Author Topic: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)  (Read 27362 times)

'Noke

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #80 on: May 04, 2010, 04:27:18 AM »
We should do a part 2 chat! Yah, the Aunt is an interesting character. In the way that she's the only character I really don't think works.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

Bondo

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #81 on: May 04, 2010, 07:11:51 AM »
I think I was basically right there at B+ with you ferris. One thing I noticed is that like the scene you alluded to in Totoro, there is a family bathtime scene in Grave. As much as these scenes may stand out to a Westerner, I do think they highlight the importance of the bath as part of Japanese culture; whether it is as sex segregated public baths or in these cases a family bath.

smirnoff

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #82 on: May 04, 2010, 08:29:02 AM »
I find the film much more interesting when looked at as an allegory (however imperfect). Seita is the Japanese Empire, Setsuko is the Japanese citizens. It's the story of a overly proud Empire that deceives it people. It's in over it's head and a bit naive. The child-like people follow along because they have no choice, and try to make the best of the situation. In the end the Empire fails to provide for itself or it's citizens.

Emotionally this film did not effect me. The second time around I tried looking at it in a different way and that improved the experience, so I'm just throwing it out there. I still do not like the movie though.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 08:53:47 AM by smirnoff »

ferris

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #83 on: May 04, 2010, 09:19:20 AM »
I find the film much more interesting when looked at as an allegory (however imperfect). Seita is the Japanese Empire, Setsuko is the Japanese citizens. It's the story of a overly proud Empire that deceives it people. It's in over it's head and a bit naive. The child-like people follow along because they have no choice, and try to make the best of the situation. In the end the Empire fails to provide for itself or it's citizens.

Emotionally this film did not effect me. The second time around I tried looking at it in a different way and that improved the experience, so I'm just throwing it out there. I still do not like the movie though.

So glad you mentioned that.  I hadn't put in the mental work to peel back the layers of allegory - which were certainly present (I mean seriously - look at the film's name!). 
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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'Noke

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #84 on: May 04, 2010, 10:30:21 AM »
BTW, I'm still a bit dissapointed it didn't work out, but fantastic job of remembering what we talked about in the chat! It was a very good summary of what we went over.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

smirnoff

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #85 on: May 04, 2010, 10:48:07 AM »
Kiki's Delivery Service is the perfect follow-up to Grave of the Fireflies, especially if it's got you feeling down. I look forward to reading your reviews (or discussion).

Melvil

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #86 on: May 04, 2010, 11:47:05 AM »
Good stuff! The chat transcript would have been cool, but good recovery ferris. :) Once again I side more with 'Noke's verdict than ferris', but I enjoy both takes.

ferris

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #87 on: May 04, 2010, 02:02:01 PM »
BTW, I'm still a bit dissapointed it didn't work out, but fantastic job of remembering what we talked about in the chat! It was a very good summary of what we went over.

Yeah I'm really pissed at myself.  I'm one of those save-every-5-seconds kinda guys.  It's very uncharacteristic of me to completely blow it like that.
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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'Noke

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #88 on: May 08, 2010, 06:29:37 AM »
Miyazaki Marathon: Film #5
Kiki's Delivery Service


Ferrisí Review



Kiki's Delivery Service
(1989)

What a nice surprise!  I had heard a few comments that this was kinda lightweight Miyazaki. In fact I had caught a bit of this on TV once about 15 years ago and shut it off after about 10 minutes because it seemed like a "wierd little girl's cartoon".  So I really wasn't expecting much.... 

Well, it turned out to be pretty great!

This is the story of a young girl who happens to be a witch. On her 13th birthday she has to leave home and find a town to begin her training.  The fact she is a witch is not much of a shock to people. It's like having celebrity's daughter in town.  (Oh! You're Sting's kid?  Oh...hmm...that's cool!).

The town she settles in is Koriko - the town is beautifully rendered.  It is an idyllic seaside setting reminiscent of perhaps Stockholm.  Her journey also takes her to the countryside and a dark forest - further invoking a Germanic or Scandinavian setting.  I was really taken by the beauty of this city!





What follows is the story of a young girl's transformation towards independence.  Once again, you have to give so much credit to this quality production of a female coming of age story.  They are far more rare than the same film with a male protagonist - and rarer still are ones that are this quality.  Kiki is my favorite female lead of the marathon so far. She seems much more well-rounded and "human" (see: fallible, therefor more sympathetic) then the more idyllic and maybe too precious leads we had in Naucissa and My Neighbor Totoro.  She is earnest and kindhearted, but a bit awkward and clumsy - and in some cases downright mean.  Her big heart just won me over - especially in that scene where they were making pies.


Is there no movie that can't be made better with a dirigible?

Looking back at the previous works, this was a nice departure for Miyazaki - We started in a classic setting: the rural farmlands. But almost as if so say to his fans, ok -it's time for us to leave the country and head to town, that's just what this movie did.  Gone too are the cute Pokemon characters (as my wife has been calling them).  For me it was a nice break too -because I was tiring a bit from that diminutive!



I've seen five Miyazaki films now.  I've started to look forward to seeing my old friends: recurring characters: airships, factories, fires and the fantastic Hisaishi score. They are used so differently in every film - but it's like having a favorite uncle come to visit: you know he's going to do a card trick and tell a slightly off-color joke.  Even though it's kinda predictable he switches it up just enough every time to leave you wanting more.

I chose the subtitled version over the dubbed version.  Normally I'm a stickler for the subtitled when there is a choice, but I was finding with Miyazaki that I was missing way too much in the visuals trying to keep up with the reading so I've been doing mostly the dubs.

