Friday, January 29, 2010

529 - You Aught to Know - 35-37

I Heart Huckabees, David O. Russell, 2004, 21 points

I feel a boyish sensitivity toward Schwartzman’s character. He eerily reminds me of my under-graduate self. That said, it is not mere sentimentality that draws me to the film. While not doing much justice to the integrity of the conflicting philosophies in the film, Russell does an excellent job of showing how funny it is when those philosophies find themselves in conflict. The fact that I find the film to be emotionally moving amidst this humor is thrilling for me. I hope you find something similar in the film. I laugh and cry when I see this film and then I laugh until I cry and then I do an odd and troublingly lovely thing—I cry until I laugh. - Aaron Mcnally

Maybe it's just my kind of movie. It's quirky, hysterical and so shallowly deep that it proves you could drown in a bucket of water. Everything may be the same as everything else, but when I want to remember that the world is a facade and everything works out in the end, this is the movie I reach for. - Ryan Toppin

In the Bedroom, Todd Field, 2001, 21 points

Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki, 2001, 20 points

"Sen-toh Chihiro-no Kami-kakushi" is one of my favorite films by the renowned Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Certainly one of the greatest animated films of all time. A young girl named Chihiro follows her parents into what appears to be an abandoned amusement park one day when they get lost on their way to a their new home in the countryside. But the park turns out to be some kind of gateway into a spiritual realm. Her parents become cursed when they eat too much food, and Chihiro must work for an antagonistic witch in a traditional Japanese bath-house in order to rescue them. She has been spirited away, flung into a situation which she cannot possibly begin to comprehend, and it requires all of her inner strength to make the best of it. Miyazaki invents a magical universe reminiscent of the "Meiji" era (from 1868-1912) when Japan rapidly transformed itself into an industrialized nation. If I understand correctly, the myriad creatures of this universe are all borrowed from ancient Japanese mythology, though some may have been conjured from the vast imagination of Miyazaki by himself. I believe Miyazaki's purpose in making this film was to provide role-model via the main character Chihiro to encourage young Japanese people, especially young women, to have courage and self confidence when facing something new, like a new school, a new home, or a new job. It achieves this purpose with an unforgettable story and the some of the most beautiful, colorful, exotic, and imaginative background I have ever seen in any animation. - Ramin Honary

Previously on You Aught to Know: Eric Mohling

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