Indigo is an interesting colour and as we’ve mentioned before, particularly relevant for November as it represents the hue of the dark sky, a perfect foil as a backdrop against which the blazing colours of fireworks can be hung. We’ve had two huge fireworks celebrations in November this year because as well as the usual Bonfire Night we’ve also had Diwali.
This past month I have been watching quite a few films, lots of anime and some horror especially. So my choices for November will be quite eclectic! The first film I am going to talk about is an anime film called Wolf Children.
Wolf Children 2012
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, Wolf Children [DVD] is a bizarre but intriguing film. The animation is very good and well interspersed with digital effects. In particular the street scenes of Tokyo at night against a deep indigo sky are beautifully composed with the anime characters moving amongst photographic backdrops. The story concerns Hana (a university student) who meets a mysterious man at a lecture.They talk, get to know each other and fall in love. What Hana does not know until later on is that this mysterious man is actually a werewolf! They get married and have two children together, a girl called Yuki and a boy called Ame. When the children are still babies, their father dies, thus leaving Hana to raise her two ‘wolf children’ alone. Moments of comedy occur, such as when Yuki is ill and Hana falters over deciding whether to take them to a vet or a hospital. Living in a cramped urban flat is also a cause for concern due to prying neighbours, so Hana decides to move to the country to give herself and the children more freedom. This film essentially is about growing up and making choices and the nature versus nurture debate, albeit through the guise of hybrid human creatures! Do they decide to deny their wolf side and become more human or do they decide to become more wolf and less human? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Although Halloween was last month I am going to write about this horror film which caused a small stir when it was released last year. We did have a couple of days of really thick fog here and though I have a copy of it I thought watching The Fog – Special Edition [DVD] on those days would be taking it too far! Indigo is a dark colour so I thought it would make sense to explore a dark film, which is especially scary watching it amongst the cold dark night! Directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook [DVD] concerns the story of a little boy Samuel and his mother, Amelia who are haunted by a strange creature called a Babadook. Samuel’s father Oskar died in a car crash just before he was born so he never gets to know him. Samuel starts to exhibit behavioural problems and is expelled from school. This causes his mother to be stressed and sleep-deprived as she tries to cope with raising Samuel in their dark, shadowy expressionistically-staged house reminiscent of the film Nosferatu. Samuel finds a book on his shelf called ‘Mister Babadook’ that his mother reads to him as a bedtime story. It is a very disturbing illustrated black and white pop-up book narrating the story of the strange creature called the Babadook. Once the book is read, it suggests that the monster will be unleashed and haunt the person. Samuel believes that the Babadook is real and Amelia does not at first but she starts to get mysterious phone calls and the book appears once she has destroyed it so she knows that something is not right. The whole scenario escalates once Amelia gets tranquillisers for her son so he and she can sleep at night. The film concerns itself with a lot of issues, loneliness, the difficulties of raising a child alone who has demanding needs. Amelia never really fits in with female friends of the same age, she is a stressed out widow and these women pride themselves in their appearance and the husbands’ status. Amelia only has one close female friend who distances herself from her once she feels Samuel’s behaviour is too erratic and harmful to her daughter. I think the film does have a feminist ethos in that Amelia needs to be assertive and brave to protect her son and herself to gain control of the situation. The ending in particular is very bizarre and not what I was expecting at all!
These are my choices for our theme of Indigo in November, if you like these films too or have other choices you wish to nominate then let us know at the usual places.