Finished Dubliners yesterday. Goodreads says I had been reading it since January 23… amusing.

I seem to be a very slow reader this year. Having decided to exert no effort in reading, beyond reading as it feels right, I am creeping along at a snail’s pace and not an atom of reverse psychology has come into play. The books I have read, though, have been satisfying in their own way. Crime and Punishment was a milestone, and Dubliners (of which I will have more to say in the future) was an accessible introduction to the intimidating Joyce.

On a movie-watching note, I’ve seen a few more Studio Ghibli films in recent days, namely:

  • When Marnie Was There
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Ocean Waves
  • The Wind Rises

Of these, I would say The Wind Rises—about a real-life airplane designer in Imperial Japan—was the best story objectively. It’s a beautiful portrait of WW2 history and wholesome romance, greatly moving and morally nuanced in terms of the politics. I love this kind of depth in a children’s film.

From Up on Poppy Hill is also a romance, about school friends and a misunderstanding. I found the story a bit too tedious if I’m being honest, but it is still very sweet. Ocean Waves is another school story, though with an annoying female protagonist (and not enough ocean or waves).

I found myself most struck by When Marnie Was There, a Secret-Garden kind of tale about the friendship of two lonely girls suffering from trauma (!). It’s the kind of movie that has to be watched all the way through to make sense…the first 2/3 is rather strange and unsettling, keeping you on the edge of your seat and guessing at what it all means. But it’s one I will rewatch in the future, as well as read the book by Joan Robinson.

These Studio Ghibli films tend to be gently paced and challenge the modern viewer to take their time in the story. I have to smile at the realization that child-me would have had no problem with this; I used to have a very good attention span. For those looking to regain some of that ability to slow down, I would highly recommend this kind of anime. Only Yesterday is still my favorite, I think.

12 thoughts on “Slow-Paced Life … Joyce and Studio Ghibli

  1. tx for the note, Marian! i’m gradually getting better; the pace maker i was supposed to get turned out to be the wrong solution, as mostly it was my vagus nerve that berserkly reacted to treatment by a local ultrasound techie, coupled with a long term reaction to various sorts of food, like sugar, caffeine and probably other things i haven’t yet discovered…. my health is pretty good even tho i’m looking at my 79th B’day…. i was getting rather burned out on posting once a week and have found it a relief to not have to do that, now… i may resume at some point, tho, but am making no plans…. tx for the email; i hope things are going okay for you, with your new job and all…. take care!

    >

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Marian Thank You so much for sharing! I have been worrying for a while and just today I noticed your comment on Mudpuddle’s blog!

        @Mudpuddle – sending you all the good wishes and vibes! We miss you but nothing but your health is a priority! Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mudpuddle!! [grin] I’ve been thinking of you lately wondering how things were going. Good to see you on the road to full recovery!!

      Like

  2. Only Yesterday is also my favourite and I have to admit that I am never fully convinced by most of Hayao Miyazaki’s animations and that maybe due to the pacing (I also prefer darker animations of Satoshi Kon and also the work of Makoto Shinkai). I loved the gentleness and wonder of Kiki’s Delivery Service, though, and, of course, The Spirited Away and to some extent Howl’s Moving Castle are masterpieces. Have you seen any by Mamoru Hosoda? People who love Miyazaki also tend to love his work. I recall I liked Wolf Children and am looking forward to his newest work titled Belle.

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  3. I should enjoy some Ghibli films… One of my favorite JRPGs I’ve played is Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. It’s a great Nintendo Switch game featuring cut scenes, animation, and art design by Studio Ghibli. The story is great too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just looked it up, it seems to have some nice landscape art (just like these movies). 😀
      My sister and I just watched another Studio Ghibli the other day, Whisper of the Heart. It was great! Definitely on the slower side, but I sort of enjoy that compared to modern Hollywood films.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Long-form reading. Slow movie watching. They may be dying art forms. Good to keep’em alive though.

        Oh yes, NNK has great art design and landscapes. It’s quite beautiful. I do plan to watch some Ghibli films…eventually.

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