The Barbican is running an exhibition about Japanese homes and domestic architecture called The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945. It began on March 23rd and lasts until June 25th. There will be films screened as part of the exhibition. I’ve already written about Princess Kaguya, An Autumn Afternoon, Woman in the Dunes, and Sogo Ishii’s (now known as Gakuryu Ishii) The Crazy Family. It is time for another Ghibli film and it is the quietly spectacular, Whisper of the Heart which will be screened on June 17th at 16:00.
Here is the information:
Release Date: July 15th, 1995
Running Time: 111 mins.
Director: Yoshifumi Kondo
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay), Aoi Hiiragi (Original Manga)
Starring: Youko Honna (Shizuku Tsukishima), Issei Takahashi (Seiji Amasawa), Takashi Tachibana (Seiya Tsukishima), Shigeru Muroi (Asako Tsukishima), Shigeru Tsuyuguchi (The Baron), Keiju Kobayashi (Shiro Nishi),
Whisper of the Heart is based on a 1989 manga of the same name by Aoi Hiiragi. It was the first and last film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo who tragically died at the age of 47 three years after its release. He had a long career in anime starting with Nippon Animation and he worked as an animation director and worked on key animation on many pre-Ghibli anime titles that Miyazaki and Isao Takahata directed such as Future Boy Conan, Anne of Green Gables, and Sherlock Hound. He continued on in those roles on Ghibli classics like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday and Princess Mononoke. Whisper of the Heart was his biggest work and stands as a testament to the talent of the man who was expected to become one of the top directors at Studio Ghibli, alongside Miyazaki and Takahata.
This film captures the joys of teen life. Whether it is the stumbling steps towards finding a creative outlet or first love, it sensitively captures the emotions and the explorations of its two teen protagonists perfectly. It’s beautiful and I can watch it over and over. Having the chance to see it on the big screen is too much to pass up and so I hope my writing about this can help lead people to this wonderful experience. I bet people in the audience will get emotional when Country Road plays…
Synopsis from the Barbican: Over the summer holidays 14-year-old Shizuku determines to read as many books as possible in preparation for her future career as a writer. After meeting a boy named Seiji, Shizuku discovers an antique shop whose array of fantastical items inspires her to start writing a book starring the shop’s most intriguing artefact, a top-hatted cat figurine called The Baron.