Last night I had one of the most intense movie-watching experiences of my life. My friend and I watched the latest Studio Ghibli film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya. This movie will lift you up and break your heart. It will will make you feel peaceful and anxious, bitter and and full of wonder. It made me cry big, ugly tears.
A friend and I were talking recently about how we usually feel a stronger connection to books than we do to films. I think about my favorite books on a daily basis, but I rarely contemplate movies I watched a long time ago. I have a feeling this film will be different. I feel different for having seen it.
Before watching this film I was so used to stories making me feel the same way that I had begun to take them for granted. I was certainly not expecting to end up in a puddle of tears, or to still be thinking about Princess Kaguya when I woke up this morning. Sometimes it's hard to believe that the things I love - my favorite books, films, and poems - were created by another human being. They feel too much like a gift from the universe, sent to me right when I need it most. I think Charles de Lint said it best with this quote:
"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic - the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art, and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone."
I'm not sure if what I've learned from Princess Kaguya has to do with the film itself or that I happened to see it at this point in time, but I do know that I'm not going to take stories for granted anymore. I've learned to always seek out the things that make you feel vulnerable, the things that lift you up and tear you down and ultimately change your perspective. This is the everyday magic, and it doesn't matter where you find it as long as you don't fall into the trap of forgetting that it's there.
ps. If you noticed that I didn't give you a film synopsis, it's because I went into this movie not knowing anything about it, and I really think it's better that way.