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Spirited Away (2001, Japanese)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki (125 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (97%), IMDB (8.6), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: anime, childhood.

Summary: Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Anime Movie in 2002. I was struck by the imagination that crafted the story and the myriad ghostly creatures in it. The cutest character is a walking lamppost that appears for less than a minute :) Miyazaki made this movie specifically for 10-year old girls. Some Western parents find it frightening because ten year old Chihiro is transported into the spirit world when she's awake (not dreaming) and her parents turn into pigs. Roger Ebert wrote a glowing review.

The closing song of the movie is beautiful: Itsumo Nando Demo. Lyrics (with English translation): here. The song has an official English version.

Itsumo Nando Demo by Youmi Kimura

Somewhere, a voice calls, in the depths of my heart.
May I always be dreaming, the dreams that move my heart.

So many tears of sadness, uncountable through and through.
I know on the other side of them, I'll find you.

Everytime we fall down to the ground, we look up to the blue sky above.
We wake to its blueness, as for the first time.

Though the road is long and lonely and the end far away, out of sight.
I can with these two arms embrace the light.

As I bid farewell my heart stops, in tenderness I feel
My silent empty body begins to listen to what is real.

The wonder of living, the wonder of dying,
The wind, town, and flowers, we all dance one unity.

Somewhere a voice calls in the depths of my heart.
"Leep dreaming your dreams, don't ever let them part".

Why speak of all your sadness or of life's painfull woes?
Instead, let the same lips sing a gentle song for you.

The whispering voice, we never want to forget,
in each passing memory always there to guide you.

When a miror has been broken, shattered pieces scattered on the ground,
Glimpses of new life, reflected all around.

Window of beginning, stillness, new light of the dawn,
Let my silent, empty body be filled and reborn.

No need to search outside, nor sail across the sea
Cause here shining inside me, it's right here inside me.

I've found a brightness, it's always with me.

 

1 Jan 2013
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