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Archive for June, 2009

Tokyo Sonata Review

I really prefer the approach that Japanese directors take with dramatic films.  While I haven’t seen every Japanese film in existence, the ones that I have seen, both old and new, take a very subtle and low-key approach with less dramatic music or cinematic cues.  This allows the script and actors to speak for themselves instead of being coated with stylistic effects.  Personally, I find this affects me more than watching overproduced dramas because you are less aware of what …

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Up! Review

Pixar, in my opinion, shares some similarities with Studio Ghibli – they both put out, rather consistently, well-made films that are miles above the competition. Now, I wouldn’t say that Pixar has ever managed to reach the heights that Ghibli did with Mononoke-hime or Grave of the Fireflies, but all the same, their movies are enjoyable and imaginative without insulting your intelligence. Just like with many Ghibli films, while they may seem like children’s films at first glance, they …

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Mononoke – hime (Thoughts / Favourite Scenes / Making of Documentary)

Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke) is tied as my favourite Ghibli film (along with Mimi wo Sumaseba) and also happens to be one of my favourite works of fiction altogether. It is such an expansive story with a rich mythological backdrop and epic scale - but without sacrificing the more intimate, human elements. No single scene feels out of place, no piece of dialogue feels unecessary. The viewer is utterly captivated and brought into this world that feels so real despite the brain telling you that it must be fiction. I think that other Miyazaki films, such as Porco Rosso or Laputa, show us that he is on a brilliant level of filmmaking. But to me, Mononoke-hime goes beyond even the high standard of those films - it is a film that must have been the work of a genius with a superb natural ability for visual storytelling. Read more

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