Blu-ray Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
30th July 2015
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★★★★★ Studio Ghibli’s most renowned director Hayao Miyazaki’s final animated feature, The Wind Rises, was distributed in the UK last May following its 2013 Japanese release. A typically beautiful piece of filmmaking, it won awards all over the world and was deservedly nominated for both an Academy award for ‘Best Animated Feature’ and a Golden Globe for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’. But with Miyazaki’s departure, all film production has halted and the future looks uncertain for the acclaimed and beloved anime studio. Softly laying in The Wind Rise’s soaring shadow however, was The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, directed in the same year by fellow founding member and second in line to the Ghibli throne, Isao Takahata, known for creating some of the studio’s more affecting films such as 1988’s harrowingly beautiful Grave of the Fireflies. Princess Kaguya is based on ‘The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale’, a Japanese fable in which a tiny princess from the moon (naturally) is found in a bamboo shoot by a woodsman and his wife. As the princess grows she is moved from the natural environment of the forest to the capital where she must live as nobility, courted by the country’s most eligible bachelors and the emperor himself. In the city she finds her natural vitality stemmed and faded and herself alienated by the selfish expectations of her adoptive father and high society.
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