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Grave Of The Fireflies...Wow


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#1 of 90 ONLINE   Tino

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Posted October 09 2002 - 06:44 AM

I just finished watching the recently released SE DVD of Isao Takahata's Grave Of The Fireflies and am amazed at how powerful a film it was.

This Anime` film, which tells the story of a brother Seita, and his little sister Setsuko surviving the fire bombings of their village by any means necessary, is one of the best war (or anti-war?) films ever made.

The relationship between Seita and his sister is so real, so heart wrenching, that it is virtually impssible not to be moved to tears by their plight. No animated film I have ever seen has been this powerful.

There are so many wonderful little details that make this film a wonder to behold. To reveal them would spoil the magic of them.

The Japanese actors who voice the brother and sister, Tsutomo Tatsumi as Seita and especially Ayanu Shiraishi as Setsuko are extaordinary. The range of emotions that they convey with their voices is amazing. I listened to the Englsh dub for a moment to compare and the listless reading by the English voice actors is no where near as good as the original. Even though I don't understand Japanese, their feeling came across loud and clear. I urge you to watch the sub titled version. You'll see what I mean.

I haven't seen many Anime` films, Akira, Mononoke, Metropolis and recently Spirited Away to name a few.

Grave Of The Fireflies is better than them all. Small and intimate, not big and flashy, it is a one of a kind emotionally draining, incredibly moving viewing experience.

Highly Recommended! Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#2 of 90 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted October 09 2002 - 07:13 AM

Indeed, an extremely provocative film. The problem is...it's so emotionally exhausting, ranging from shock and anger to profound and infinite sadness, I wondered how often I could rewatch this film.

Yet, when it was repeatedly shown on IFC a number of years ago, I invariably caught every showing. Either I'm a sucker for intense blues or the film, despite the fact that it's anime, possesses many nuances (my appreciation for anime has grown since).

Quote:
The range of emotions that they convey with their voices is amazing. I listened to the Englsh dub for a moment to compare and the listless reading by the English voice actors is no where near as good as the original. Even though I don't understand Japanese, their feeling came across loud and clear.


For me the most compelling aspect of the film. I was never a fierce OSL advocate before, but after watching this film, I gained a newfound respect for the amount 'acting' intrinsic to voices.

The anguish evident in the older brother's voice...piercing throughout. Much like content, there are cultural components to speech that are neither translateable or evident in other cultures.

Great review...might have to buy the dvd. But I actually cringe or I'm provoked to great anger when I recall this film.
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#3 of 90 OFFLINE   Chris Harvey

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Posted October 09 2002 - 08:36 AM

I was given the VHS as a gift some time ago -- I share Tino's thoughts and feelings entirely. It's a truly amazing movie, and I'm delighted to see it's been given SE treatment (didn't realize it had been released yet, though!).

Time to make a quick trip to the video store... this should be required viewing for everyone -- though it can be hard to take at times.

#4 of 90 OFFLINE   Tony Stirling

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Posted October 09 2002 - 08:08 PM

I, too thought this was a very difficult, yet very important film to watch. Anyone who says anime or any kind of animation has no range really should see this film and experience the depth of feeling.

You will cry.

tony
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#5 of 90 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted October 09 2002 - 08:31 PM

I have this one (and Metropolis) in my Netflix queue! Looking forward to both of 'em!

#6 of 90 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted October 10 2002 - 12:23 AM

I must see this movie - but it's not easy to find and is fairly expensive.
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#7 of 90 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted October 10 2002 - 01:13 AM

Grave of the Fireflies is simply the most important and perhaps the best animated film ever made. A perfect marriage between animated storytelling and a moving storyline, the characters and images that Isao Takahata paints are both harrowing and unforgettable. This is a film that is not to be missed and every library should not be without.

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#8 of 90 ONLINE   Tino

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Posted October 10 2002 - 03:17 AM

Lou

It's $19.99 @ BestBuy and it's a 2 disc SE with plenty of extras. Well worth every penny.Posted Image
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#9 of 90 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted October 10 2002 - 05:26 AM

Thanks for the tip Tino.

I'll check the Best Buy that's opening up near me - now that they are moving into Canada.

I've seen it elsewhere but it's going for ~ $50 Canadian.
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#10 of 90 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted October 10 2002 - 08:19 AM

Another recommendation for Grave of the Fireflies from me. A wonderful film. This one sticks with you.

And Central Park Media's DVD is terrific.

#11 of 90 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted October 10 2002 - 08:32 AM

And I think DeepDiscountDVD has it for 16 or 18 USD. For 90 minutes of cinematic magic, with an interview with Roger Ebert as well as with the Director Isao Takahata and the author of the actual novel that inspired the movie (and his reactions to the film), THIS IS A MUST GET.

