The seventh seal (Det sjunde inseglet)

the-seventh-seal-posterSwedish black and white fantasy drama from 1957.
Starring: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Writer: Ingmar Bergman
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The seventh seal” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

69 movies down. 296 to go.

If you want to get “The seventh seal” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The Battle of Algiers” (“La battaglia di Algeri”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime)

princess-mononoke-posterJapanese animated fantasy from 1997.
Starring: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Ashitaka’s village is attacked by a demon that infects him with a curse that will slowly kill him. The village wise woman tells him to travel to the lands in the west where he might find a cure, although that is uncertain.

Reactions

Most of the action in “Princess Mononoke” takes place during Ashitaka’s journey and after he arrives in the western lands. The time of this adventure is long ago when Gods still roamed the earth.

The music is just as enjoyable as in other Miyazaki movies and it brings out both emotions and moods. “Princess Mononoke” has more of a anime feel to it than other Miyazaki movies, with the classical overreaction faces of the characters and the sounds that go along with them. This is not something that is present often, though.

There is mostly a feel of adventure and fairy tale in “Princess Mononoke” and it has the typical moral messages of older traditional stories. The morals of the story is important and quite easy to get for young and old. Happily, this does not mean the story is simplified or boring.

Once again we see that cutting off one’s own pony tale has some kind of significance in a Japanese movie, but I still don’t exactly what.

Contemplations

The animation is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and while there is some violence, this medium allows such matters to be less graphic. The drawings are both cute and pretty, without being just an excuse for showing off nature and people.

The characters are fantastical, as they should be in a fairy tale, but still human enough for the viewers to relate and care about their fate. The strange thing is that I also came to care for the fate of the forest. Don’t get me wrong, I naturally care for nature and how it fares, but I ended up caring for the forest as if it was a person or character.

The story sits with the viewer for quite some time, and the messages can reach every member of a family. (Also the family members that more traditionally aren’t too concerned with at least some of the issues in the movie, such as feminism and environmental protection.)

“Princess Mononoke” is a fantastic animated movie, maybe the best I’ve ever seen.

Judgement

“Princess Mononoke” is a very enjoyable movie with a bit of meaning and a good adventure story. I will watch it again many times in the future.

Epilogue

I recommend everyone watch “Princess Mononoke” once in a while to get a reminder of the importance of nature and our relationships to one another.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Princess Mononoke” (“Mononoke-hime”) or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

52 movies down. 313 to go.

If you want to get “Princess Mononoke” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Stagecoach”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

The Wizard of Oz

wizard-of-oz-posterAmerican fantasy adventure from 1939 in both black and white and technicolor.
Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
Director: Victor Fleming
Writers: L. Frank Baum, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Dorothy tries to run away from home, but is caught up in a tornado and passes out. She awakes in the land of the munchkins, somewhere over the rainbow, and must try to find her way home, and avoid the wicked witch on her way.

Reactions

This is a joyous movie that engages the viewers heart, courage and brains. I have seen “The wizard of Oz” many times before, and it was important to me as a young child. That might color my reaction to today’s viewing (if you, dear readers, will pardon the pun), but there isn’t very much I can do about that. I will try to stay objective.

Each time I watch the movie I seem to have forgotten just how many munchkins there are, and how many citizens of Emerald city and how many troops the wicked witch has. It is a populous movie, and it does seem to make the lands over the rainbow fun and enjoyable, all be it a little scary, to visit.

Contemplations

I love the story in this movie. It is a fairy tale in many ways, and it is well presented. The childlike problems and worries of Dorothy and how she superimposes the people in her life on the adventures with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, is perfectly filmed.

The music is unforgettable and several songs are in the public consciousness even now, 78 years later. Below you can get a reminder of one musical number from “The wizard of Oz”: “Somewhere over the rainbow”.

The most striking feature of the movie is the contrast between black and white and color. How it is the fantasy over the rainbow that is colored is in some ways puzzling, and yet perfect.

The set in the lands over the rainbow seem artificial and is clearly not filmed outdoors. I wonder if that is a consequence of filming in color or a choice of look for these lands.

Judgement

A simply wonderful movie that I have enjoyed every time I see it. Well made in every respect.

Epilogue

I recommend this movie to anyone, of all ages. It is well worth watching for it’s adventure, but also for the imagery that is simple enough for children to understand as well. It might be worth mentioning to a child about to watch the movie for the first time that the viewers in 1939 might not have seen movies in color before, or at least not many. They might get an understanding of just how much of an impression that would have made.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The wizard of Oz” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

27 movies down. 338 to go.

If you want to get “The wizard of Oz” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The red shoes“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

My neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)

my-neighbor-totoro-posterJapanese animated fantasy adventure from 1988.
Starring: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto (American voice over version: Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Frank Welker)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Bechdel-test: Pass

Exposition

Two young sisters, Mei and Satsuki, and their father move into a new house while their mother is in the hospital. One of their new neighbors is the amazing Totoro.

Reactions

I have seen “My neighbor Totoro” many times before, and I have loved it every time. With each viewing I notice a few new things, sometimes I see a big new thing, and sometimes, like today, it’s something small. The new find this time was a goat and just how scary it was.

This is the first time I have seen the American dubbed version of the film, and the voice actors were good and convincing as these characters that I love so much. Sadly I was put off by the way they pronounced Totoro, where the second “t” became a “d”. Also the song at the beginning and end didn’t quite fit with the American accents. For the rest of the movie I didn’t notice anything off-putting with the voices.

The animation was just as fun and beautiful as I always find in Miyazaki’s movies.

Contemplations

The story isn’t very complex, but rather it is sweet and innocent. It focuses on the little things in life, and the pacing of the storytelling makes it fun and entertaining throughout. Maybe part of what captivates with this story is the unexpected and unusual elements.

Most important in this movie are the characters and setting. “My neighbor Totoro” is set in countryside in Japan in the 1950’s, and is as such, an adventure in a different time and place for a westerner like myself. The characters are true and whole people, each and every one. More than I’ve seen in most other movies, if not in all other movies.

The amazing thing about this movie is how the children are depicted just as I remember children to be from my own childhood. Not that I experienced any events like those in the movie, but still, the emotions and reactions seems utterly real, and I don’t think I’m used to seeing children so realistically depicted in movies.

The movie leaves me with the image of what it is to be a child, the fears, the joys, the little explorations of the closest world. And maybe I am also reminded of how it feels to be a parent and how one might relive childhood through parenthood.

Judgement

Still loved the movie, but I prefer the Japanese and the earlier British version. “My neighbor Todoro” was not right for me.

Epilogue

I recommend this movie to absolutely anyone. For Americans maybe any voice version is fine, but for most others I would recommend the British or Japanese version.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “My neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

Eight movies down. 357 to go.

If you want to get “My neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Seven Samurai” (Shichinin no samurai). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.