What it means to have a good character? And how can we tell that someone has it? The Swedish film Force Majeure (2014) is bluntly unambiguous on both accounts. A character and ethics are inner and arguably deepest part of our selves. Unpredictable events well may come down on us with ferocity and mercilessness that remind of a divine act. Yet how we stand up to them is far from random. And it is this pattern to our response that we know as character.
I have recently visited my brother abroad, in a beautiful country renowned for its strong flavorsome beers, cozy pubs and vivid nightlife. During my week or so of my stay we travelled around the countryside and had a great time together, however, we did not go out a single night. What other, pray tell, did we do instead in this beer-blessed land? Well, we stayed at home and watched anime in front of the fireplace, each with a wine glass in hand. We both work full-time and tired after our long work-hours this was the perfect holiday relaxation. Geeks, I hear? Now, now, let’s think about that.
Having seen The Secret World of Arrietty (2010 Japan, 2012 USA), I must say it is a thoughtful anime (as Japanese animated movies are called) and its 95 minutes proved to be a great way of ending my film roadshow in 2012. Produced by Studio Ghibli, the famous anime maker Hayao Miyazaki provided this piece with screenplay, while Hiromasa Yonebayashi was successful at holding the director’s reins. Curiously, Arrietty also has a European background, as it is based on a children’s fantasy book The Borrowers (1952) from English author Mary Norton.