I feel like I’ve been having some real difficulties in saying goodbye to people in the past couple months. There’s a heftiness, a profound weight to goodbyes, that I haven’t really felt before. Nothing permanent, but these goodbyes are the type that just float in the air, intangibly.
I find it difficult to remember my childhood self. I remember certain sensations, certain small stories. I remember running and falling in my first elementary school’s soccer field by myself. I imagine the grass is incredibly green and the sky larger than I’ve ever seen.
This contains spoilers for “Eighth Grade.” “Can you help me burn something in the backyard?” “…Yes.” Kayla (Elsie Fisher) and her father Mark (Josh Hamilton) sit in lawn chairs before a campfire. Kayla sets a time capsule with the fire, an old shoebox her fifth-grade self had stuffed with little mementos and trinkets, upon which she wrote with multicolor foam letters “TO THE COOLEST GIRL IN THE WORLD.” There’s a blankness on Kayla’s face as her father asks her if there was anything inside.
My family owns a small Mexican bakery and restaurant and has run the place since 2008. It was a consolation after scrambling from the recession, a way to build back up—home lost, business bought. Growing up there I met a lot of strangers over the years, some of whom became good family friends.
This contains major spoilers for “Aftersun.” Before I started writing this, I rewatched the ending of “Aftersun.” I’m shocked it was only five minutes that made me smile (again) and laugh at the brilliance of the artistry, of the command of the form, to see that here is a director (Charlotte Wells) who is moving the medium forward and will help keep film alive—only to then burst out into uncontrollable sobbing.
“Whisper of the Heart” isn’t a Ghibli movie on a grand scale. Unlike the epic nature of “Spirited Away” or “Princess Mononoke,” this one is small, intimate and down-to-earth. Director Yoshifumi Kondo is interested in the moments between breaths and frames scenes with more interest in subtlety rather than monumental motions.