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NEWS: Ghibli's Princess Kaguya Wins L.A. Film Critics Award


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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 6301
Location: Katy, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:42 pm Reply with quote
A huge congrats to this film for winning this award. Very Happy
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MetalUpa1014



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 283
Location: USA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Saw this film yesterday, it was fantastic. It truly was like looking at traditional Japanese art coming to life. I won't be forgetting it anytime soon.

I had to torrent it though. Import prices are too high at the moment, and it's not available legally here. When it does come Westward though, I'll definitely buy it. They really need to release a Studio Ghibli box set in America.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:17 pm Reply with quote
Haven't had the chance to see it yet, but I've read good reviews about it.
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levonr



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 815
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:03 pm Reply with quote
This amazing film deserves all the rewards. I can't believe the Lego Movie will probably get the Oscar over this. Don't get me wrong I really liked the Lego Movie but these movies come around every year and while very fun are nothing special, Princess Kaguya is very special in my opinion.
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gloverrandal



Joined: 20 May 2014
Posts: 406
Location: Oita
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:10 pm Reply with quote
Levonr wrote:
This amazing film deserves all the rewards. I can't believe the Lego Movie will probably get the Oscar over this. Don't get me wrong I really liked the Lego Movie but these movies come around every year and while very fun are nothing special, Princess Kaguya is very special in my opinion.


Award shows in general are more about politics than acknowledging feats in the fields. They're never a good indication because the nomination process shuts out a lot of contenders and then the judges can be very biased.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
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Location: Katy, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:15 pm Reply with quote
gloverrandal wrote:

Award shows in general are more about politics than acknowledging feats in the fields. They're never a good indication because the nomination process shuts out a lot of contenders and then the judges can be very biased.


Well there was no bias against this film I can reassure that.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:07 pm Reply with quote
Are you part of the people choosing the award? Otherwise you're not in the position to assure anything.

As for the Oscars, it will be biased in favor of the Lego Movie because that's what America will want to win. Luckily for Kaguya, that film will have been a year old and Kaguya might have a chance to go wider if acclaim and buzz continue to pick up. So unlike last year, which was also weak for animated films, there is no sudden explosion like Frozen to swing all of the votes one way.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:08 pm Reply with quote
I honestly didn't expect that at all. I feel like the reception for this movie has been fairly subdued, unfortunately. I found it to be mind-blowingly beautiful and well written. Glad that it got this little bit of recognition! Smile
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:11 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Are you part of the people choosing the award? Otherwise you're not in the position to assure anything.

As for the Oscars, it will be biased in favor of the Lego Movie because that's what America will want to win. Luckily for Kaguya, that film will have been a year old and Kaguya might have a chance to go wider if acclaim and buzz continue to pick up. So unlike last year, which was also weak for animated films, there is no sudden explosion like Frozen to swing all of the votes one way.


No, but the previous user sounded too negative. If this award is really that bias, then they wouldn't have chosen Princess Kaguya, they would've chosen the Lego movie instead according to sources.

But for the Oscars, that's a different issue, I stop following them when it comes to animated movies.
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TG72



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 334
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:17 pm Reply with quote
It's a nice moment for Kaguya. Hopefully, the people who decide on the list of nominees will take a closer look now.
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Garudyne



Joined: 24 Sep 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Scandinavia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:16 am Reply with quote
I don't think this movie deserve any awards. I watched it yesterday and found it underwhelming.

Here comes my critic of the movie (please don't take it personally): spoiler[ First of all, two hours for a movie with such a simple and thin plot is ridicilous. It was so poorly paced! Second, what did we even get out of this movies plot? It's about a girl from the moon, going from living in the forest to living like a princess because her father is a dumb man (and later on a selfish prick), men wants to marry her, and then she goes (or rather is forced) home to the moon... that's all. I find that very unsatisfying.

Then there is Kaguya. What really bothers me about her is that she didn't develop. Yes, she realized that she didn't want to marry someone just because, that living like she did before made her happier, and that she was a fake princess... but did she do something about it? No. She became passive. At the end, before the moon people came to get her, she said that she wanted to stay (despite crying out in desperation and wanting to be saved not long before that), that she should've done what her dad wanted her to... wow, so becoming free and finding happiness is something she should feel bad about? She was wrong to turn down the majesty, and the other people who wanted to marry her, the men who obviously saw her as just an item? To make it even worse, the moon people also controlled her to come with them, so in the end, she was just pushed from one place to the other, never making any important decisions of her own (with the exception of saying that she won't be going to meet the majesty, but even then it was "I'm gonna kill myself if you force me to this father", which isn't inspiring at all). She was unable to change her awful situation, despite being portrayed as a strong willed girl at first. I expected a far better female character from Ghibli.

