Howl at Venice

minnow at minnow at
Mon Sep 6 04:55:14 EDT 2004

I have just been sent this unattributed review of the movie.  I have no
idea who or where it comes from originally (I shall hassle the lad who sent
it when he gets back from work) but I thought people might like to share it
even when it's anonymous:

Oh, and afterwards, we lined up for this Hauro no ugoku shiro movie. It
was the only screening where we were searched for videocameras, and the
Palagalileo was filled to the brim in no time. Then they announced over
the PA that we are about to witness the world premiere screening of the
new Hayao Miyazaki movie. And they brought the lights down, but I'm
sure you could've seen me glow in the dark, down there.

 From the huge applause that greeted the Studio Ghibli logo, to the
huger applause after the movie ended, I was afraid to blink and miss
something. It's that good. Yes, it's a Diana W. Jones story, but it's
total Miyazaki through and through. From the beautifully-realised
steampunk world of 19th century Europe, to the amazing, gilliamesque
Castle itself, to Howl, who fights his battles far away from our eyes,
to the wonderfully funny Calcifer, the spirit of fire, to the central
story of a plain 18-y-old girl who falls under a spell and is
transformed into a 90-y-old, it's a huge procession of OMG OMG OMG and
more squee from my rusty old heart than Johnny Depp, bless his soul,
could ever entice. It took a really schmaltzy Japanese pop song over
the ending scene and credits to make me snap out of it. Howl is as good
as Mononoke or Spirited Away, even though it has a more unequivocal
happy ending. I can't wait for it to be unleashed onto the world - and
feel so pride to have been there.

Sounds as if it may be reasonably good.  Also sounds (as I rather expected)
more Miyazaki than DWJ, so we'd better be forewarned not to worry about for
instance Calcifer as a comic turn...


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