Saturday, 28 November 2015


a film by Isao Takahata

When I was about ten, I came across a book of Japanese folk tales (in Russian translation) and read it from back to back in a few days. I was fascinated by them, not least because they were very different from the “classic” fairy tales I was accustomed to. Most of the Japanese tales were dark (if not menacing), refreshingly moral-free, and had no obligatory happy ends. Now Timur bought another Studio Ghibli DVD and we watched it over two evenings.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which is based on the folk tale, is a work of beauty. I don’t know how exactly this animation is made but it looks like watercolour, pastel, charcoal... It has got a lot of humorous moments. Maybe because of that, against my better judgement, I was hoping for a happy end. Well it is not very happy, unless going to the moon with Buddha and his entourage is your idea of happiness. Absolutely worth watching, although I still prefer My Neighbors the Yamadas.

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