout, Bonsai, Gourmet Dinner, Rearranging Furnishings and more" episode
"Bonsai"
     Walter Reeves, Ask DIY Gardening expert) shows how to use overgrown plants from the nursery as bonsai.  Episode ADI-702 air date of April 1.  (Yes, this segment is the same as originally presented on July 23, 2002, but now in a different mix of other segments in a different episode.)


TV - Cartoon Network
"Cowboy Bebop" episode
"Black Dog Serenade"
     This high-quality and intelligent 1998 Japanese anime series first aired in the U.S. on April 4, 2003.  The year is 2071 A.D.  Driven out of their terrestrial eden, humanity chose the stars as the final frontier.  In this session #16, we meet the ever steadfast Jet Black, a man who, with his old-world principles, lives at odds with this age's callous wind of change.  His is a life of duty and compassion for his fellow man: 'Abhor the sin, not the sinner.'  A man of eclectic tastes, he takes pleasure in Goethe even as he indulges his passion for Charlie Parker.  Although a compulsive gambler, Jet ordinarily finds peace of mind tending to his bonsai.  He is also a competent cook.  In his younger years he was a member of the ISSP (Inter Solar Systems Police).  Back then he was a hotshot officer, and was known by the nickname Black -- 'once he gets his teeth in you, he doesn't let go' -- Dog.  But he returned from the ISSP following an incident that left him badly injured and requiring cybernetic implants.  Before too long, however, he had begun his life as a bounty hunter.  (Said to be available on the Cowboy Bebop #4 DVD.)


TV - HGTV
"Decorating With Style" episode
"Bonsai Tablescape"
     Learn how to care for tender bonsai plants.  Episode DWS-832 air date of May 19.


Epsilon Motion Pictures and
Warner Bros. Pictures movie

The In-Laws
      Premiering in the U.S. also on May 19, this film shows its gem when Dr. Jerry Peyser (Albert Brooks) is on the phone "in the bathroom of Barbra Streisand's airplane," as piloted by Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas).  About 20 minutes into the film we thus see a juniper whose trunk rises on the right side of the dark tan long oval pot and doubles back to the left.  There should be an award for this tree's aweful location: next to the sink in a window-less bathroom onboard a private jet.


TV - HGTV
"TIPical Mary Ellen" episode
"Miniature Plant Displays"
     Miniatures are just smaller plants, and the best known example is probably the bonsai tree.  Any plant with small foliage, a small root system and that can live happily in a two-inch diameter container would make a good candidate for a miniature plant display.  Episode TIP-559 air date of June 24.


TV - PBS
"The Victory Garden"
     In this July 19 episode (#2816), host Michael Weishan is back in Vancouver at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, where he observes the majesty and art of bonsai trees.


TV - DIY
"Oriental Garden" episode
     "Bonsai" segment:  Paul James, host of HGTV's Gardening by the Yard, examines Michael Raska's bonsai collection; and "Bonsai Collectors" segment:  For 16 years Pam and Bob Hampel have collected bonsai trees, and their garden now features several hundred plants, some of which are show quality.  Episode DIG-158 air date of September 17.


TV - ABC
"According to Jim" episode
"The Errand"
     Halfway through this Sept. 23 episode, a tall-medium juniper in a blue glazed pot is pulled out of a shopping bag by Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and put on the kitchen table.  Two full shots of the tree and one of its right side (into the left edge of the picture).  The tree was followed by a pair of candles (one yellow, one purple) and then a mask and snorkle -- as if Jim (Jim Belushi) deliberately got the wrong gifts for their friends' 25th Anniversary.  One quick shot of the tree again right after the commercial break.


TV - DIY
"Unusual Gardens, Part 2" episode
"Tabletop Garden"
     This garden for kids of all ages includes a 1-gallon juniper as a bonsai.  Episode DIG-165 air date of September 26.


Miramax Films movie
Kill Bill, Vol. 1
     In the Chapter 5 segment, during the final third of the film, in The House Of Blue Leaves nightclub in Japan there might be a couple of bonsai very briefly seen in the shadows.  One bonsai is, indeed, visible: in the hallway as Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus) goes to the restroom.  The not-particularly-remarkable tree is in a shallow brown oval or rectangular pot and has a thin trunk.  The wispy foliage is heavier on the top half of the tree.  The height of the plant is perhaps 3x the container width (left-to-right), and the foliage width is perhaps 2 to 2-1/2x container width.   To the immediate right of the tree is a round plate which seems to be the same pale color as the wall behind them.  The plate is on a dark-colored stand.  The shot here is, at best, four seconds long.  The tree is seen out-of-focus a little earlier when the owner and his wife walk by.  He is carrying several beer bottles and asks (with subtitles) "What's gonna happen?"
     (The composition seen in the private room a few times in a blue oval pot behind O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) is an ikebana, not bonsai.)
     NOTE: This is a highly stylized and ultra-violent revenge saga which is partly an homage to the classic Chinese martial arts films of the 1970s.  It is definitely NOT A FAMILY FILM.  Strictly speaking, if you want to see it ONLY for the bonsai, pass on it and instead choose one of the other films listed here.  Released on Oct. 16.


