Friday new releases: 8 December 2023
The Boy and the Heron, Next Goal Wins and Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé are in cinemas
After I came out of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron yesterday I texted this message to the family chat:
Don’t read or listen to anything about Boy and the Heron before watching. Not even from me.
This is excellent advice when it comes to getting the most out of the film but it presents something of a challenge for this newsletter. I’m going to make a list of observations that I hope are helpful but that do nothing to
spoil reveal any of the surprises that are in the film. There are many.
This is the fourth excellent film released recently by a director who is in their 80s but this the only one of the four that seems to be personally informed by age and ageing. A dreamlike remembrance of things past, if you like.
The film is set during World War II and – even during the fantasy sequences – all the characters are hungry.
The opening sequence feels like a nod to Grave of the Fireflies, a Ghibli film made by Miyazaki’s colleague Isao Takahata, released on the same day as My Neighbour Totoro in April 1988.
It’s clearly a film that could have been conceived and made by no other director than Miyazaki.