REVIEW: The Tale of Princess Kaguya | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Director: Isao Takahata

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, James Cann (English Language Version)

Run Time: 137 minutes

Certificate: U


Going to a gallery is fun. You can see amazing pieces of art, but the art is usually stationary. What Studio Ghibli have produced here is a masterful piece of art, but one that moves, in every sense of the word.

A Japanese friend of mine is unsure whether to watch Princess Kaguya because it is a story so entrenched in Japanese minds, like Robin Hood or Tom Thumb is for the British, but I would implore even her to go and see it. The drawings are simple, even slightly crude, but beautiful, meaning you can almost see the coarse paper they were drawn upon. The story is fanciful, as folk tales are, and while the moral was hard for me to find there are moments of joy, sadness, love and loss. It is an incredibly quiet film, just as in Japanese culture, but the empty aural space is not a negative and it simply adds to the story (but please, please don’t take noisy sweets in with you!)

If you’re not familiar with the concept, in Japanese culture there’s almost no taboo surrounding nakedness, so it is refreshing to see a film for a slightly younger audience, albeit animated, that is not afraid to show the human body. It’s another win for public breastfeeding!

Princess Kaguya is a must see, and I don’t say that lightly.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is now screening at the Tyneside Cinema.

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