1st Nov 2014
Princess Kaguya Art Film – A Visual, Soulful Feast
The Japanese animated film, Princess Kaguya, by Isao Takahata is one of those not to be missed art treasures. He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and previously directed Grave of the Fireflies twelve years ago.
The illustrations alone – spiritedly set in motion – caused us to muse on the beauty of nature as well as life. The use of moving silk kimonos to express wind, for example, was breathtaking and captivating.
The storyline is as poignant as any we have encountered in a long, long time. Don’t dismiss this movie because it is seemingly a story for children. It is. But it isn’t.
A bamboo cutter discovers an unusual child in the folds of a bamboo shoot and he and his wife, Ona, take the child (Kaguya) in to raise as their own. Kaguya frolics, sings and plays among friends in the rural forest to an animated background of watercolors that is an unhurried visual feast. One need not be an art lover to want to soak in the imagery frame by frame.
The father discovers a cache of gold and silk kimonos in the forest one day and takes this as a sign that his daughter is destined to be royalty. He places her on this earthly path of aspiration only to discover that yes, she is in fact destined for another, worldly experience, one that he cannot change. (Spoiler alert ahead- we will disclose the ending)
Like a fallen angel, it turns out that Kaguya managed to get herself to earth to discover the delights of emotion, good and bad, that the songs from her original people lyricized.
Once Kaguya becomes a young, grown woman she is called back by her people because she is heir to a throne with them but it is not the throne her parents thought was to be hers. Kaguya knows that once she dons the royal cloak she will not remember her journey on Earth including her precious childhood and family. Her parents must watch her ascend to her place in the sky – and let her go.
Perhaps it was a metaphor for death, or the fact that over time, we forget so many of our childhood memories. This other-worldly circle of life was an elegant story of just how good it all is, even the parts of life that are difficult. Kaguya takes the cloak and moves on as her parents weep at their follies on her behalf.
#art #beauty #inspiration #film #rockofeden #love