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Sanpo suru shinryakusha (2017)
I'll take that!
Incredible attempt at the genre, reminiscent of the English "History of the Future Folk". Not sure if viewers are seeing dubbed or poorly translated copies, but I found the Japanese dialogue simple,powerful, and well executed with a perfect cast selection. I could sense the movie was taking a more humanistic tangent after the opening scene, yet was still floored when of all things, Religion - not war fated the fighting chance. It made me laugh, cry, and overall felt appropriate for 2 hour runtime.
A real straight-forward movie with a simple, recursive plot that is easy to enjoy. It didn't take long before my first laughing outburst, and it only got more 'urusai' from there. While some knowledge of the Japanese language complements the occasional chuckle, the life of the movie is dominated by its loud and high-energy attitude. For those passionate about the sciences, Project Dream lends a few quirky opportunities to participate in the engineering bid.
An entertaining watch, typical of 1980s Polish comedy
A very typical rendition of Polish comedy in the 80s, though not the funniest I've seen.
The plot follows a series of "coincidental" events largely forced by the indivdual interests of a few, who in the end get what they want at the expense of Kasia's freedom and education. While the film delicately touches on female objectification, it appears to do so sparingly and innocently, translating into a successfully executed plot guaranteed to pull out unexpected laughter and entertainment throughout.
A must watch if you're into this style, though Polish fluency is required to get the full effect of the comedy.
Yume to kyôki no ôkoku (2013)
Hello, please allow me to observe you working.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness stays true to its name, offering a deep, touching, and realistic insight into the dreams and madness rampant in the production of Hayao Miyazaki's 'last' masterpiece, 'The Wind Rises'.
To the surprise of many, the documentary doesn't dive into Studio Ghibli's rich heritage. With the exception of Miyazaki's partnership with Isao Takahata, we learn little to nothing of his life, family, education, and works. Even less documented is the production process from concept to film. If you're looking for structure, biopsy, behind the scenes, and feel-good tangents, this is not it.
'Hello, please allow me to observe you working.' - the hanging note in the opening scenes summarizes the film's 'unobtrusive' approach. Unlike the typical American documentary, the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness drops the head-on interviews, spotlights, and overall busy atmosphere, in favour of capturing the routine of the team at Ghibli. Lacking the excitement and glorification one would expect from such a talented budget, the already 120 minute long time line feels slow. Watching sometimes feels as tedious as the animation process itself. Though, the result is a treasure: an unbiased look at what it means to be, and work for Miyazaki; the crew's timid involvement allows Miyazaki to open up, giving us an unexpected glimpse into what goes on in his head, and leads to a touching, raw, understanding of 'the suffering of film making'.
There's one thing to take away from The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: Miyazaki's philosophy. In a place where we expect happiness, motivation, and fusion, we instead find cynicism, bitterness, frustration, and chaos. Albeit delivered politely and comically, Miyazaki's words are not what we expect to hear. Through rants about bowing to not being able to draw A6M Zero's, Miyazaki channels his surrender within the modern world. 'Today, all of humanity's dreams are cursed somehow'. You can't create your own happiness, because you cannot control how others see your creations. 'The notion that one's goal in life is to be happy, that your own happiness is the goal... I just don't buy it.'
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is nothing you would expect, and everything you need to know. At first hard to follow, it quickly immerses you in a philosophical trance. Be sure to leave time to ponder at this solid 10.