Tuesday, January 31

with eyes unclouded by hate

hello January's end. here we are. and a few weeks back I decided, determinedly, that even though my once weekly blogging habit has been set aside on and off for quite some time now, I cannot let this blog die. so the new blogging goal is two posts per month. one of them shall take a somewhat serious form, and the other shall be about anything at all that might come to mind.

I don't know which this one counts as, this time.

earlier this month Jeremiah and I went to see the 20-year-old classic anime Princess Mononoke, which I thought I might have seen before at some point in those two decades, but could not actually remember. in the theatre, the opening art did stir a few memories, but other than that I had no recollection of the film.

I just went to search friend Melanie's blog to see if she's reviewed Princess Mononoke. so far it is featured here for its beautifulness, and mentioned in a handful of other posts, but there is no full review for me to defer to (yet).

we saw the dubbed English version, with script by that one British author you may have heard of, Neil Gaiman. Princess Mononoke is definitely beautiful, and a complex, funny, and fairly moving film. not many films succeed at moving this amelia person, but this one did, in a subtle, lasting sort of way. I have found the story worth pondering even weeks later. our questing protagonist is full of honor and self-sacrifice and talent, but he is not perfect and does not ultimately save the day (not entirely, anyway, and certainly not by himself). our title heroine is stealthy-fierce, all mysterious and vengeful. there are no simple characterizations, no straight tropes. the film bends this way and that way and it surprises you.

I liked what Leah Schnelbach says in this piece (it is spoiler-y, fair warning) about the multi-facetedness of the characters and the realness and meaning of the story. it's good stuff:  people and their worlds are complex, actions have consequences, plurality and balance are ideals, and hate from any side--no matter how 'righteous'--will poison everything.

the soundtrack behind this film is also exceedingly lovely. the themes and story have depth that makes my brain smile. so yeah. Princess Mononoke is on a very short list of movies that I'd much enjoy watching again every so often.


Janeheiress said...

Well, I guess I need to get to it and write a full review of Princess Mononoke! It's such a unique, wonderful film. Probably the only reason I haven't is because it's one of those movies that probably requires more knowledge of Japanese culture to fully understand.

Janeheiress said...

Now you've done it, Amelia! I had to rewatch Princess Mononoke. Check my blog now. :D

amelia chesley said...

and yes, that is a good point about the import and meaning of cultural stuff. it's so well done though that even without any deep experience with Japaneseness, the story still grabs you and works