The movie is based on a manga series of comic vignettes of a small girl. The scenes in the film portraying Taeko as an adult were created by writer-director Isao Takahata. The adult scenes gave the entire film a plot and connected the original vignettes as recollections of her childhood, making it a cohesive whole. See more »
Rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days... which do you like?
Oh, then we're alike.
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Performed by Márta Sebéstyen Muzsikas
Courtesy of Hungaraton See more »
Ghibli's (unheralded) best
This is probably my favorite animated film of all -- and now it looks even more beautiful than ever (thanks to the Japnese DVD release). This is a story of a 20-something "office lady" who is vaguely dissatisfied with what she sees as increasingly pointless life in the big city. As she visits the rural family of her sister's husband for a working vacation, she also revisits her fifth grade self. (The contemporary scenes are done in a fairly realistic fashion, the flashbacks have a lovely pastel look -- that would later be used even more extensively in "Our Neighbors, the Yamadas"). This film does not draw upon cartoons for its background, but on the films of Ozu and Naruse. The intelligence and sublety of the characterization is extraordinary. This also has a very appealing use of Hungarian folk music (the favored music of our heroine's young farmer friend). If you've never before sobbed tears of joy over closing credits before, you will here. (It never fails for me -- at about 7 times and counting). While Takahata's "Grave of the Fireflies" may have a more timely (and harrowing) tale to tell, I think this understated little story is even more beautiful and effective.
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