Archive for August 30th, 2009

by Joel Bocko

What comes to mind when you hear the words “extraordinary stories”? An adventurous journey down a long river, pursuing a strange and possibly illicit mission? A mysterious murder, witnessed by a man who flees and hides from his pursuers while unraveling the crime? A journey spanning years and continents, in pursuit of a buried treasure? Is it war which quickens the pulse, with its threat of violent death and suggestion of enemies hidden away in the jungle, waiting to launch a guerrilla attack? Or perhaps you are a romantic, and your extraordinary story would involve an enigmatic woman, whose enchanted entrance into your life seems to foreshadow an implicit departure – one which arrives one day, confirming your suspicions while breaking your heart. As you’ll notice, the title of Argentinian writer/director Mariano Llinás’ remarkable film is plural. Not one but all of these storylines are pursued (simultaneously, no less), with surprising results. (more…)

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grave 1

(Japan 1988 94m) DVD1/2

Aka. Hotaru no haka

The little red tin

p  Tohru Hara  d/w  Isao Takahata  novel  Akiyuki Nosaka  ed  Takeshi Seyama  m  Yoshio Mamiya  art  Ryoichi Sato

VOICES BY:- Rhoda Chrosite (Setsuko), J.Robert Spencer (Seito), Amy Jones (aunt), Veronica Taylor (mother), Shannon Conley, Crispin Freeman, Dan Green,

For those who do not know Takahata’s masterpiece, my exclaiming it to be one of the most emotional films in the entire list would seem like a statement bordering on lunacy, when you consider some of the material herein.  Yet it is not lunacy, but rather a profound response to a truly profound movie.  And before you say it, yes, it is an animated film.  But to merely call this an animated film doesn’t just insult the film, it insults the reader.  Studio Ghibli has, in recent times, meant simply the work of Hayao Mizayaki to most westerners, but Takahata’s film equals anything Miyazaki has ever achieved and may come to be regarded as the greatest Japanese anime film of them all.  (more…)

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