Movie Review

[Review] Spirited Away – My Favorite Japanese Anime

Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl, and her family made a mistake while moving and passed the tunnel. Chihiro feels a strange atmosphere and begs her to go back, but her mother and father do not listen to her children. Mom and dad, who used to eat food set up in a strange place, turned into pigs and Chihiro meets a boy named Haku. Chihiro, who works at a hot spring in the village, works hard and finds a way to bring his mom and dad back to life. Meanwhile, the gods gather at night in the hot spring, and Chihiro, who changed his name to “Sen,” lives in harmony with the elderly Kama and Lin. Chihiro goes to help Haku, who took care of him when he was in danger. When Haku shows signs of losing his life, Chihiro decides to take the train of death with his friends.

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■ Review

It’s old. “Spirited Away” makes this first impression. In the era of the rise of 3D animation, this work may seem an anachronism. Traditional cell animation, characters with traces of traditional Japanese culture, and a typical fantasy structure. Everywhere you look, “Spirited Away” is a few steps away from the trend of the times. It is hard to say that there is no computer work at all. In some speedy scenes, there are some corners where traces of computer work and accurate computational power stand out. However, “Spirited Away” is an old and bizarre animation these days, with sexy, glossy, and game-like animations gaining popularity.

There is a reason for the first impression. “Spirited Away” is the latest installment by Hayao Miyazaki. Hayao Miyazaki walked a long way without looking away from TV animations such as “Future Boy Conan” in the 1970s to theater animations such as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausika in the Wind Valley.” His way of working is always the same. He prefers hand-crafted methods, loves the color of cell animation, and imprints the motifs of flying and utopia in his work. Hayao Miyazaki’s philosophy of “I always make animations for children” is also a story that has been repeated for decades. His remarks, “It may be his last work,” are also bluff remarks he has enjoyed in recent years. Everything is on the same track, and there is no major change. But it’s strange. “Spirited Away” still catches the eye of the beholder. It moves something in our minds.

Chihiro’s parents, who used to eat greedy food at a restaurant without an owner, turned into pigs. And Chihiro’s adventure begins.

It is not only parents that Chihiro, who has come to stay in a “strange country,” has to save. When Haku, who became a dragon, is in danger, Chihiro tries to save him. And there is affection between the two.

“Spirited Away” is a story about a girl named Chihiro. A girl is extremely ordinary and has no noticeable corner. Except that he grew up with a lot of affection from his parents. The child’s parents turn into pigs after eating food set up at a feast without their owner knowing. Chihiro struggles to bring his parents back to life. It is a story that we met well in fairy tales and folk tales. It is an interesting character to break down prejudice that seems to be a moral story. The hot spring where Chihiro works is a gathering place for spirits. From frogs guarding the entrance to the hot spring, ghosts wearing masks to witches with supernatural powers, unique characters appear. The characters’ cute talent show fills “Spirited Away” with a warm smile.

If you’ve seen Hayao Miyazaki’s animation, “Spirited Away” may not be unfamiliar. Here comes the character of a charcoal sword dog in “My Neighbor Totoro.” The friendship and love of Chihiro and Haku, who later change their names to “Sen,” is like a sequel to “Listen” that director Miyazaki is indirectly involved in. In terms of Japanese fantasy within the influence of indigenous beliefs, the story of “Princess Won-Ryeong” and a child who communicates with the spirit world without adults are similar to “My Neighbor Totoro.” In other words, “Spirited Away” is a form of craftsmanship that changes what Hayao Miyazaki has done so far.

“Spirited Away” contains the old beliefs of Hayao Miyazaki. “Those who do not work do not need it here” is the motto of the hot spring. Those who do not work turn into pigs. It’s a classic labor cult. There are also traces of a traditional belief called the Shinto religion. Strange spirits often enter the hot spring where Chihiro works. Even the presence of a filth god appears, trying to wash away the body’s dirt with hot spring water. It contains the belief of an indigenous belief that the soul is embedded in everything in nature. In the same vein, “Spirited Away” is a Japanese animation that contains the shadow of animism.

In the scene where Chihiro runs on a pipe, Miyazaki shows off his soft yet flexible directing skills.

Chihiro pulls on Gama’s grandfather to get a job. At this point, Chihiro meets charcoal swordsmen (who appeared in “My Neighbor Totoro”) who help his grandfather while carrying charcoal.

Kaonashi, the faceless spirit, tries to lure Chihiro with gold, but Chihiro flatly refuses. But at the end of this warm and exciting adventure, there is also a happy ending for Kaonashi.

