Are you happy? In a good mood? Having a good day? If you are, you might want to give this week’s film recommendation a miss. That said, you’ll be missing out on an astonishing movie if you do. Today I’m recommending Studio Ghibli’s 1988 film, GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. It’s bleak, grim, heartbreakingly sad, and completely superb. As always, a brief synopsis is below, followed by a trailer. Hit the jump for my thoughts.
A devastating meditation on the human cost of war, this animated tale follows Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi), a teenager charged with the care of his younger sister, Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi), after an American firebombing during World War II separates the two children from their parents. Their tale of survival is as heartbreaking as it is true to life. The siblings rely completely on each other and struggle against all odds to stay together and stay alive.
I’ve not been able to post here much lately, but I’ll be back next week with plenty of Autumn: The City related stuff. In the meantime, here’s another entry in the Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club.
In May 1980 the British government distributed a leaflet called ‘Protect and Survive’ to all homes in the UK. It (along with a series of public information films like the one embedded below) was designed to provide homeowners with practical advice on how to protect themselves in the event of a nuclear attack. The original intention was to have them distributed only in time of a national emergency, but the media interest and ensuing public debate was such that they were given a general release. Fat lot of good they’d have done if the shit really had hit the fan! Shoving a few doors against a wall and covering them in mattresses and cushions might have offered some protection from the initial blast, but such a shelter, like the government publications themselves, would have done little to help the post-attack population cope with fallout, hunger, fear, desperation, cold, devastating injuries, lawlessness, etc. etc. etc.
I’ve been doing a lot of press for DOG BLOOD recently and I’ve regularly been asked about my favourite movies. As you’ve probably guessed from my books (it doesn’t take a genius!), post-apocalyptic films are my thing.
My brain needs some serious recharging right now, and talking about all those classics has made me want to watch them again. So that’s what I’m planning to do. And I’ve decided I’ll write something about each of them for this site: what I liked about them, what I didn’t like, how they’ve been an influence etc. etc. etc.
There are many comprehensive lists around the internet (such as this one over at www.quietearth.us), but I was thinking – what are your favourite apocalyptic films? I’m always on the lookout for new films or ones that I’ve missed, so please leave a comment and recommend your top end of the world movies. As a starter, here are the first few I’ve got lined up: