Friday, January 1, 2016
Thoughts on having seen ONLY YESTERDAY a long time ago and the over riding feeling that hung with me ever since
ONLY YESTERDAY opens today in New York and is finally getting a theatrical release in the US after 25 years. The last of the Studio Ghibli films to be released here the film presented a problem of sorts for the studios initially looking to release it since despite being a Ghibli film it had nothing fantastical so they couldn’t market it to kids. As times changed over the last quarter century animated dramas presented less and less of a problem, but it still remained in an animated backwater and unless you caught it at a festival, on an import DVD or its single Turner Classic screening you haven’t seen it.
The plot of the film has Taeko leaving the city nominally to help family in country, but actually taking a break from her life to reassess her life. Staying with a family that is tenuously connected to her (it’s the family of her brother in law) she contemplates her life to this point and perhaps finds romance.
To be honest I haven’t seen the film in probably a decade or more. I own an import DVD but it’s not a film a revisit. Despite several attempts the film never connected to me. Of course that doesn’t really matter since the film was one of the biggest films in Japan in 1991.
While I admit I should probably take another look at the film, the one thing that always hung with me was the feeling that the film seemed to be saying that happiness for a woman is to attach herself to a man. It’s part of the reason that I haven’t gone back to the film. Yes I know it's Taeko's choice but at the same time considering all the other Ghibli heroines she is kind of a disappointment.
Again I'll have to take a look down the line, but the feeling I had when I first saw it has me at a road block..
If you're a Ghibli fan and you haven't seen it give it ago, all others the choice is yours