Glad to see that you enjoyed this film. It's not an easy film to see many many times, but what is there will have a profound impact on anyone who watches it.

Mind you, there are many who dislike this movie for its intensity or are too "action" oriented and dismiss it as a bore-fest Posted Image Not me...
"Me? Master Ramen Chef? Nahhhh....."
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#12 of 90 OFFLINE   Dave Falasco

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Posted October 10 2002 - 08:57 AM

I am scared of this movie. Seriously. I've wanted to see it for a few years now, but I am literally afraid to watch it after reading various impressions of it. If I watch it when I'm in a good mood, I think I'll become depressed, and if I watch it when I'm in a down mood, well...

If Moulin Rouge can have such a dramatic effect on my "allergies", I shudder to think what this film would do.

#13 of 90 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted October 10 2002 - 09:47 AM

Well, if that's your reason for watching, I just... don't get it. Have something happy to watch afterwards, that's all I can say.


If I am not mistaken, this was double billed with My Neighbor Totoro afterwards. My Neighbor Totoro can and will help alleviate the profound sadness that this movie brings. Or put in something funny that YOU like. Or watch this with someone else and discuss the movie afterwards. But don't avoid watching this movie because you are afraid of it's effects.

Seriously - see this movie. Have lots of Kleenex handy and see this movie. You won't regret it.
"Me? Master Ramen Chef? Nahhhh....."
I am Korean/Therefore I rule~

Anime: 628 DVDs Total: 1168 DVDs
Boxed sets,if collected as such, count only ONCEhttp://www.intervoca...on.aspx/WoosterManga: total count 401 volumes Series Completed: 21 Collecting: 32

#14 of 90 ONLINE   Tino

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Posted October 10 2002 - 10:20 AM

Yes, this is a sad, powerful extremely moving film, but not to the extreme of being unpleasant.

And when you think about it, if you take the prologue and turn it into an epilogue, which it actually is, the film is not as sad. Those of you that have seen it will know what I mean.
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#15 of 90 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted October 10 2002 - 06:58 PM

Quote:
If I am not mistaken, this was double billed with My Neighbor Totoro afterwards. My Neighbor Totoro can and will help alleviate the profound sadness that this movie brings.

Yes, but strangely, MNT also has an underlying yet persistent tension of sadness, albeit nothing so severe and brutal found in Fireflies.

The mother of the two daughters is ill (serious?) throughout the film. While the focus is never on the illness, it is a 2ndary theme which ballasts the film from escaping into total frivolity. It is also that which separates MNT from the pack as a great film. One which Ebert lauds as the greatest anime ever, if my memory serves me correctly. Or, at least he slobbered over it like Charlie does with his Wonka bar.

Regardless, films like MNT and Grave of the Fireflies secured Studio Ghibli and the 2 men at its helm as monoliths in filmmaking.

I resisted the seduction of anime for so long. And while I'm still no convert, Studio Ghibli has produced film so provacative and evocative, you'd have to have a stone heart to not be moved.
my girls rock Balenciaga & smoke mad marijuana - M.O.B.

#16 of 90 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted October 11 2002 - 09:45 AM

Yet unlike GtoF or Hotaru no Haka, MNT or Tonari no Totoro is an gentle and uplifting film that truly shows the wonders of childhood and is also an ode to nature and shamanism in the form of Chibi Totoro, O Totoro, and the Ssusuwatare...

I agree that the ailing mother is a significant plot element that adds to the tension in some of the critical scenes. But that is NOT the focus of the movie. Rather, it is on the relationship and feelings of two typical post WW2 Japanese children in the countryside with their writer father in a "new" home. The movie skillfully focuses on Mei's and Satsuki's relationship to the wondrous world around them so well that we ourselves are transported to what our childhoods may have been like (being older, my memory of childhood is quite dim Posted Image) Totoro-O, Ssusuwatari, and Neko-bus are all great and believable creatures. Unlike the sad, war torn world and bare countryside of GtoF, the world of MNT is rich and full of life, not death. And thus, is a perfect complement to GTOF in the end.

Regardless, see this afterwards. It reinforced the notion that PEACE is desireable in a world. Nature is desireable and wondrous, and worthy of respect. And you will see (again) two little girls who ARE little girls, and have peace instead of war....
"Me? Master Ramen Chef? Nahhhh....."
I am Korean/Therefore I rule~

Anime: 628 DVDs Total: 1168 DVDs
Boxed sets,if collected as such, count only ONCEhttp://www.intervoca...on.aspx/WoosterManga: total count 401 volumes Series Completed: 21 Collecting: 32

#17 of 90 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted October 11 2002 - 10:20 AM

Again, Woo Jae, YES. Posted Image I can see why MNT might have been deliberately double-billed. It is wonderful, escapist fare.

