Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why My Favorite Miyazaki Film is the One Where Nothing Really Happens

I'm a big fan of movies about writers. I'm an even bigger fan of anything by Studio Ghibli or having anything at all to do with Hirao Miyazaki. Well, who isn't really?

But instead of the painfully cute Totoro, the adventurous Laputa and the ever-adored Howl, my favorite of all is Whisper of the Heart. The which of the what? I know, I know. It's not exactly the best known either.

What Whisper of the Heart is, is a delightful, soft, tender first romance that could probably be considered sickeningly sweet. But don't write it off yet! There's a lot to love in there. Trust me.

Why it's my pick.
#1- Writer movie. Okay, that's an easy win for me. I'm a writer. Like many of my kind, I'm a bit obsessive, slightly narcissistic, and always a fan of a film about my favorite topic. So... onward.

#2- The cat returns...FROM Whisper of the Heart. Didn't yall wonder where the cat returned from? Well, he makes his first appearance, and a ton of his back story here in Whisper of the Heart. If you love the cat... this one is a must watch too.

#3- Parenting. A lot of the Ghibli films, and anime in general, give me fits about the parenting going on... or more importantly NOT going on. The father in Totoro needs a visit from CPS. Seriously, how long was little Mae running about in the yard and he has NO IDEA where she is? The kids wander the countryside, go on adventures, and I'm having an anxiety attack on the couch the whole time. But... the parents in Whisper of the Heart do something that I find extremely wonderful. When the little girl confesses that her studies are failing because she has this great dream to write a book... the father thinks a little, smokes a lot, and then says, go for it. Dreams don't come along every day, if you don't try it, you'll never know. Parenting win.

#4- The moment.This is really the reason I love Whisper of the Heart. There is a moment in the movie that every author knows intimately. It goes like this: Girl wants to write. Girl is possessed with the obsession to write. She fills her head with the idea of being a writer. She dreams. She writes like mad, like a bat out of hell. She knows it's good. It's what she's meant to do. It's her opus. She clutches said masterpiece to her chest and rushes out to share it with someone. They read it. While they read it she paces, whimpers, pulls her hair, dreams some more. And then they're done.
How was it? she asks. Well? WELL WELL WELL?
and they guy says, basically.... well, yer no Hemingway.
CRASH.
This moment is so deliciously portrayed it hurts. It's the moment that every writer's life turns upon. This is the second when you discover if you're a writer or not.
Yer no Hemingway... yet.
Will you take up basket weaving or keep trying? Will you give up? Are you going to stand there and take that or are you going to pick the pen back up and show them what you can really do...?

I love this movie, for the sweet, the cute, the cat and the romance, but its THE MOMENT that makes it so special.
So personal.
So brilliant.
 My favorite. :)

~Frances


Secret reason #5- John Denver Karaoke!!!! WIN.

3 comments:

J. Morgan Clancy said...

Wow it's my favorite too! I love the animation. And the romance is so sweet. Wow Francis, I'm glad I found your blog.

J. Morgan Clancy said...

Wow it's my favorite too! I love the animation. And the romance is so sweet. Wow Francis, I'm glad I found your blog.

Frances Pauli said...

Me too! thanks for commenting too. It's a great story. :)