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How much I love Hayao Miyazaki

When you were a kid, did you ever read a book that you loved so much that you just wanted to sit down and write it all over again, yourself? Just sit down with a pen and paper and write the words, copy them out of the text, because you loved them so much ... because they touched and moved you so deeply.

I've never felt that way about a movie. Until now.

The hubby and I went to see "Spirited Away" tonight. Oh. My. God. I loved Hayao Miyazaki before seeing this film, but ... now? Now I'm speechless. I honestly don't know how to describe this film in words.

I thought I might very well like this movie more than "Princess Mononoke," but I didn't think there was even a remote chance that I would enjoy it more than "My Neighbor Totoro" ... but I did.

Miyazaki weaves such incredible tapestries of folk tale and mythology and modern life and what looks to me like Toaist philosophy. Chihiro, the young heroine of "Spirited Away," is not a Hollywood character. She is kind and afraid and brave and generous and compassionate. She is quietly, gently, lovingly strong.

She is the person I try to be, every day of my life. And I'm so grateful to Hayao Miyazaki for showing her as a heroine.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2002 06:44 am (UTC)
Completely off topic...
Hi there. I just noticed you left a comment on one of my LJ entries. Then I remembered that I recently changed my settings so that only people on my Friends list could post comments (since they're usually the only ones who comment anyway); and, well, I just didn't want you to think it was because of you, should you show up again and try to say something. Anyway, I've changed the settings so Registered Users can post comments. Glad you liked the entry. Drop in anytime! Now I have to go read your speculation as to Buffy's Season Seven Big Bad.

On topic: Spirited Away is going to be playing here soon, and your review got me even more excited than I already was. I can't wait!
Nov. 16th, 2002 08:41 am (UTC)
Re: Completely off topic...
Hey there! I doubt I would have taken it personally, since I didn't write anything remotely offensive (unless you violently object to compliments). But I'm glad you left this comment, because it reminded me how much I enjoyed your journal. I've added you to my own friends list so that I won't lose track of your LJ again, but this puts you under no obligation to return the favor. I just love to read interesting, intelligent stuff. :-)
Nov. 16th, 2002 07:59 am (UTC)
It sounds as though the movie was really interesting..Can you tell us a little bit about the plot? Crazy, I know. But I like plot. Plot, Plot, Plot, Plot, Plot. Say it with me. Doesn't it sound like onomonopea for some crazy farm animal. Like the sound a duck's feet make when walking around on land?
Nov. 16th, 2002 08:39 am (UTC)
Hrm. Plot. Er. Okay, first, let me assure you that I adore the plot of this film. And, secondly, I would be tempted toward violence against anyone who spoiled you for it. Let me see if I can write a non-spoilery plot description. It's going to be difficult, because this film has one of the most creative, cohesive, simply beautiful plots I've ever seen.

Er. Okay, yeah. Plot. Well, ya see, it's about a little girl (probably around 9 or 10 years old, I'd guess) who's rather timid and not inclined toward adventure. But adventure finds her, anyway, and reveals her true strengths. Vague, I know. But I'm trying hard to avoid the spoilers. It's basically a Japanese folk tale, into which a modern-day child has been plunked.
Nov. 16th, 2002 08:41 am (UTC)
(argh - second attempt at posting)

I saw it a couple months ago... I think it was his best work to date. If you haven't seen it, try Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds. Normally, I go for the ultra-violence in anime, but his work is just gorgeous beyond words.
Nov. 16th, 2002 08:49 am (UTC)
Yes, the hubby has recommended "Nausicaa" to me, as well. Both the film and the manga. Unfortunately, since EVIL DISNEY owns the rights to all Miyazaki stuff in the U.S., his work isn't very widely available. (Note: the hubby and I spent much of our time in the theatre before the film began in a discussion of the evilness of Disney and their largely successful attempts to co-opt the work of potential competitors. We spent the rest of the time congratulating ourselves on choosing to go see the film on the night that the new Harry Potter movie had opened ... only two kids in the whole theatre.)
Nov. 16th, 2002 09:11 am (UTC)
Better than Totoro?? Blasphemy!
Seriously, I need to see this film. Unfortunatley the only theaters that show anything even remotely non-mainstream are the really expensive ones. We'll get there eventually, dammit!
Nov. 18th, 2002 04:39 pm (UTC)
Like I said, I never would have expected that I would like it more than I liked Totoro ... no way. But I did. That doesn't necessarily mean it's better than Totoro, though, because your mileage may vary.

I was telling the hubby last night, though, that if someone had set out to make a movie just for me, and had done everything possible to make it my ideal movie, they couldn't have done better than this. I now finally have a definite answer for the question "What is your favorite movie?"
Nov. 18th, 2002 08:42 am (UTC)
Second the rec.
For what its worth (probably not a lot :), I'll second Kimberly's recommendation. Spirited away was a great film, with a number of memorable characters and a great feeling of their being a whole world there, of which you only got to see a slice.

-=- Matt
Nov. 18th, 2002 04:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Second the rec.
Hi, Matt! (sorry ... I just always have this strange and uncontrollable desire to wave to you whenever you post comments on my journal) I owe you an email. I'm a bad bad person.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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