Daily Projections, 1-3-2019: Your Name* (2016)

Title: Your Name
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Country of Origin: Japan
Year: 2016
Screening format: Blu-ray
Setting: Home
First viewing? yes

*This review is for the Japanese language version with English subtitles. I have not seen the English dub yet.

Where do I even start with Your Name. Makoto Shinkai returns to some of his favorite subjects, the flexibility of time, the meaning of memory, and the boundlessness of human connection. Is it really true that these two are communicating with each other through time and space? It’s no use asking what is and isn’t real in Makoto Shinkai film. Maybe none of it is real, but it is, nevertheless true. It’s hard to make any sort of analytical comment about the story structure of this or any of the Shinkai films I’ve seen. It would seem to do them a disservice to reduce it to a simple story when their most distinct characteristic is a nebulous ineffability. Even now, two hours after watching this for the first time, I almost feel as if I haven’t watched anything at all and yet I already feel a longing to be immersed in it again. Which is, in a way, precisely the world in which Your Name takes place: a world that isn’t there and yet is, a present that has not yet happen yet is already in the past. That’s time, I guess. And, of course, the animation, as always, is superb. There is a texture to the drawings in this that other animation lacks. The whole picture seems to glow almost, like a Rembrandt. Not since The Tale of Princess Kaguya have I been so awestruck by the look of animation.

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