My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★★

Counting this one as a fresh watch because I hadn't seen it in, oh, twenty-five years maybe?

Anyway, sometimes when people really like a film that doesn't have a sensible plot or well-defined characters they'll call it a "visual tone poem" and pretend that this is a thing. (I particularly remember a major critic suggesting this of THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS back in the day. That movie is dogshit, if you wondered.)

But MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO really *is* a visual tone poem of a film. It doesn't have a plot; it doesn't even really have story structure. It doesn't bother explaining anything. It doesn't have a moral. Stuff just *happens*, over and over again, but it's all to a central point, which is to remind you what it felt like when you were, oh, in between four (Mei's age) and eight (Satsuki's). A movie designed to remind you what it was like to experience life as a child, when the difference between imagination and reality is nonexistent, when simply existing is all you need to do. It's really kind of amazing how engrossing this movie is, even to jaded adults like me (perhaps especially to jaded adults).

Plus: cat-bus.