Friday, March 10, 2017

Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai: Review

Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai chronicles the life of Ō-Ei the daughter of painter one of the four daughters of the painter Houkusai and her relationship not only to her Father but art and her younger blind sister. While also capturing the mood and feel of Edo ear Japan. Ō-Ei often working as an understudy or outright doing finishing works for her Father while also trying to juggle feelings of not being able to be outwardly an Artist and living in the shadow of her famous Father and dealing with the heavy burden of not fitting into mold of Edo era Japan's understanding of what a "respectable" woman is or labeled naïve due to her lack of romantic experience. Miss Hokusai is very much a period film a well executed piece of animation that captures the feel of an era and it's characters but also feels timeless with it's depictions of Ō-Ei's struggles her strained relationship with her father and her relationship with her younger sister it raises questions about the artist and society to what extent does devotion to one's art entail separation from society or basic family interactions? Or can an artist be called a master if her "farms" his work out to an understudy? These are interesting questions but the movie seems more interested in asking them or making you think up questions that it is supposedly asking. This is fine a movie is not beholden to answering questions and sometimes a work of art is stronger because it does not condescend to it's audience by spoon feeding answers to an audience. As is this is a movie that is more a mood piece than a deep dive into the artistic process in fact the best parts of the movie for where the parts dealing with Ō-Ei's relationship with her younger sister as it gave me the most to think about and felt the most human. As the movie could have been an overly narcissistic portably of how important art is and really making it all about the "genius" making said art. All and all a solid well made visual exercise in humanity and the creative impulse without being overbearing.

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