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Author Topic: Bondo's Great Directors  (Read 51113 times)

Bill Thompson

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #90 on: May 15, 2010, 04:33:58 PM »
Obviously I disagree, Kiki is a wonderful film, that is far from insubstantial or trivial, unless of course you find the story of female maturity trivial, and I don't. The world it takes place in is also amazing, full of wonder and great imagination.

Bondo

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #91 on: May 15, 2010, 05:26:19 PM »
Obviously I disagree, Kiki is a wonderful film, that is far from insubstantial or trivial, unless of course you find the story of female maturity trivial, and I don't.

I'm not sure that is fair. I don't find stories of female maturity trivial, I find this story of female maturity trivial. I don't see the challenges she faces or the growth to be substantial in any way. She loses her powers for like a whole day, big whoop.

Bill Thompson

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #92 on: May 15, 2010, 05:35:41 PM »
Obviously I disagree, Kiki is a wonderful film, that is far from insubstantial or trivial, unless of course you find the story of female maturity trivial, and I don't.

I'm not sure that is fair. I don't find stories of female maturity trivial, I find this story of female maturity trivial. I don't see the challenges she faces or the growth to be substantial in any way. She loses her powers for like a whole day, big whoop.

The loss of her powers really isn't that important, it's merely step Z in her discovery of who she really is away from home. A good analogy would be that of when relationships end, most of the time it isn't the big even that brought about the end of the relationship, rather it's all the little things that led to that big event that brought about the end of the relationship. But, it's easier to focus on that one big event, so that's what people focus on. In Kiki's it's easy to focus on the loss of her magic, but that's merely the big event that was precipitated by many lessons, trials and tribulations that actually make Kiki into the mature woman she becomes by the end of the picture.

smirnoff

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #93 on: May 15, 2010, 11:39:17 PM »
Why do witches ride brooms anyways? Is that some sort of sexist holdover from a pre-feminism era? What do warlocks fly? Lawnmowers?

Bondo

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #94 on: May 15, 2010, 11:50:39 PM »
Why do witches ride brooms anyways? Is that some sort of sexist holdover from a pre-feminism era? What do warlocks fly? Lawnmowers?

Harry Potter is known for his ability with a pole between his legs...so wizards also use brooms.

smirnoff

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #95 on: May 16, 2010, 08:57:24 AM »
Why do witches ride brooms anyways? Is that some sort of sexist holdover from a pre-feminism era? What do warlocks fly? Lawnmowers?

Harry Potter is known for his ability with a pole between his legs...so wizards also use brooms.

Lol. Well put, Bondo ;)

Bondo

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #96 on: May 19, 2010, 12:52:01 AM »
Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992)

So have we decided the question of whether Miyazaki is a skeezy old man? The unifying connection between all his films is impressive young girls. They may be smart or precocious or brave or skilled, but they are in one or many ways stellar. Porco Rosso perhaps takes it the furthest with an ambiguous sort of relationship between the middle-aged Porco Rosso and 17 year old Fio (who is the object of desire of all the adults, though admittedly so is the other main female character). Her grandfather even acknowledges that the intentions may not be entirely innocent for the avowed womanizer, telling Porco to keep his hands off.

Anyway, this makes an interesting double feature with Top Gun, which I watched earlier. I was about to say that unlike Top Gun, this doesn't have the excessive machismo, but it really has even more machismo, and it feels less authentic. Here the stakes seem so much less, failing to justify the antagonism between Porco and Curtis, and yet the antagonism leads to a direct physical confrontation. Similarly Curtis' pursuits of women goes beyond a persistent, flirty confidence to creepy overreach.

I do like the idea put forward about a distinction between Porco's piggish, kind of sloth/hedonist form of selfishness and the arrogant, ambitious selfishness of Curtis. It is in a way saying, yeah, Porco is a pig, but that might be better than being a man. But ultimately the film seems a bit confused about what its central conceit is. Too many avenues are introduced (Porco and Gina's romantic potential) without any satisfying payoff. It makes me inclined to view the film with the limited emotions with which Porco seems to view the world. This narrative confusion combined with rather unenthralling action sequences ultimately leaves me unsatisfied.

Rating: 2/5

As a bit of a guide for this marathon so far, they are ranked like this (with ones yet to be re-seen in parenthesis):
(Spirited Away)
Nausicaa
-------
(Howl's)
(Totoro)
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Mononoke
(Lupin III)
Castle In The Sky
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Porco
Kiki's
(Ponyo)

Bill Thompson

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #97 on: May 19, 2010, 07:44:07 AM »
Once again, I disagree, and the central conceit of the film is one man battling himself to find his true nature.

Bondo

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2010, 12:50:40 AM »
My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

Released the same year as Grave of the Fireflies, I think this film would work as a double feature. That film features tragedy at a massive scale and is fairly unyielding in its bleakness. Totoro explores a personal family struggle in a much more escapist fashion. The sadness rises to the surface only sporadically and is tucked into such a fanciful fantasy realm of the totoros and the soot spirits that it feels a little distant. This combination of real weight but emotional distance makes for an interesting contrast. I also appreciate the portrait of the father with his daughters. It somewhat brings to mind the underrated Grace Is Gone from a few years back. I don't feel like there are enough movies that emphasize fathers as an important parent in being a gentle emotional support.

I do get a feeling that Miyazaki is borrowing some of his characters. When I see the neighbor boy and his grandmother, I swear I saw those characters in something else, though I can't place it. I've had this feeling about some of the lead characters where the girls faces often seem to blend together. But that gripe aside, Totoro solidified its place for me in the second viewing a way that none but Nausicaa have so far. Next up are Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, two of my favorites.

Rating: 4/5

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Revisiting Great Directors
« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2010, 09:27:58 AM »