Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns is Fur-midable!

Based on Aoi Hiiragi’s manga about a schoolgirl’s adventure with a suave feline figure, Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns (2002) is another amazing adventure from Studio Ghibli. The film follows Haru Yoshioka, a shy and timid schoolgirl, who saves a cat who ends up being Prince Lune of the Cat Kingdom. The Cat Kingdom decide…

Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle Bewitches and Enchants!

After the international success of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001), Studio Ghibli set its sight on their next film project. Miyazaki decided on basing his film on the novel called Howl’s Moving Castle by author Diana Wynne Jones. Despite sharing the same name, and a few plot points, Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) is only…

Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro is an enchanting masterpiece!

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) was the third film produced under the now legendary Studio Ghibli Studio. The film, directed by co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, follows two young sisters and their interaction with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. The two sisters, Satsuki and her young sister Mei, have to both deal with moving to a new house…

Kondō’s Whisper of the Heart sings to the soul!

Yoshifumi Kondō’s first and only film Whisper of the Heart (1995), follows a 14-year-old girl named Shizuku Tsukishima whose only focus seems to be on books and writing. Despite having important tests at school which will determine her future, Shizuku focuses on her passion which leads to her meeting Seiji who is also focusing of making violins…

Bit Review: Kikujiro (1999)

Kikujiro is a japanese film in which Takeshi Kitano wrote and directed himself in. The film follows a young boy (Masao Sugiyama played by Yusuke Sekiguchi) who goes on a quest to find his mother. Takeshi Kitano who plays, Kikujiro Takeda, is forced by his wife to accompany him. A simple plot it initially seems,…

Classic Bit Review: Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai (1954), which is one of Kurosawa’s most recognisable films, and was a success in Japan and the West too as Seven Samurai made more money than any other film that year and won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Kurosawa could finally make jidaigeki films with no barriers, and he began…

Classic Bit Review: Ikiru (1952)

Kurosawa’s first post-Occupation film, Ikiru (1952), was released in October of that year and was a huge hit in Japan both critically and commercially and in the West too. The film follows Takeshi Shimura’s character as he finds out he has a terminal illness and how he deals with it. Ikiru is also called To…

Classic Bit Analysis: The Most Beautiful (1944)

During the Second World War, Kurosawa made indirect propaganda films which promoted ideals for the country to help the war effort. Sanshiro Sugata, Sanshiro Sugata part II (1945) and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945) are all propaganda but less literal and direct. The use of Sanshiro defeating the American boxer in…

Classic Bit Review: Sanshiro Sugata Pt I (1943)

Akira Kurosawa’s debut picture, Sanshiro Sugata, debuted during the Second World War. Sanshiro Sugata was Kurosawa’s first feature film that was greenlit to shoot and did not have any immediate cuts to the script. Prior to even starting with the idea of Sanshiro Sugata, Kurosawa had written another script a few years’ prior and he…

Bit Analysis: Rashomon (1950)

Rashōmon, directed by Akira Kurosawa, is a Japanese film made in 1950 and it was also “Based on a 1921 story by Ryunosuke Aakutagawa entitled ‘In a Grove’” (Pramaggiore and Wallis, 2005). The film follows an enquiry into the murder of a Samurai and the rape of his wife. The story is told by a…