Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 Moments 2013

Mamoru Hosoda's film Wolf Children made its Japanese theatrical debut in 2012 but most people in the West, , likely saw it sometime this year - whether in a theater, on home video or through other means. I liked it when I saw it subtitled in San Francisco as part of the inaugural Japan Film Festival but haven't had a chance to re-watch it with the English dub.

Though there were a couple of moments from the film I could discuss, the one I want to highlight occurs fairly early.

Hana is walking around the city after finding her husband's wallet in a grocery bag at their apartment's door. She is carrying her two children on a rainy day when she suddenly stops while crossing a bridge and sees something that makes her umbrella slip out of her hands. It's a wolf that died in the riverbed and is being taken up to the street by garbage men in a disposal bag. Hana recognizes that it's her husband (one of the children also mentions this in narration from the future) and runs over to the garbage men in a futile attempt to rescue his body.

While this scene is playing out, there's no sentimental music playing - just the sound of the downpour along with the smaller incidental sounds of the refuse truck. This event starts a chain of events that leads now-widow Hana to move out to the countryside to raise her hybrid children after becoming frustrated at and tired of city lifes there.

-- ABCB Massage Chair (@ABCBTom)

but, for instance, the mom feels distant. we don't know her as familiarly? why did she go to college? Why did she fall in

-- ABCB Massage Chair (@ABCBTom)

love? there's a lot of things we don't know about her that makes her feel incomplete

-- ABCB Massage Chair (@ABCBTom)

pointed out tonight on Twitter (after watching the movie for the first time) that we don't know find out many details about Hana and her relationship to the wolf man and that makes her sort of an incomplete character. We do find out little bits like the origin of her name but nothing really substantial.

Wolf Children won the 2012 , beating out Eva 3.0, A Letter to Momo, Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki, and One Piece Film Z. It was the third film directed by Mamoru Hosoda to win the award - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007) won the inaugural award and Summer Wars won from 2010 s crop. This success and other critical acclaim has led some to laud Hosoda as the next Miyazaki, even in a couple of FUNimation's online ads. I understand the idea behind it but don't particularly like making an heir apparent claim.

On the subject of the Japan Academy Prize, I'm wondering which films will be the five nominees for 2013 and what will be the ultimate winner. The Wind Rises is probably a solid contender while other notable ones are The Garden of Words and a number of movies based on existing properties including the 17th Detective Conan film, Hanasaku Iroha, Saint Young Men, Steins;Gate, Anohana, and Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge.
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment