Video - Jarinko Chie, Opening and Closing
There's precious little of to be found of Isao Takahata's 1981 film, Jarinko Chie, on Youtube. I was lucky enough to find clips of the opening and closing credit sequences. These happen to be excellent scenes, so I thought I would share them with you.
Chie's opening credit sequence (it's about five minutes into the movie, actually) is based heavily on Hanafuda playing cards. Takahata would use this same motif in the opening scenes of My Neighbors the Yamadas. I've often felt both films were close cousins, being comedies about modern Japanese families, told in a loosely episodic style.
I think Chie is the better of the two. It's bawdier, earthier, more strongly rooted in its Western Kansai environment. It also presents a larger story arc, and hides its episodic seams more deftly. Yamada-kun abandons all pretense of an overall plot, and its episodes are plain for all to see; it's more like a Calvin and Hobbes book.
These credit sequences always stay in my memory because the music is so wonderful. Takahata has always been a great music connoisseur. You can see that in every movie he's made; every soundtrack is superlative, memorable, infectious. It's enough to make you want to hit the play button, and watch the movie all over again.