I went to The NFT for Makoto Shinkai in Conversation tonight. What a modest, pleasant chap he seems. They showed "She and Her Cat" then "Voices of a Distant Star". I was really taken with "She and Her Cat" it's truly beautiful. Both films shown tonight were made by Makoto Shinkai on his own, he did everything apart from the music. I think that adds to the charm of "She and Her Cat" it's handcrafted. It's like a breath of fresh air to see something made with such a delicate touch. I'd of been impressed if this short film had been made by a big team but it's just one guy and his Power Mac.
"Voices of a Distant Star" has some of the usual hardware of Japanese Animation, robot armor, space ships, explosions... but there's a human story here. A story about loss and enduring loss. As the heroins mission into interstellar space takes her further and further away from Earth her messages to her childhood sweetheart take longer and longer to arrive. With each hop into hyperspace the gap between text messages she sends to his phone on Earth extends by the number of light-years traveled. I couldn't help thinking of my own messages bouncing around the globe to Ari so quickly we enjoy the luxury of real time conversation over a distance of 5000 miles. And how not so long ago it could of taken months for letters to make the journey between London and Texas... But then we wouldn't have even known of each others existence in such times.