Tamil movie with subtitles
Ragasiyamai
     By first time director Amuthan, "the entire movie revolves around bonsai trees.  Unlike romance in other movies, [this] is all about the love between a sculptor college student [Five Star fame Prasanna] and a college girl [Mumbai newcomer Neelam] whose hobby is to collect bonsai trees."  Released on Oct. 17.  (Per "The bonsai takes over," http://newstodaynet.com/talkies/1708tt5.htm, accessed 9/25/03.)




TV - HGTV

"The Insider's Garden" episode
"Hooked on Bonsai"
     "The graceful art of bonsai often appears intimidating; however, anyone can do it with a little study and practice.  We begin with an overview of different types of bonsai and show you how to choose your first bonsai plant.  Then, we visit a bonsai grower who once went to a bonsai show and got hooked on the miniature masterpieces.  Bonsai expert Bob Pressler of the Kamura Bonsai Nursery shows how to care for, transplant and shape bonsai.  Finally, learn some great decorating tips to display bonsai in your home."  Episode TIG-201 air date of October 18.


TV - "Acura MDX" Sports Utility Vehicle commercial        A bonsai Juniper (?) (or perhaps an artificial "Ming Tree" for ease of filming under the hot lights) is featured in this one.  It has the guy in the office looking out the window or at a slanted upright Bonsai in a rectangular tray, then zooms in on the rock path in the bonsai plant and you see the MDX driving over river rock around this huge tree.  The bonsai, possibly an evergreen with five touching foliage layers and planted right of center with a slight mounding at its base, is perhaps 12" tall with a 1" thick trunk in a tray maybe 15" across and 4" deep.  (Contributed by Uriah Heep in personal e-mail to RJB, November 13, 2003; details by Andrew Schell in personal e-mail to RJB, September 22, 2004, with a jpg from http://adland.tv/search/node/bonsai.)


TV - E! Entertainment
"The E! True Hollywood Story" episode
"Rock Star Daughters"
     In the segment interviewing Calico and Alice Cooper, a small three-thick-trunked juniper is seen between and behind them.  In a black oval pot with mossy ground cover and slightly untrimmed foliage, the tree seems to be actually an artificial Ming tree rather than a living plant.  Air date of December 7.


TV - HGTV
"Extreme Homes" episode
"Jumble House"
     The two original structures that now make up this home were built around 1940 as a two-bedroom cottage and a garage with a guest apartment above it.  Kelly Amen built a bridge that overlooks oak trees and a bonsai and Zen rock garden.  Episode EXT-609 air date of December 23.



2004
Taylor Made Entertainment/Turner Enterprises
Remarks on Marx: A Night at the Opera

       In this 34-minute "making of" documentary, the third commentator is writer Irving Brecher.  Behind him and to the far left of the screen on a narrow-top and high bowing-legged Chinese plant stand with gold highlights is a dwarfed potted tree in a small rectangular light blue glazed pot with a flaring brown or gold lip and feet.  The tree itself is less than a foot tall having a flaring base with the first branch low and to the right.  Additional branches are in the left hand foliage of the quite tapering brown trunk.  Large deciduous leaves -- a ming tree actually?  There are about 11 shots with Brecher and the tree behind him.  Released in USA May 4.  


20th Century Fox movie
The Day After Tomorrow

       DVD version: Scene #4, "A Big Drop," Chiyoda District, Tokyo.  As the police car goes by, we see Taka (Tim Hamaguchi) sitting at a small stand.  A bonsai in a flaring black or dark brown pot is very briefly seen with about a 15" tall tree.  The trunk rises slightly above the soil and splits into two trunks, the left side becoming the main part of the tree and apex.  Large leaves, rounded top.  The camera zooms in slightly to the tree, then cuts to Taka drinking sake.  The scene cuts back to the shop a few seconds later as his cell phone rings and he talks to his wife.  This is followed by three shots of an old man talking with the police officer, then back to the shop.  A cardboard plant (cycad) in a round nursery-type container is visible to the left edge of the shop's counter/opening.  The shopkeeper a little later closes the metal shutter right before the enormous ice chunks/hail fall.  (Saved from "Boldly Grow's curse"!)  There are other plants seen outside the shops on that street, but they seem to be only decorative, not artistically trained.  In the deleted scenes, #25 "Gary's Shady Deal/Taka Dies," a different version of this shows Taka having a cellphone conversation with the New York stockbroker instead.  The scene is slightly recut from the final film version.  Possibly a small bonsai in a white container is seen in passing right before the shot through the red metal grating as Taka tries to cross the street.  In this version, NO shutter was closed!  Released in USA May 28.


