Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Sunday, 24 February 2008

60 seconds reviews

apart from my usual trips to the yoga centre and some other sporadic outings, which i will briefly record here, i have spent most of my time indoors, watching movies and... doing research. i have been offered to participate to an exciting fashion project, and i am seriously considering it. for obvious reasons, i cannot say much about it now, but it is very likely you will see more fashion-orientated posts in the near future. but in the meantime, i want to share with you the following 60 seconds reviews:

Only Yesterday

Director: Isao Takahata
Writer: Isao Takahata

This is a delicate and lyrical story of the bitter/sweet memories of infancy, which are universal despite being rooted in the '60s japan. it is certainly the most realistic japanese production i watched since Candy Candy, but without the intrigues and dramas of the latter. its verisimilitude and *intimist* approach makes this film a psychological analysis of the coming-to-age reality.

My Neighours the Yamadas

Director: Isao Takahata
Writers: Isao Takahata (writer), Leo ChuEric Garcia (English language adaptation), Hisaichi Ishii (comic)

My Neighours the Yamadas, by the same director of Only Yesterday, likewise offers watercolour sketches of japanese suburban life, with understated humour and irony. there is the working father who thinks he wear the trousers, the caring, if lazy, stay-at-home mum, the live-in savvy and direct grandmother, the fat son constantly inflicting irony and self-irony and the pretty daughter, each with specific features their more (in)famous american counterparts such as the simpsons and griffins. but, unlike them, there are far less cultural references and eccentricities here. although the Yamadas occasionally fly into a surreal dream, their life stays rooted in their everyday routine, and i believe this is the magic of this anime.

My Neighbour Totoro
Director: Hayao Miyazaki Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

this is japanese animation at its best - a lovely family cartoon with the fantasy element left suspended between the girls' imagination and the mysteries of the forest.

two over-excited girls (Satzuko and Mei) move into a derelict country house with their intellectual daddy, who is extremely positive and relaxed, to stay closer to their hospitalised mum. this element of drama in the background cast a shade into this otherwise idyllic scenario in which Satzuko and Mei - who reminded us our nieces Juliette and Ilsa for their expressiveness and comic behaviour – explore the surroundings until they come into contact with the spirits of the nearby forest. totoro, despite being a huge troll, is an enormous puff of sweetness and magnanimity and his *rain-dance* is the evidence of his regenerating powers. here it is a comic scene with its uplifting soundtrack:

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