The other characters weren't good either. Her father is an awful person, her mother is kind and warm but waaaay to passive, the guy Kaguya likes barely got any focus, and all the people who wanted to marry Kaguya where unsympathetic pricks.

Not even the artwork is that good. It lacks details, and with the exception of the palace, there is nothing to remember about the backgrounds. I like that Kaguya looks different from the other characters, to show her otherwordly-ness and beauty, and the animation was pretty good (as expected), but... that's all.

The voiceacting was strong (like you would expect from a Ghibli movie), but I can't remember a single tune from the OST (meaning I think it was meh overall).

It's a weak movie, and I don't think it deserve the hype and love it gets.

When I think about movies with things in common with Kaguya hime, Arete Hime comes to mind. The plot there is also weak (although I rather like how it handled its theme), but atleast the atagonist is somewhat sympathetic, and the female protag is better and more inspiring than Kaguya.
]
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:38 pm Reply with quote
^^
I suppose if you want to look at it all from a very surface level viewpoint, you might interpret it that way. Personally, I saw it as trying to convey a much deeper story, something with multiple interpretations.

This is my initial interpretation:
spoiler[Kaguya isn't an alien, she isn't from the moon, that is simply a metaphor for her individuality. It is telling us that she is special and that she is destined/capable for/of great things(and in turn, that every person is special and has great potential). The way that she grows up only solidifies how special she is. Her father sees how special she is and tries to push her toward reaching, what he sees, as the peak of her potential, without realizing that he is actually forcing her to live out his own dreams and how he wished his life could have been. Her mother truly wants what's best for her, but given the paternal nature of Japanese culture, her wishes take a backseat to whatever her husband wants. Kaguya, at this point, is a young woman who still has dreams of living a free life, but due to her obligations to her father, and of society as a whole, she begrudgingly puts on a fake smile and attempts to push through it. When she has the vivid dream of running back to the countryside she is near her breaking point for the first time. The pressures of society have nearly broken her and she is ready to, essentially, say "f*** it all, I'm done." I thought that was a really powerful moment, personally. Moving further along, her strength as human, rather than as a manifestation of her father's fantasies, begins to shine through. Her resistance becomes stronger and her dissatisfaction becomes more apparent at a surface level. Her mother is entirely aware of it, but given her timidity and , once again, how society is structured in Japan(and probably what she too, considered was best for her daughter), she is unable to effectively voice her opinion. Kaguya eventually becomes little more than a shell. Society, and her father, have pushed her to this point(I think this is a very strong statement against the salaryman nature of Japan). There is nothing left for her, other than to march along with the rest of them. She is no longer the special person and individual that she was capable of being. When she is finally betrothed to the king, she completely breaks. This isn't okay with her anymore. Life isn't worth living anymore because the pressure and stress of trying to meet the expectations of societal demands isn't worth it. She doesn't nearly take her own life, she actually does it(my own initial interpretation. If you interpret it more at face value, and that she still lives through her life, the message remains essentially the same). This is why she is unable to prevent the Moon people from taking her away. The pain, misery, and tragic nature of life pushed her too far and she felt that there was no other option. After her choice though, she second guesses her decision. She thinks back on her life and finally sees some of the almost unnoticeable beauty and joy buried in life, deep under all of that pressure. She looks back on it all and realizes that she made the wrong choice. That, as hard as life can be, it isn't worth giving it up. That she was right in eventually fighting against those societal expectations, but that her avenue of escape was wrong. She regrets it, and therefore, when she is finally taken from the world, she looks back on it all and dreams of what it could have been had she been stronger. Had she actually run back to the country during that dream. She sees herself living the life that she wanted and she cries realizing that she truly made the wrong decision. That life is beautiful, but that you have to really fight for it.]

All of this, I think, is a very powerful commentary on society as a whole, but more specifically on Japanese culture and society. It is generally expected that everyone do as they are told and live a normal, productive life. I think that this story tries to throw that all out the window by saying that life, in a way, is what you make of it, but also, that fighting for what you want in life is more important than mindlessly following what is considered acceptable. Other than it's statement about society, it is a coming of age story. It follows the hardships of growing up and what a difficult and painful experience it can be. It shows us how truly special each one of us are. How much potential we have. How each of us are capable of becoming a prince or princess. It also has a lot to say about the beauty that life is capable of, as well as the sadness. I think all of those interpretations are valid and it is one of the reasons that I love and respect this film so much. Given how closely it resonates with my own life, I guess it is easier for me to feel so strongly about it. Life is tough, but if you let society run your life, you will be miserable. Fight for what you want in life, because you are special and you are capable of much more than a "normal" life.