TV - HGTV
"Curb Appeal" episode
"Japanese Garden"
     Bonsai are added to a front yard landscaping   Episode CRB-411 air date of August 17.


TV - HGTV
"Gardening by the Yard" episode
"A Non-Traditional Bonsai"
       The fourth segment in this August 28 show (GBY-723) has master gardener Paul James demonstrating a new trend in gardening that's related to the ancient Japanese art of bonsai -- a non-traditional bonsai.


TV - HGTV
"TIPical Mary Ellen" episode
"Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls"
       The third segment in this August 31 show (TIP-811) is about "Caring for Bonsai Trees."  Master gardener Jonathan Pedersen shares tips on caring for and growing bonsai trees. 


TV - "Acura MDX" Sports Utility Vehicle commercial        This one ad shows what looked like a juniper bonsai sitting in an office with a guy looking at it apparently dreaming of how he could drive his MDX.  The MDX is seen from an aerial view driving over a dirt/gravel road & I think it has some fancy techno music.  Same tree but different ad as above?  (Contributed by Andrew Schell in personal e-mail to RJB, September 22, 2004.)


Paramount Pictures movie
Team America: World Police
      Released on Oct. 11, "there are mallsai junipers in the palace of the marionette Kim Jong Il in the new HILARIOUSLY FUNNY movie."  [Per pootsie from Columbus, Ohio in posting to bonsaitalk.com on Oct. 16, 2004]


Columbia Pictures movie
The Grudge
      At the 100:11 mark on the DVD version, a bonsai in a round brown pot with a thick lip -- almost like an Italian clay flower pot -- is seen in a brief shot on a cabinet next to a window in Det. Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi)'s office at night.  It is a nice, slightly delicate-looking informal upright pine with grayish bark on the not-so-thick trunk.  Rootage is seen at eye level at the top of the soil.  The pot is perhaps 4" deep, with the tree another 15" above the soil level.  No needles are seen on the underside of the branches.  The branch closest to the wall on the right is virtually touching the wall.  After the detective has viewed the surveillance tape, there is a long shot of the office with the tree seen to be positioned next to the outside window.  The left-most third of the tree is actually backed by the window's glass.
      At about the 111.13 mark of the DVD, the tree is seen again across the office, now with the window blind down.  There are three other shots of the tree in that brief scene.  (Released in USA October 22.)


2005
TV - BHG
"Australian Better Homes & Gardens"
     "Presenter Graham Ross shows two young girls how easy it is to start a small plant off as a bonsai plus great ideas for the weekend gardener and all about cannas."  Air date April 22.



Cine Bazar / Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment movie
Into the Sun
      There is a scene "in which an old japanese guy, who is pruning his bonsai, gets shot by some thugs..."  Released in USA February 15.  (Per Christiaan in posting to bonsaitalk.com on 7 Dec 2006)


Internet - YouTube video
"Bonsai Tree"
     An interesting piece.  A pop tune celebration of a tree gotten a week earlier from a shoppe, a small non-conifer with a straight trunk which curves to the side before straightening up again.  By the band Stilltide ©2005.  The pronunciation of the key word is correct.  In an "homage"(?) to the "Curse of Boldly Grow," the tree is watered near the end... (Per hans van meer in posting to IBC on 11/05/06; but also the link was given by Alasdair a week earlier in a post to BonsaiTalk forum)


TV - HGTV
"Gardening by the Yard" episode
  "Bamboo Fence"
     Master gardener Paul James shares step-by-step instructions for building a bamboo fence.  Dress up the bed instantly by adding some empty pots or a container plant--like a bonsai juniper.  Episode GBY-9030 air date of August 20.


TV - HGTV
"Rebecca's Garden" episode
"The Art of Bonsai"
     For some, the ancient art of bonsai is a perfect solution for life's hectic pace.  Episode REB-637 air date of September 6.


