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.


Anonymous said...

I just watched this film again last night. I had forgotten how good it is! Probably my favorite Takahata film next to Only Yesterday

hjg said...

Jarinko Chie is a charming movie, I've seen it so many times, (and it always makes me laugh when the father appears at the school class!)
So much fun and heart! I agree it is one of Takahata's best. A pity it is (and will always be, I suppose) so little known outside Japan.

I hope to see the TV series someday.

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