Tag Archives: postaweek

A Quick Reflection on Spirited Away

The first time I watched Spirited Away was during an A Level Film Studies class. Four to Five years on I decided to re-watch it. Considering the film is rated so highly amongst critics and ‘Greatest Ever Animated Film’ polls I couldn’t remember much about it except some of the odder characters. The creatures and spirits are some of the oddest, surreal and bizarre in an animated film I can remember. There are the soot workers, a momentary glimpse of a giant and obese radish spirit, two identical big headed grannies, a silent spirit monster and three green bouncing heads to name a few. Watching the film a second time the creativity was equally refreshing. There a scenes with a stinking, sludge spirit that transforms with the help of Chihiro (the protagonist), as well as another where paper birds attack Haku (Chihiro’s friend in the spirit world) in the form of a dog-like dragon. The film isn’t enchanting like a fairy tale is but it does captivate you and your imagination.

Spirited Away is a far cry from the sentimental and hopeful films that Disney produces. It is refreshing to see a children’s film that isn’t overbearingly emotional, but peaceful and quaint; it feels Japanese rather than American. The film was odd, bizarre and surreal, but it was oddly comforting. Animation can capture you like a live action film never could. Spirited Away thrives in its creativity but it doesn’t make it a classic or to be regarded as one of the greatest animated films ever, but it is a captivating film.

 

 

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Politics sucks!(?)

We should all start to think of art being political. It surely is, isn’t it? Politics is how we organise ourselves. And art organises us. It perpetuates myths of society, and it imbues itself with the artist’s beliefs. It influences the way that we look at the world. An artist is a politician. It is impossible for a piece of art to not be political.

Artistic institutions are political. Do we have to pay to get in? Who owns the institution? Where is the institution located?  Why do these artworks hang on the walls? Who chose them? Does that make them good? Do critics know what good art is?

What effect does the art have on me? How do I experience it?

It is not just art that is political, everything is. Language. Art. Television. Film. Theatre. Architecture. Tables. Seats. Trains. Sewers. Sinks. And doors. It all governs the way we live. It all effects the way we experience the world. Surely we should start thinking about art politically not spiritually. Everything is political and everything is art.