TV - DIY
"Asian Inspiration" episode
"Bonsai, Ferns and Grasses"
     Three overgrown trees are pruned to reveal their lovely structure, and the open space in enclosed with bamboo fencing, plants in Asian-style pots are added along with pea gravel swirled with shiny river rocks. Episode WKL-109 air date of September 15.


TV - "STAINMASTER® carpet" commercial      Seen in September, this ad sought to answer the question: what do parents do with the son's room when he goes off to college?  The room is first made into a workout/gym in gray tones, then done up in traditional dimly-lit Japanese style with a low table.  As the Dad on the left states that "Inner peace is getting boring," Mom on the right snips the little juniper bonsai in half.  The foliaged top tips over to the left off the small rectangular tray.  The commercial goes on to show other decorating possibilities, but we were too traumatized to take note... 


TV - WB
"The Batman" cartoon episode
"Batgirl Begins" (Part II)
     Extensive and bizarre is this Sept. 30 episode which RJB just happened to be alerted to by my family as the sequence was beginning.  About halfway through this half-hour show, a bonsai is seen in a shallow, gray, rectangular pot on a nightstand in Barbara Gordon's bedroom.  The tree "comes alive"/becomes (really) animated by the powers of the villain Poison Ivy, and walks out of its container on root-feet.  After the commercial break, the bonsai jumps onto Poison Ivy and her large mobile plant (think "Audrey II" from Little Shop of Horrors.)  A little later, the bonsai with two feet and a long tail (to help balance?) then distracts the guard at the Chlorogem plant by jumping on his desk.  A scene later when the bonsai jumps after Batman, Batgirl grabs it in midair and it grows a long tendril which throws Batgirl for a loop.  Later, when the giant plant comes up out of the asphalt in the street and its large red bloom opens, there inside is Poison Ivy holding and petting the bonsai like a cat.  The bonsai attacks Batgirl and is thrown down, but then is joined by at least four identicle cloned mobile dwarf trees.  They are apparently defeated in the ensuing confusion of a brief battle when the large plants are frozen.  Nothing more is seen of them.  (Whew -- major "Boldly Grow"!  I can hardly wait to see where some next-generation bonsai student or teacher confesses he/she was first attracted to the art because of this particular cartoon!?!) 


TV - DIY
"Japanese Tea Garden" episode
"Bonsai and Bamboo"
     Making a bonsai with a miniature brush cherry (Eugenia myrtifolia Nanum).  Episode WKG-206 air date of November 8.


TV - ABC
"Good Morning America"
     In an interview with the Queen Rania of Jordan on Nov. 11 following a string of deadly hotel bombings, there is a small informal upright bonsai, with leaves, in a brown oval pot on a desk behind Her Majesty to the right.  (Posting for the Internet Bonsai Club, "Bonsai in the News - The Queen of Jordan," http://internetbonsaiclub.org/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=132&topic=17357.0 by Tony Ashton and responses for speculation on this set piece; "Queen Rania: Jordanians Are Determined After Bombings," http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1302965


TV - "Kleenex"® commercial      On Nov. 15 we saw the following: A bespectacled Caucasian monk rights a baby turtle that was upside down, puts a goldfish out of water back into the pond, and sweeps up a bug gently into his dustpan.  In his residence, he blows his nose into a tissue.  A small mallsai juniper in a black rectangular tray is behind him on screen-right.  The monk hears the announcer say that Kleenex® kills some 99% of germs -- and he looks a little worried.  Then comes the tag lines: "Thank goodness for forgiveness.  Thank goodness for Kleenex®."


TV - DIY
"Two-Sided Fence, Part 2" episode
"Plantings"
     A bonsai is placed on a plinth in front of a red circle on the fence.  Episode WKL-408 air date of November 22.


Paramount Pictures movie
AEon Flux
      "...there is a brief bonsai cameo in the middle of the movie.  It's on the shelf in the background when Aeon (Charlize Theron) enters Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas)'s lab."  There is a bright white lit wall behind the tree and a few low glass containers in front of it.  Then there is a fight with Freya (Caroline Chikezie) in the library, and back to the lab for a very few brief glimpses, and then back to the library.  Released in USA December 2.  (Per rxweitz in posting to bonsaitalk.com on 21 Aug 2007) 




Anyone who knows of additional TV, film, or theatrical uses of bonsai -- or corrections to any portrayal in these four parts -- is asked to please contact rjb@magiminiland.org .  Contributor acknowledgment will be posted.  Please include as many details as possible.  We will be confirming and filling in some blanks by way of the various film and TV sites on the web (first choice being the The Internet Movie Database).  Thank you!




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