I found this film and the attitudes of the designers interviewed utterly compelling. So much so that as soon as the credits rolled on the main documentary, I then watched an additional hour or so of extended interviews on the DVD.
The subject matter may be a bit geeky and is potentially quite dull: how objects are designed to be used. It starts out a bit like one of those "how tin cans are made" shorts you used to get…
I really enjoyed this, I thought it was well made with a compelling if somewhat predictable storyline. There were a handful of great setpieces and some thought-provoking ideas about entertainment and morality, hope and fear in it.
The characters were convincing and sympathetic and the cinematography added a lot of atmosphere to key scenes like the hallucination / tripping sequence and the aftermath of an explosion.
In all a worthy addition to the Battle Royale subgenre.
This is no Hollywood fairy tale.
I admire John Lasseter for getting behind Studio Ghibli's output and not letting these films become Americanized. They are quirky and mysterious and beautiful, often equally grounded between European and Japanese folklore, stealing cultural elements from both.
Miyazaki has a number of tropes that he likes to lean on: physical changes, witchcraft, rain, umbrellas, warty grandmothers, transport and a theme of remembering who you are. These are all present in Spirited Away in abundance.…