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The Mike Toole Show - Hakuna Takahata


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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:51 pm Reply with quote
I don't know I found the ending to the movie kind of haunting. It's like it's supposed to be this grand homecoming for Kaguya and yet it's like she's being condemned to a life of unhappiness and regret. The fact that the cloak doesn't seem to work at the end and she recalls that something is missing in her life as she turns back to look at Earth with this expression of longing and almost guilt really hit home. There's a certain inevitability to it which the movie captures really well in it's final scenes but it's still pretty depressing.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:31 pm Reply with quote
I saw the ending as a metaphor for death; she has to leave the bright, noisy Earth and go to a dark, silent, unchanging place and she can never come back.

There seem to be deliberate little microcosms of life throughout the film. When Kaguya is briefly impressed by one of the suitors until her mother blindsides him into revealing how shallow and selfish he is, she experiences heartbreak in the space of one scene. When one of the other suitors spoiler[dies (in ridiculous fashion)] trying to fulfill her fool's errand, she feels regret over something she deliberately chose as a clever act at the time.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:03 pm Reply with quote
There was a documentary that sort of paired with Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Isao Takahata and His Tale of Princess Kaguya. It was originally on Japanese TV, but it shows him working on his film, and does reveal a lot about the sort of filmmaker he is. There's definitely little of Miyazaki's methodical nature; he seems to just work at his own pace.

I saw Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon recently, but I think Hols spoiled me: I didn't find the former as impressive as the latter. It had its own identity, and interesting ideas, certainly, and I'm glad I watched it, but as a work of cinema I felt Hols gelled into a higher-quality picture. Still have to see Chie and Gauche the Cellist, though, as well as I suppose everything else the Ghibli Wiki mentions him contributing to.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:23 pm Reply with quote
Mike wrote:
Susanoo is supposed to be tough and assertive, sure, but there's a feeling of inexorability about his hero's journey. We have very little doubt he'll succeed...

I'm not sure how it could be otherwise. Susanoo is a god whose mythology the Japanese are quite familiar with. It would be kind of like trying to make a movie about Jesus and keeping you in doubt about whether he will make it to Jerusalem.

Horus sounds like an interesting film. I'll chip in if I can have Sundays.

Btw, the still of the cat appears twice in the article. Smile
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Blackiris_



Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 338
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for the article. I've always though that Takahata has an extraordinary talent for expression the most mundane feelings and interactions, and I've always loved him for that.

I'll be taking a look at Chie shortly. Horus hasn't aged well, although it certainly was a milestone, but I've really liked Gauche.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
I don't know I found the ending to the movie kind of haunting. It's like it's supposed to be this grand homecoming for Kaguya and yet it's like she's being condemned to a life of unhappiness and regret.


No there is no unhappiness and regret where Kaguya is going. There is no feelings at all. And that is the point, while she will never be sad or hurt again (and there was plenty of that on Earth) she will miss out on the joys and happiness of living on Earth as well.
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Animerican14



Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 944
Location: Saint Louis, MO
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:42 pm Reply with quote
I barely get out to the movies, but if Princess Kaguya at all made it out here, I'd really like to go and see it. Am disappointed that no St. Louis theaters seem to be in its future-- that's very unfortunate, as we did get The Wind Rises in the local Landmark theatre here and I'd have thought the Ghibli association would bolster its chances here. Sigh.

Think most everyone who knows the name Takahata has also seen Grave of the Fireflies, so I don't think I need to say much about that. (Will say, though, CPM did a spankin' good job with its two-disc DVD version!) I think the only other Takahata film I've seen was… some of Only Yesterday? Saw that back when it was on the Turner Classic Movie Channel, but it wasn't even all of it-- I think it aired too late for me to stay up watching it, and my videotape recording of it messed up part of the way through! Shame that hasn't found a U.S. distributor just yet-- maybe Discotek can bring it over if Disney or GKIDS won't?

Hey, a question about the column itself…. what's with the picture of the cat? Is that a cat from Anne of Green Gables? And why is the same picture repeated twice? Just wanting to point that out-- it's probably just a typo-esque error, really.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:09 pm Reply with quote
^
The cat is from Gauche the Cellist, one of my favourite Takahata movies. He's one of the animals helping Gauche improve his playing.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:11 am Reply with quote
jymmy wrote:
There was a documentary that sort of paired with Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Isao Takahata and His Tale of Princess Kaguya. It was originally on Japanese TV, but it shows him working on his film, and does reveal a lot about the sort of filmmaker he is.


I saw this at the cinema recently, and it will get released on video in Australia:

http://www.studioghibli.com.au/isaotakahataandhistaleoftheprincesskaguya

Promotional clip for the recent screenings in Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34_EzPxzzOE

Also, why no mention of Pom Poko in Mike Toole's column?
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koinosuke



Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 244
Location: Fukushima, Japan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:44 am Reply with quote
Takahata really is one of the very greats of both anime and Japanese cinema as a whole. Grave of the Fireflies is one the best war films of all time, and I honestly think Only Yesterday is one of the best animated movies ever made. Very happy this film is getting him a little more recognition in the west. I picked up the blu-ray of Kaguya when it came out here in Japan, and both showings I've done for friends and family have had very positive results that yielded conversation on the film's themes for a few days afterwards.

Little correction on this article, by the way: I believe the capital city in Kaguya-hime is Miyako (the old name for Kyoto, also known as Heian-Kyo), not Edo. The story is from the Heian period, and Edo wouldn't be anything but a sleepy fishing village for over 500 years.
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EnigmaticSky



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 736
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:35 am Reply with quote
Are the first two stills in the article both suppose to be the same cat shot?

Fascinating read as always Mike. It's a shame that I knew so little about Takahata's work. Then again, that's why I love to read your articles; to learn about this stuff.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 817
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:09 am Reply with quote
omiya wrote:
jymmy wrote:
There was a documentary that sort of paired with Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Isao Takahata and His Tale of Princess Kaguya. It was originally on Japanese TV, but it shows him working on his film, and does reveal a lot about the sort of filmmaker he is.


I saw this at the cinema recently, and it will get released on video in Australia:

http://www.studioghibli.com.au/isaotakahataandhistaleoftheprincesskaguya

Promotional clip for the recent screenings in Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34_EzPxzzOE



It will be included in the North American BD release as an extra as well (although it will be on a separate DVD, so no HD presentation of this doc).

It also bears noting that Spirited Away is the only foreign animated film to ever win a Best Animated Film Oscar. The fact is, only Hollywood cartoons win Oscars, because that's all the voters ever see. A lot of them don't actually watch all the nominees.

So, Spirited Away's win was really something of a fluke, rather than any indication of how much "superior" it was to other Ghibli films.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2307
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:30 pm Reply with quote
bravetailor wrote:

So, Spirited Away's win was really something of a fluke, rather than any indication of how much "superior" it was to other Ghibli films.


I don't think it was a fluke. Miyazaki is well known by the Academy.
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Bingal



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 92
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:13 pm Reply with quote
As much as I appreciate the works of Miyazaki, I get frustrated that his equally brilliant partner (and mentor), Takahata, gets nowhere near the same universal acclaim when he absolutely deserves it. Some even act as if Ghibli is a one-man effort... Rolling Eyes

To this day, Only Yesterday remains my favorite Ghibli film. The man is a genius.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14303
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:29 pm Reply with quote
You forgot Heidi.
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