Well, I've gone off and purchased GotF from DDD, thanks to this thread. And since I cannot view MNT afterwards as an antidote (since Fox is going to release a butchered version),...where's my Prozac??!!
my girls rock Balenciaga & smoke mad marijuana - M.O.B.

#18 of 90 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted October 13 2002 - 10:39 AM

To Peter Kim:

Have you had a chance to see Spirited Away where you are?

Do YOU think that Disney is deliberately hamstringing the release of this movie on the screen so their (often mediocre) movies get the screen time while Spirited Away is given the shaft?

I think so, from the trailers that they released so far...

Arrghhh! And Disney holds the rights to My Neighbor Totoro (at least til 2005)!!

Makes me HOPPING MAD!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
"Me? Master Ramen Chef? Nahhhh....."
I am Korean/Therefore I rule~

Anime: 628 DVDs Total: 1168 DVDs
Boxed sets,if collected as such, count only ONCEhttp://www.intervoca...on.aspx/WoosterManga: total count 401 volumes Series Completed: 21 Collecting: 32

#19 of 90 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted October 13 2002 - 11:35 AM

Unfortunately, I have not yet seen Spirited Away. A too-precocious 3 year-old dampens any enthusiasm to attend theater screenings.

Quote:
Do YOU think that Disney is deliberately hamstringing the release of this movie on the screen...

Again, since I've not attended a U.S. Miyazaki screening, I'm not too familiar with what might trigger criticisms (is a large part of you disdain for the Disney treatment borne from the exclusion of an OSL track?). The following link to a Boston Globe article voices your same concern.

Boston Globe Online

As far as your question...I think it's a classic case of chicken or the egg. Plus, I'd like to think that the American audience is neither sophisticated or patient enough to digest and appreciate a paradigm shift in animation (when in reality, they've actually set the paradigm, ironically set by culling early Disney/American animation).

Ultimately, whether there is anything sinister at play, perpetrated by Disney, it is a contract that was agreed to and signed by both parties, Disney and Miyazaki. So, is Disney's apparent lack of promotion and respect in response to the the tepid response of the American taste? Or are they rationing Miyazaki to prevent cannibalization of their own product? I'm a cynic.

As far as Totoro is concerned:

Quote:
Disney did release the magical ''Kiki's Delivery Service'' to American home video shortly after purchasing those rights, and ''Totoro,'' perhaps the jewel in Ghibli's crown, is still available on a pre-Disney-deal tape (it reverts to the Mouse in 2004).

Check out www.nausicaa.net for all things Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki.
my girls rock Balenciaga & smoke mad marijuana - M.O.B.

#20 of 90 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted October 14 2002 - 12:55 AM

To Peter Kim (and anyone else who wants to read this rant):

I know about that site already and have known for a long time. Definately has helped me become aware of all thing Ghibli... :wink:

I have seen both versions (dub and sub) and found both to be worthy, with kudos going to the SUB (as it should be). They have had subtitled letterbox releases of Kiki (which I DON'T have, unfortunately) so THAT is not an overriding issue.

I just don't understand why they only released Spirited Away in 138 theatres only. How else should I interpret the fact the the movie has been out ONE MONTH already and it's only out in 138 theatres? 138! And it only broke 100 theatres in the FOURTH WEEK! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

[Note: I am getting my numbers from BoxOfficeMojo website...]

It just annoys me that they HAVE the rights to release many of Miyazaki's works on DVD or VHS, and that they haven't for over 4 or more years. It's my impatient nature grating at me, I suppose....

Does anyone know how Princess Mononoke did as of 1 month in the theatres? With Spirited Away earning 2,657,000 USD (estimated) (in one month with only 138 theatres - it only broke 100 theatres this week) I am pretty sure that it's doing better.

Makes you wonder if they bought/acquired the rights just to corner the world animation market, you know? I dislike that idea even MORE than how they are releasing Spirited Away in the theatre.

Anyway, I will rewatch Spirited Away on DVD in OSL and OAR for a better feel of the movie (than it was on big screen without a distractin theatre/movie audience). And of course, I should get the Kleenex ready for GtoF when it arrives this week!


"Me? Master Ramen Chef? Nahhhh....."
I am Korean/Therefore I rule~

Anime: 628 DVDs Total: 1168 DVDs
Boxed sets,if collected as such, count only ONCEhttp://www.intervoca...on.aspx/WoosterManga: total count 401 volumes Series Completed: 21 Collecting: 32


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