All posts by lukk

About lukk

Karen is an Information Assistant II (General), who can be found at the Civic Centre Resource Library. She knits, reads, and repeats.

The Red Turtle (2016)

by Michael Dudok de WitIf you have yet to be acquainted with Studio Ghibli productions, please take a look through our collection now. (You’ll find that The Red Turtle is quite different from the rest of Studio Ghibli’s productions though, as the story and screenplay were by Michael Dudok de Wit, and the style makes me think Studio Ghibli played a slightly more minor role in this production than in their other animations. That being said, the moment I saw the trailer for The Red Turtle, I immediately recognized those waves – Ghibli had its hand in there somewhere, even if it was so very different from what I had come to expect in terms of style. )

While this film will likely leave you with more questions than you entered with, as well as make you wonder if you’re overanalyzing the plot, and possible symbols, or if you should simply take it as it is, it’s well worth watching this slow and quiet epic, and it ages quite well as you return to it. There are no words throughout, though there is some frustrated screaming into the ocean – and I know that Shaun the Sheep was much praised for the same thing (being wordless, that is, not for its screaming into the ocean), but this is a different use of wordless animation that will probably appeal more to adult audiences – so you end up relying a lot on the beautiful soundtrack, though even in the moments with neither music nor words, the sound of the trees rustling, hurried breathing, a panicked noise, are more than enough to relay the emotions within each scene.

The Red Turtle hasn’t been released on DVD/Blu-ray yet, but it’s still playing (at the time of writing this post) at the TIFF, so go see it if you get the chance!

Here are some other films that you might like if you’re either thinking of seeing this or enjoyed it:

  1. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  3. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
  4. Ernest and Celestine (2014)

As Red as Blood

Salla SimukkaHave you noticed a pattern anywhere in my posts?

Now that I’m looking right at the cover, I’m a little bit confused: the silhouette looks Tinkerbell-esque, and she is most certainly not from a Grimms fairy tale. That’s not important though. In fact, although there are plenty of fairytale references throughout, including (of course) Snow White, in large part in reference to the protagonist Lumikki, who is named after Snow White, the storyline itself isn’t very fairytale-like (apart from the fantastical elements – not fantasy, mind you).

Fast-paced, with a clear progression of events, As Red as Blood keeps you hooked from beginning to end and is a promising beginning to a trilogy. We do not yet own the next two books of the trilogy, As White as Snow and As Black as Ebony, but I’m looking forward to reading them!

(Spoiler alert under the cut!)

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I Am Not a Number

Residential SchoolsI Am Not a Number, by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland, tells the story of Irene Couchie, Dupuis’ grandmother, and her experience of the residential schooling system, where, along with many other First Nations children, she was stripped of her identity both as a person – the children went by numbers, not names; she was assigned 759 – and as a member of her community, punished for speaking her language – the Devil’s tongue, the nuns called it. As Irene is getting her hair cut, she says that she is crying not only because her hair is getting cut, but because in her community, hair is cut as a signifier of loss; the nun is not only cutting Irene’s hair: she is attempting to kill Irene and her culture*.

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