I hope you have time to read through all of this. And hopefully it will give you a different perspective on the film. Or at least gives you an idea of how I saw it. In any event, that is simply my own take away and why I loved the film so much. Wink

Also, I found this to be one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen in my life. The animation was done entirely using watercolor artwork, which is just amazing. Beyond that it was so fluid and beautiful that some moments of animation, just by themselves, made me tear up. The way this movie looks just enhanced the setting and brought me into that world and time period even more.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1834
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Having seen Kaguya Hime Monogatari a year ago in Japan, I was keen to see the documentary:

Quote:

ISAO TAKAHATA AND THE TALE OF HIS PRINCESS KAGUYA [G] 82mins
TV Documentary by WOWOW | Japanese with English Subtitles
A fascinating and insightful behind-the-scenes glimpse at the creation of Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Pricess Kaguya. With complete access to the film’s production, we are privileged to witness Takahata as he uncovers the process by which he came to take on the project, the recording of the character voices, the establishment of ‘Ghibli Studio 7’ (a facility set up to meet the demands of a new type of animation that does not fit easily into the traditional Ghibli animation process), the recording of the music with legendary composer Joe Hisaishi, and even a rare meeting between Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki during the production of The Wind Rises.


It was shown as part of what was called "THE TALE OF STUDIO GHIBLI SHOWCASE: Celebrating the Genius of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata", and I managed to see the documentary at a cinema over the weekend.

It explained some aspects of the film's story but was mainly about Takahata and the production of the movie.

Hopefully the documentary will be included as one of the extras with a DVD / blu-ray release of the movie.


Last edited by omiya on Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:38 pm Reply with quote
I don't mean to sound like a total prick, but I think Garudyne completely missed the point of the movie. The whole reason Kaguya wanted to stay on Earth was BECAUSE of the fact that happiness and sadness lived together there. Her return was only set in motion by her rash response to the emperor's behind embrace. And sure, her dad was misguided, but he only wanted what he personally thought was best for his daughter. And the animation was intended to be simplistic. That was the intention, create an animated film that employs the style of old Japanese charcoal paintings. Come on, Ghibli (and most importantly, Takahata) has been using this style for like 15 years. But what makes this instance more incredible is that instead of being made digitally, it was completely hand drawn. That's really impressive. I'm baffled that he also called the soundtrack meh, and that he couldn't remember a single track. I haven't been able to get it out of my head for days! I even bought the soundtrack I loved it that much. It's some of Hisaishi's best work. And it stuck with me a lot more than The Wind Rises' soundtrack did.

So I'd say that (considering it's extremely high praise) most people feel differently about the film, including me. It's a true masterpiece, and stands along some of Ghibli's best work. Definitely my favorite since Spirited Away.
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Garudyne



Joined: 24 Sep 2014
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Location: Scandinavia
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:35 am Reply with quote
relyat08: I respect your opinion, but you didn't change my mind. If I wanted a story about the problematic parts of japanese society, then it should be one without fantasy elements. A sad story that focus on real life issues only works for me when its dealt with in a realistic manner, I don't need a fairy tale version of it. As for Kaguya: she is still not a good character. Lets say that the story is what you say it is, then Kaguya is only there to serve a point, she is not much of an actual character. She is still an uninspiring female, which is especially bad coming from Ghibli, who normaly make good female protags (but I guess that was mainly thanks to Miyazaki).

Btw, I did not look at this movie from a "surface level viewpoint". I took my time to analyze it, and my analyze is not less "deep" than yours, mister/miss.

Jayhosh: you'r not being a prick, but I disagree with your opinion. Kaguya may have wanted to stay on earth, but that doesn't change the fact that she had to experience horrible things because of the people around her (and because of her inability to change herself), to the point she even wanted someone to save her, even just for a second. Would she be happier if she stayed on earth, or is going to moon best for her? I believe its up to the viewer, but I think she would be unhappy regardless, unless she was able to find away to live more freely. As for her father... he is still a prick, regardless of what his original intention was.

I know that the animation/art was meant to be simplistic, and it's not like its bad, but I don't find it that appealing. The music is still meh to me, but good for you (btw, I'm not a "he", I'm a "she"). The Wind Rises music didn't stick with me either so I agree with you on that one (then again, I never thought the OST for Ghibli movies were that great). I personally find Spirited Away to be overrated as well, but ateleast, it's better than Kaguya hime.
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