Friday, September 14, 2007

As charming as it gets

Subject: Cinema
Studio Ghibli's "Whisper of the Heart" isn't particularly as well known as the flagship works from Miyazaki himself, but seeing as he wrote and storyboarded this one, I'm surprised I wasn't more familiar with it.

On paper, besides the Ghibli/Miyzaki imprinteur, it's got everything going against it in the annals of what I personally would be interested in. Schoolkids. Awkward first romance. "Let's just be friends." Learning a "valuable lesson". The uniforms, the concrete bulwarks, the trains, the cicaedas. The usual that seems to fill up so many drawn "cuts" (learning the terminology) of so many animators on so many shows out of Japan.

But this one has such a simple honesty and artistry, an attention to detail (one of my favorite things, of course), that it charmed the socks off of me. "The start of something stories are made of." I really do like a good, simple, honest story.

I'm quite a cynical curmudgeon usually, but these sorts of things bring out the big softie in me. Well done.

Favorite part, and the most simple: The cat, "Moon", when our lead's story was finished, had this subtle but very clear expression on his face -- a sort of "my work here is finished." Brilliant, and very satisfying. If you watch it, you'll see what I mean.

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