Voices of a Distant Star

In the near future, an interstellar war separates two teens in love in Voices of a Distant Star. This short anime, while competently created (apparently by one guy on his home computer) appeals not because of the visuals — the character designs are familiar and uninspired, and the cross-cutting choppy — but because of the mood. I describe the two as “in love” because it’s the closest I can get to describing them (and “lovers” sounds silly, because it’s not […]

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Continuing to sample the works of Miyazaki, I tried Kiki’s Delivery Service. Upon the advice of my readers, I watched the subtitled instead of dubbed version, and I agree, Phil Hartman as the voice of the cat would have been too distracting. Although I’ve only seen a couple of Miyazaki films, I could already identify his common themes here: spirited young woman unsure of her skills meets neighbor boy fascinated by her strength and with unusual interest of his own. […]

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My Neighbor Totoro/Whisper of the Heart

I’ve been hearing how much I need to see Miyazaki’s films for a long while now, so I used the Turner Classic Movies showings to sample two. The first, My Neighbor Totoro, was fluffier than I expected. I knew that the movie was about two girls who meet a fantasy character, but I was surprised that the first third of the film was simply about them setting up housekeeping out in the country. The images were beautiful, as expected, but […]

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Labyrinth

My gracious, I do love Labyrinth. I just watched the DVD again, and I always forget how engrossing it is. David Bowie turns in a superb performance as the Goblin King, scary and exotic and attractive and magical all at once. The older I get, the more patience I have with Jennifer Connelly’s performance, too. Once I thought she was much too wooden, just something existing for the creatures to dance around, but she seems more subtle to me these […]

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