Hayao Miyazaki takes the high road to “Spirited Away”. The way animation impresses the audience is not complicated. One of them is the motion technique. Chihiro runs on a pipe located outside the building after a disturbance. Below is the Kamkam cliff. He runs at a quick pace, but the pipe soon bends. The child’s steps get faster. Then they hit the wall as if it were wrapped around the wall in front of them. With the character movement full of a sense of humor, Miyazaki shows off his soft and flexible directing skills.

This is definitely a master’s ability. At the temptation of a spirit to entice himself with gold, Chihiro said, “I can’t take it. This is not what really matters to me.” “Spirited Away” has an aesthetic of simplicity and obscurity instead of glamour. It’s as if you can express the feelings of love in language, but once you spit it out, it becomes meaningless. Hayao Miyazaki gently raises the temperature of the audience’s mind with an animation full of opacity. At this year’s Berlin Film Festival, it won the Gold Bear Award for its “Strong and Powerful Fantasy.”

Check another review, John Wick Parabellum as well!

Movie Review

TENET REVIEW: Christopher Nolan, You won’t understand this movie.

The story, characters, and setting are difficult to follow and leave the audience completely behind.

A terrorist attack breaks out in Ukraine. A Special Forces man (John David Washington) is captured and given poison. However, the poison is somehow replaced with a sedative. He is then given a mission to fight an enemy that has arrived from the future via a device called “time travel backward” and the mysterious keyword “TENET” to change the future and sets out to stop the start of World War III.

The film is directed by Christopher Nolan, who has now risen to the status of a world-famous director. The script was written by Nolan himself. The cast includes John David Washington (Black Clansman), Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Caine.

Except for the “The Dark Knight” series, I have the impression that most of Nolan’s films are very intellectually demanding, requiring knowledge of the world of science, physics, and quantum mechanics, for example. Aside from “Dunkirk,” which is a true story, “Inception,” “Interstellar,” and this film are also of this type, and there is no special explanation for each word that appears in the film. Nevertheless, his works are still masterpieces because of their fascinating characters, great stories, and overwhelmingly amazing visuals.

So what about this film? Unfortunately, it is not. Of course, it was not a bad film, and there were some interesting scenes, and the feeling when the foreshadowing was recovered was wonderful, but even with all that, I don’t think it was a film that I could say I enjoyed.

In the first place, the setting and story are difficult to understand, and if you can’t follow them, you will be completely left behind. This is common to all Nolan films, but both Inception and Interstellar had a clear core storyline, and it was easy to understand what you had to do to get there. The core storyline of this film is probably “saving the world by using time travel backward,” but to be honest, it’s not easy to understand what you have to do to achieve that. To be honest, it’s not easy to understand what you have to do to achieve this. If you can’t keep up, you’ll be left behind.

I felt that the story and the setting were made too difficult to understand in the first place. I felt that they made the story and setting too difficult. It is said that even the cast doesn’t understand the story, and I feel that only Christopher Nolan can understand this movie. I feel that only Christopher Nolan can understand this movie.

It would have been different if there were overwhelming visuals that blew away such a difficult story and setting, but this again complicates the film. In one image, some people are acting normally and people who are moving backward in time, making the image very difficult to understand. Of course, this may have been the aim of the film itself, but it was difficult to understand and the sequence of tasteless images left me with a subtle feeling. It seems that this is not a film to be enjoyed for its images.

The ending is not clear either, and it is hard to understand what “Tenet” is after all. The character of Neil, played by Robert Pattinson, was revealed at the end of the film, but is it correct to say that he is like Kyle Reese in Terminator? The reasons for the enemy’s actions were so dumb, to begin with, that I laughed a little, but the enemy character was also unappealing.

In the end, I feel that Nolan himself portrayed the “time travel backward” thing too difficult. In any case, he should have made it like “Prisoner of Azkaban”. It is certainly interesting from a visual point of view to have a person whose time is progressing normally and a person whose time is going backward existing in the same space, but still, knowing “Inception” and “Interstellar”, it is inevitably tasteless. And in the final scene, it’s not the greatness of the images, but the impression of unorganized clutter.

It takes a lot of strength to watch a movie with such a confusing story, setting, and images while trying to understand and organize them. As a result, what you are left with after watching the movie is not a feeling of satisfaction or excitement, but a feeling of fatigue. If this were a mental feeling, it would mean that I was able to get into the movie, but I felt that it was a physically exhausting movie.

Of course, I have only seen this movie once, and it may be an interesting masterpiece for those who have seen it many times, but I could not get into this movie. Of course, I had high expectations for this film because it is Christopher Nolan’s latest work, but the disappointment is also great. As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s not a bad film, and there are some interesting parts, but considering the difference between my expectations and the film, it’s the most disappointing film of the year so far.

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