Today's Screenshots - Omohide Poro Poro #2

One of the great things Isao Takahata brings to his films is a wide variety of visual styles, a willingness to change the whole look of a picture several times over. It's one of his signature traits, and I don't think it's ever been more perfectly balanced than in Omohide Poro Poro. The movie's two sides - the adult Taeko spending her vacation on a farm, and the memories of her long-forgotten childhood - exist in their own worlds. The adult world is fiercely realist, the childhood world a pop montage of color and faded outlines.

These screenshots are both from Taeko-chan's childhood in the 1960s. The band in the still photo was Josie and the Tigers, a popular group in the Beatles mold. There's a strong Warhol pop spirit in this film, with advertisements, movies, and popular songs quoted and referenced freely (tapping into that nostalgia that defines so much of the Ghibli era). The second picture, with Taeko in the center, is shot as an a homage to a popular ad of the time (although, sadly, I can't remember specifics - oh, the irony).


Kanta said...

Dear Daniel
At Ghibli Tavern, We met the other day. Kanta is me, from Japan.

I watched this film15 years ago. After that, I haven’t watched it again.
I think I'm aged as same as Taeko, probably.
And we share common memories of 1960s, such as TV shows, pop songs.
So, every episode reminded me those good old days.
But, is it also nostalgic for foreigners or other generations as well??
When I was small, there were many TV programs from US, such as COMBAT, the FUGITIVE, TWILIGHT ZONE, LASSIE, RIFLE-MAN……. Do they who are much younger than me get nostalgia for these old titles??
Anyway, to tell the truth, while I was watching “Only Yesterday”, I wasn’t much interested in. The story line was flat, agriculture issue was not new, young women’s worrying about her life was common everytime everywhere, and her childhood memories weren’t exciting…. But after the ending roll began?? Everyone knows the unexpected ending with full of tears. I realized that Takahata’s scheme perfectly got succeeded after all.

When I was a kid, I liked The Tigers as well as The Monkeys. “Day Dream Believer” was my favorite song. If you need, I’ll send you some mp3 music of the Tigers.
If you are good at Japanese, can I write in Japanese next time? As you see, my English isn’t very good. You don’t have to upload my reply.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Your English is quite excellent. It's a very challenging language. My advice: get yourself some Bob Dylan albums, and maybe Johnny Cash.

The themes present in Omohide Poro Poro are somewhat universal. There are cultural differences, of course - the scene where the father slaps Taeko is one example - but the greater humanity is universal. It's very much the same with Yasujiro Ozu's films, which is why they are embraced by the West.

I'm afraid watashi no nihongo is not very good. I don't have opporutnities to practice, really, so I'm not as disciplined as I should be. Gomen nasai. I'll try to spend less time with the Nintendo DS Lite and a little more time with the grammer books.

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