I forgot to post my thoughts on the Princess Mononoke
screening last month.
In a nutshell, it was awesome. I'm tempted to say Spirited Away
is a better film, but the aesthetics of Mononoke
- big fantasy epic with monsters, etc - appeal to me even more. Once again I came away loving the film even more than I did previously. It's a pretty melancholy film, though - hatred seems to be the main theme of this film, and its repercussions infect everyone throughout the story. There isn't really any true villain, though; the first time I saw this film, I couldn't help thinking that James Cameron could only dream of telling a "man vs nature" story this good
(although that's really not what this film's about at all). The closest thing to a villain is the emperor, and his presence is more ethereal than directly tangible. Everyone front & center of this film is doing everything they can just to look out for their own - which is all most anyone can do, frankly - and sadly, that puts some beings at odds with others. Miyazaki doesn't give an easy ending to the story - yes, there is some resolution, but both men and beasts have a ways to go as they rebuild.
...And with all of that going on, the saddest thing of all is we never hear of Ashitaka's home again. Did he just leave them for good?? Are they doomed to die out, or what?!? There's a lot of tragedy to this movie, hiding just below the surface. Somehow, that makes it more compelling, I think, but- Aaaauuugh!
I was reminded once again how much I love Joe Hisaishi's work - his score for the film is downright thrilling. Am I just watching the wrong American media, or are Japan's (anime) composers WAY better than ours?? I mean, they have Hisaishi, Shiro Sagisu, Hiroyuki Sawano, Michiru Oshima... It's almost unfair.
I want to hear him do a kaiju movie score.
Overall, it was another amazing theatrical experience. I think it was my first viewing of Princess Mononoke
, on my own TV screen, which first brought out my true admiration for anime; this viewing has certainly cemented it further. Miyazaki has left a magnificent film legacy.
Oh, the 'On Your Mark' music video! Right off the bat there's some tonal dissonance between the almost upbeat-sounding lyrics and the violent scenery, but ultimately the video tells a heartwarming (and surprisingly funny) sci-fi/fantasy stroy about two soldiers who help a winged girl escape from custody and on to freedom. It's a delightful video.