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MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS

Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Studio Ghibli Takahata and Other Classics)

Director: Takahata Isao

My Neighbors the Yamadas (Ho-hokekyo Tonari no Yamada Kun) Japan

Utterly distinct from standard Studio Ghibli animation, My Neighbors the Yamadas consists of rough sketches in outline form, with soft colours reminiscent of watercolour painting. As opposed to the often mystical nature of many Studio Ghibli films, director Takahata Isao has chosen the everyday activities of family life, based upon a popular Japanese comic strip of the same title. Favouring character portrayal over plot, Takahata's film is a wonderfully simple and wry look at the Yamada family: mother Matsuko and father Takashi; their son Noboru and daughter Nonoko; Shige, Matsuko's mother; and Pochi, the family dog. Irresponsible, slovenly and lazy, the Yamada family and their unassuming way of life entrances audiences with sly humour and unexpectedly poignant moments.

D/S Takahata Isao P Suzuki Toshio WS Studio Ghibli L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/1999/104mins

Takahata Isao was born in Mie, Japan in 1935. Films include: The Story of Yanagawa Waterways (1987), Only Yesterday (MIFF 2004).

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