In this one I started with the dubbed but the voice of the cat (is that Phil Hartman?) in the dub was so off-putting, that I decided to start over with the Japanese.  So glad I did.  Little did I realize how great a character that cat was going to be - and the original voice is much much different than the English dub!!  I think I'm going to try to continue with the subtitles from here on out.  We'll see how it goes.



We were talking earlier about the "old friends".  Another trend I'm seeing in this marathon is drawings within the drawing.  These really stand out for me and I love them.  It's in those moments you realize - oh yeah holy crap this is all hand-drawn!



The action scenes towards the end got a bit muddled for me, but I think we did need them.  It was a really nice moment for Kiki and her relationship with the boy, and redeeming herself on her personal journey.

So anyways.  A lot of fun for me.  This still isn't top 100 for me.  But I did put it in my consideration list for future rewatches.
 




PS: Sometimes being colorblind is nice.  Her black dress looked a pretty shade of purple to me the whole film.  Not sure why my brain decided it was purple, but let me assure everyone it is very nice


Verdict:
Big suprise.  Charming, fun and really beautiful.  My favorite female lead thus far in the marathon

Grade: A

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'Noke's Review


Kikiís Delivery Service

Kikiís Delivery Service lives in a world similar to most Miyazaki creations, where the magical and the magically gifted are commonly accepted in society. Witches are somewhat commonplace, and when a witch turns 13 they usually spend a year away from the home in order to live in another city. The day Kiki decides to leave, she travels to an island surrounded by this gorgeous reflective water, and filled with white houses, kinda like a Grecian island, you know?

But when she gets there she doesnít make the best of first impressions, ending up annoying most of the townspeople and getting in a bit of trouble with the law. The first person who takes a liking to her is someone she doesnít quite like. Fun times right?


Kiki is mostly about making a home for yourself, the troubles and hardships that come with that. Itís about moving, moving to a new city and finding places to stay, and people to help. Thankfully, Kiki is a kind and smart girl, and she takes advantage of every opportunity presented to her. During the film, that isnít many, but she does what she can with the friendships she has. This will lead to her becoming a success in the town after she does something particularly heroic, but we arenít just there yet. The movie is about getting to that point.


Kiki is also about passion, and when we feel passion towards something, and how it works, ya know? This isnít apparent till later on, but at the moment where Kiki loses her ability to fly. This comes at a time when life seems to be going well for her.  She also seems to lose her ability to be able to decipher what Jiji is saying. At this time she decides to take a trip out to the cabin of one of her friends, Ursula. She lives in a cabin in the woods, a recluse where she is able to work on her art. And then the movie is kinda about passion, passion for art, or for life, or, in Kikiís case, for flying. And itís the idea that your passion can leave you for short spells but when you feel passion for something on that level it never truly goes away. And thatís a lovely message.


I felt at home with these characters, like in every Miyazaki movie, but here the themes were so resonant to me. Yes, this film isnít as great as some of the others, and the conflict jumps from one thing to another which means that itís not quite the level of a Nausicaa, but               
Itís a movie that I feel like responds to my everyday life more than those ones. Itís a movie that sort of tells you just love life, ya know? Just live it man. And Iím all for any movie which gives me a message like that.


Thereís some wonderful craft to this film. Miyazaki renders flight beautifully, not just whenever Kiki flies but simple things like whenever there are seagulls in the background. The town is full of beautiful architecture, blue skies and blue seas, and it just warms the eyes with beauty. The film feels covered with the reflective blue skies, which makes the green of the forrest and the dark of night/patter of rain all the more strange to watch.


The truly transcendent moments are small bits of character reveals, small shots. Shots like seagulls jumping towards the sky, as if the camera is stuck on a blast of wind. The painting within a picture (reading Ferrisí review reminded me of how incredible that is.) The train they ride on when going towards the town. Or the idea of going at the full moon (nice little plot point, and makes for some great shots.) little comedic touches like Jiji stuck in a house with a dog, and forced to act as a stuffed pet. Stuff like that flesh the film out.


Flight is something Miyazaki is preoccupied with in his films. The idea of flight is so tantalising to us humans, who arenít actually able to fly on our own but posses brain power to create tools to allow us to fly. The thrill it provides is just beyond our reach. But this movie has only some of that. Itís more about someone who can fly but loses that ability. Or somethiní. Thereís also Tombo who is obsessed with manmade machines with the ability to fly, but I donít think heís looking for the thrill of flying himself.


Kiki is a simple soul. Sheís just someone trying to make her way in this world. She has some flaws to her, and the movie makes these flaws apparent. Sheís not welcoming of all people, most notably her relationship with Tombo feels reluctant and heís the one opportunity she doesnít really take advantage of that. Sheís clumsy; she can sometimes leave things till late. But sheís got a good heart at the center, and thatís all that matters. Right?


Kiki is surrounded by people who love and support her, and it compliments whatís already a delightful little movie. Jiji is a nice sidekick, always voicing his opinion and making fun about Kikiís main choices and her actions. Asano is perfect landlord, kind and helpful. Ursula is an unpretentious artist (Wait, those exist?). And the old lady is very nice too.

Where is it?: Itís better than My Neighbour Totoro I guess, mainly cause I had a more personal reaction to it. Sweet movie.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

oldkid

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Re: 'Noke and Ferris do a little 'Zaki (Miyazaki Marathon + 1 Takahata!)
« Reply #89 on: May 08, 2010, 10:53:25 AM »
I'm so glad you guys liked it so much-- better than I did, actually.  It truly is a "sweet" film, I just didn't consider it "great" like so many other Miyazaki. 

I will say, though, that I, too, noticed the art in this film-- truly amazing!
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