Categories
Animation Features Movies

A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi, 聲の形)

Director – Naoko Yamada – 2016 – Japan – Cert. 12a – 130m

****

Groundbreaking and innovative Japanese drama about school children, bullying, remorse, isolation and self-loathing – plays in the Annecy Animation Festival 2022 which is taking place in a 100% on-site edition this year right now in the Special Programmes section (A Special Screening for the Hard of Hearing)

Egged on by Naoka Ueno (voice: Yuki Kaneko) then later shunned by classmates for his bullying of new girl in class Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami), who happens to be deaf, Shoya Ishida (Miyu Irino) stops interacting with them and withdraws. This is represented onscreen by the extraordinary graphic device of an ‘X’ over the faces of his fellow schoolmates whenever they appear. It’s a very powerful way of expressing his isolation. Five years on, wrecked with guilt about his treatment of Nishimiya, he learns sign language and decides to befriend her and to make amends…

This film may well broaden your idea of what animation is capable. It’s nothing like Disney and equally it’s light years from Japanese SF action fest Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) although it likewise started life as a manga and concerns teenagers.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

A Quiet Passion

Nonconformist poet

A Quiet Passion
Directed by Terence Davies
Certificate 12a, 126 minutes
Released 7 April 2017

A stern matriarch divides a school room of young women into those who are saved on one side and those who hope to be saved on the other. This leaves Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) in the middle because she hasn’t got as far as that yet. Rescued from the seminary by her father Edward (Keith Carradine), Emily confesses that she was suffering from ‘evangelism’.

Thus begins the latest film from the British, Catholic director Terence Davies – a biopic of the 19th-century, US poet Emily Dickinson, from her leaving school, through her life as a single woman in an era when women were supposed to marry and have children, to her death. Directed with Davies’ usual visual, cinematic rigour and punctuated by large chunks of Dickinson’s poetry in voice-over, the film also drips Christianity. It never attempts to convert anyone, but neither does it shy away from portraying a household in the southern states where faith and theology are everyday discussion topics. [Read more…]

Full review in Reform magazine, April 2017.

Trailer: