Friday, 9 December 2016


A blazing comet descends to Earth in the form of one of cinema's brightest talents in Your Name., Shinkai Makoto's latest dazzling display of aesthetic and cultural sublimity. In its thematic concerns, its narrative structure, and its artistic expression, this film represents an apex in the articulation of the contemporary social and cultural interests of Japan's youth, its every feature cut from the cloth of experience. This is an insider's perspective on these interests, here transmogrified into a most singular work of art (set against anything outside of Shinkai's own canon) that has already begun to redefine that which it reflects. In the process of being consumed - and there are few films so eager for, nor so receptive to the act of consumption - Your Name. is fulfilling the mandate of the greatest art, taking from society no more than it is prepared to offer in exchange. Shinkai develops a macro vision suffused with infinite micro aspects, each and all congruous to one another, producing a film that seems boundlessly rich in detail. And it never repels the interrogation of an active, interested mind, indeed only encouraging further dialogue between viewer and their viewing object - specifically, demanding and (likely) rewarding repeat viewing sessions. And all with such majesty! On the sonic side, Radwimps' song soundtrack may ultimately repel some, if all else fails, but it's solid J-Pop and perfect for the film; on the visual side, Shinkai asserts once again that his eye is among the finest in all of world cinema, and works for the first time with another world-class artist, animator Ando Masashi. Your Name. is a wondrously collaborative work, between filmmakers, the culture to which they're so invaluably contributing, and each of us who has the privilege of beholding it.