Princess Mononoke (1997)


Princess Mononoke” carries the distilled wisdom of a lifetime and more. One might say that it is the Japanese cartoon version of something vaguely similar to the “Lord of the Rings” but much more beautiful at so many levels.

There are enemies, different clans, conspiracies, fights and fierce battles. There are conflicting goal, misunderstandings, hatred, curses and love.

But one may see many more than just a tale told in an elegant way presented with beautiful (and sometimes amazing) graphics:

  • A notion about the nature of hatred, how it is generated, how it is contagious and how it may be mitigated and eliminated
  • The relationship of humans with nature, the harm we do to it and how we depend on it
  • and so many others …

Although the graphics may be less impressive than the ones in “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)“, the story is more solid, dense and related to the human nature and problems.

My rating: 08/10

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

There are many amazing things regarding this film. To start with, despite the fact that one may not fully grasp the film’s allegory at first, it generates so many emotions that one feels like a bucket ready to overflow. The scene of Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis – who gives one hell of a performance for a child) running holding the fireworks in her hands is one to be remembered in time to come.

From the direction’s point of view there is an entirely different, exhilarating filming approach during the opening of the movie, intensified by the background music. A feeling which continues through out being less intense but still there.

The rest of the post discusses the movie’s allegory, so you may want to skip it till you see the movie itself.

My rating: 09/10

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Garbage in the Garden of Eden (2012)

Garbage in the Garden of Eden of Fatih Akin is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Apart from the obvious qualities one expects from this movie species (well documented facts, a spherical approach to the subject with different views etc) there are some unique qualities.
It feels a lot like a usual movie. The photography, the beauty of the place, the people filmed, the way scenes follow one another, all of that plus the love of the people for the village radiate a totally different atmosphere from a typical documentary.
Then it manages to display so eloquently the shortsightedness, non-accountability and indifference of the people responsible for the creation of the garbage dump next to this paradise.

Why do such things happen? Because Camburnu is not the only place and Turkey is not the only country with such cases.

It is certain that if the people taking the decisions for the creation of the dump in Camburnu

  • had their home in that village or
  • were accountable for their actions, regarding the preservation of the environment, the health of the people leaving near by

the dump would not be there.

It is also probable that if the same people had loved nature since they were kids, understood its beauty and power it has over our lives, they would have thought a lot more before creating this mess.

A unique film you should not miss.
My rating:  9/10

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, is an anime film by Hayao Miyazaki, based on the synonymous manga. It belongs to that specific category of Japanese anime films and (in my opinion) is one of the best of its kind. The story may appear naive, but reading between the lines, it is not. There are so many things conveyed by its tale.

The sceneries are really amazing, products of a flourishing imagination that touch revelation. Just observing them, provides a value by itself. It is like poetry in the domain of vision.

As many other films of the director, like “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away“, it provides an innovative story and a divergent point of view on the problems we experience. Do not be mistaken: animation does not make a good tale less real than a film with real actors.

My rating: 08/10