Learning the Art of Revision, Part 2 – Whisper of the Heart

This continues some of the concepts I was exploring in “Learning the Art of Revision” — specifically, it addresses how those ideas are reflected in the Studio Ghibli film, Whisper of the Heart.  (And since I said that post was a ‘Part 2’ itself, I suppose this one should actually be ‘Part 3’ . . .)  😉

A few years ago my brother introduced me to the wonderful films of Hayao Miyazaki, and one that I fell in love with is called Whisper of the Heart.  This is one of those films that falls into a category we just don’t have in American film — a realistic drama that’s animated.  Though there are a couple of fantasy dream sequences, the story takes place in ‘the real world’, and the relationships between the family members and the interactions between the junior high school kids are all quite natural and believable.

It’s a story about a fourteen-year-old girl who wants to be a writer, and the first time I saw it I think I cried through most of it.  It’s not a sad story — it’s just that I related so strongly to Shizuku that it made watching the film a very emotional experience.  The way she spends hours writing when she’s supposed to be studying reminded me of my habit of taking two folders to every class — one for the class itself, and the other containing the story I was currently working on. (I did this from junior high all the way through college.)  At every opportunity, I would write a line or two before attempting to return my attention to the subject of the course.  There’s a scene in the film where Shizuku is doing exactly the same thing, and she can’t answer the teacher’s question because she wasn’t paying attention; she was working on her book instead. Continue reading