Photos - Omohide Poro Poro

I haven't posted any photos from my favorite Studio Ghibli film in a while, and since some of you have suggested that I save the banner from the old templates...Isao Takahata's 1991 masterpiece, Omohide Poro Poro.

These shots belong to the sunrise scene, where Taeko picks safflowers in the mountains during daybreak. It never fails to amaze me, move me, leave me in awe. It's nothing less than a miracle, a perfect example of the cinema and the power of myth.


asuka said...

such a great, great film.
isn't it great when they first arrive and drive up to the field and we see those faces of the family working in the field, faces still and composed like orthodox icons .

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, that is a great scene. It's interesting that these sort of shots - a still photo of a person set against a moving background - is so common in the age of cgi. Takahata also uses this technique in My Neighbors the Yamadas.

The sheer technical vertuosity is one of Poro Poro's greatest strengths. Takahata uses just about every director's trick in the book, in terms of shots, compositions, and editing. Am I the only one who's reminded of Quentin Tarantino?

Ojisan said...

I love it, and yet I have one quibble: I dislike "The Rose" at the end, find it both oversweet and too fatalistic for the cheerful ending. I've always wanted to cut my own sound ending, substituting "Theodora is Dozing" by Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir -

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Ah, but is it really a cheerful ending? Did she get off the train and go back to the farm, or did the events only happen in her mind? Note the presence of the childhood characters, who only appear in Taeko-chan's imagination.

Remember that Isao Takahata is, above all else, a psychological filmmaker. He uses the animation medium to show us the inner minds of his characters, not necessarily the outer reality. I think this ending is actually a bit ambiguous, and open to interpretation.

Ambi Valent said...

I think adult Taeko really got out of the train and called Toshio. But the very last scene has adult Taeko and Toshio leaving, with the focus remaining on little Taeko.

That's not a happy look, but one of deep doubt - after a life in which her own opinion never counted much, Taeko finally asserted her own decision, but she's not sure if it was the right thing to do.

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