Friday, March 23, 2007

Jason goes to Asianfest--day 8

Just one movie last night, a sweet and humorous anime film "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", which played to a packed house at the Pacific Film Archives in Berkeley. I'm a little wary of writing this review since,
  1. Anime is the one genre where I freely admit I'm less well versed than the average geek (including members of my own family). So while I could tell you it's based on a novel or that director Mamoru Hosoda was originally slated to make "Howl's Moving Castle" or that it has the same art director as "Princess Mononoke" and the same character designer as "Neon Genesis", most people looking for this movie already know that (and a lot more, I only know that from the program notes on the SFIAAFF website).
  2. I'm tired, and this is about the time in the festival where I can't write much more than 'I saw a movie...and it was good'. So it's really tempting just to write 'I saw "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' and it was good'.

But instead I'll give you a little more than that. The girl of the title is Makato, a slightly clumsy tomboy and high school senior who's had a really, really bad day. She was late for school, failed a pop quiz, started a fire in cooking class, was accidentally clobbered by two wrestling boys, fell on a weird acorn-looking thing, and to top it all off the brakes on her bike failed and she was hit by a train and died! That is, until she woke up a few seconds earlier, having crashed into a pedestrian instead. Turns out that acorn thingy she fell on gave her the ability to leap back in time. So she uses it to turn her worst (and dying) day into the best day ever. Things seem to be fine, until her friend Chiaki (one of two guys she plays baseball with) suggests they should start dating. She panics and jumps backward, ultimately avoiding that trap, but setting off disastrous consequences that teach her how dangerous time leaping can be. And I won't give away the ending, but it gets even stranger from there. It was good.

And now I'm all caught up with Asianfest. No movie tonight, but 9 more slated for the weekend in San Jose.

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