O título da minha comunicação é “Gesture and Colour in Isao Takahata’s Ghibli”.
There is a distinct difference between the films made by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, the two founding fathers of Studio Ghibli. Looking at the surface of Takahata’s animation style we notice how rarefied his gesture is compared to Miyazaki’s drawings, which are much more lineate and vividly colourful. Takahata works in a very different “economy of style”. He is the one to sustain that “when you’re drawing fast there’s passion. With a carefully finished product that passion gets lost”. Takahata is interested in speed, but he takes much more time finishing a picture than Miyazaki – for instance, he took fourteen years to complete his latest film “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” (2013).
Since “Only Yesterday” (1991), he is enticed by the so-called negative space (Manny Farber) or, as the Japanese called it, “ma”, perfecting a kind of “zero degree” style (Roland Barthes) of animation. His films seem to erupt from white, a colour that represents light (Goethe), but that also conveys the anguish of emptiness. He draws or “adds up” over the “espace anéanti” (Roger Munier): “Le néant n’est que l’excès du réel. Le réel incandescent, brûlant de sa propre réalité, la consumant.” The prevalence of white doesn’t mean that his films are deprived of full-blown and even earthly characters. Quite the opposite: in Takahata’s sublime aesthetics reality glows in so much as fantastic fantasy is put aside.