I’ve only heard about this from Diego‘s post, actually. I never knew there was such an event. As such, the man does indeed deserve praise for his works, which, while sometimes lacking in a few aspects, never fail to stir up some form of emotion within the viewer, be it of happiness, melancholy, marvel, or even anger. I’ve noticed that on the first viewing of any of his films, I become drawn to the story, rather than the emotions. The plot, rather than the characters. The general flow, rather than the details. As such, I do believe that, like a good wine, partaking in each film becomes more and more enjoyable the more we watch it. You begin to notice the small details, or, knowing the story, you begin to feel for the characters and their situations much more than you would in your first, second, third viewings. Perhaps this is one reason why I seem to favor these types of films over the mainstream films of today – mindless action and violence – that only serve to pump one’s adrenaline before quickly flatlining at the end, never to be viewed again. But I digress.
Though I’ve tried to secure legit copies of all 4 of his films – She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters per Second – I’ve had no luck with the third, and thus cannot fully simulate the Shinkai Film Fest. After a little bit of searching, I was able to acquire a copy of it, however, and will proceed to watch all of them thusly. For those who don’t have copies, Crunchyroll also seems to be streaming the movies for free for its members. Apparently, a dub for 5cm is also present, but I’m not really big on dubs, even if they were supervised by Shinkai himself. Perhaps I’ll just take a quick peek to see what it sounds like. Of course, for those who can watch it in better quality, I highly suggest you do. The breathtaking scenery he paints in his films is beyond incredible. And kudos to those who’ve got Blu-ray versions. I certainly can’t play them.
Here’s to Shinkai; may he produce more of his marvelous work, and may we continue to partake of it.