Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Stills from Howl's Moving Castle

Howl and Calcifer go into mystical trance to create a new home together. Calcifer, a falling star-being with whom Howl married mystically years before, provides the trans-dimensionality to Howl's interior and exterior castle.



Within Howl's interior castle is a cave embedded with childhood toys. Sophie's subtle body visits this dimension during the night and finds Howl's demon-side hiding deep inside.
Master-Mother sent mystical sun/moon light beings to dance around Howl and to reveal "who you really are."
Howl is really half demon, but his "curse" or demon is a heroic wizard bird, bound by duty to protect his family.
Exaggerated animation evokes the feeling of fat and sweat in Howl's ex-girlfriend, who was dumped because she wasn't pretty enough. Her demon, it is explained, was greed.
Howl's is selfishness. He is flamboyant and effeminate, a shallow, selfish dandy, who takes what he wants and has to look beautiful.
His "bedroom" contains alchemical, celestial gadgets and floating mystical eyeballs. The entire room seems awake, like an Alex Gray painting, and has a dreamy jewel-like quality, like a Venosa or Ivan Albright painting.
It's also filled with Ernst Haekle creatures. See the squid? and so many faces...
Howl freaks out because his hair turns orange. He goes into a tanrum that turns him into green slime.


" I see no point in living if I can't be beautiful." He summons dark demons from another realm into his house, threatening the life of his heart, Calcifer.
"This happens whenever a girl dumps him" the orphan boy wizard says. Sophie sighs and says "How dramatic."
Nice light. Turnup head, the bouncing scarecrow, follows and helps as a silent observer. He is also under a spell.
Strange Buddhas and Calcifer with Howl's heart hanging on for life. Howl's heart also looks like Calcifer's testicles.
Howl introduces his "secret garden" realm, and as a gift gives Sopie access. "It's a new portal!".
Insect-dragon demons with hats occupy another realm.
Mystical dancing light beings circle the world in another.
Sophie enter's the "Black portal" which takes her to Howl's childhood. During his childhood, Howl swallows Calcifer, and their hearts fuze together. we dont get to hear what they say to each other, but I assume calcifer didn't want to die like all the other faling faries arond him, so he offerened his multidemtional powers to Howl if Howl would take him into his body.
The light transforms and leaves his body as his heart.
They melt away into memory. Like INception, Sophie plants her image in his childhod and says "Find me in the future! I know how to help you!" and he does find her in the future, by chance, by saving her from the rapist soldiers at the beginning of the movie. Masks, disguises, meta narratives, and continually shifting dreamworlds that are real worlds. The movie, without a clear single protagonist, is multiperspectival and nothing is quite as it seems. I also find it highly symbolic, like Dune. Centered around hair, age, dreams, war bombers, and weight insecurities. Setting aside the interdimensional, space/time "moving," [interior] castle, made and powered by his childhood lover, Fire (Calcifer), Howl goes to war with himself. His vanity and beauty complex externally appear in one scene as green slime drowning his naked body (he freaks out when his prized blond hair changes color. Sophie's hair, which she always hides under a hat, also becomes an important part of the story...In the end, she offers her hair up in order to liberate Calcifer)...Howl's "dark side" black swan, who sometimes wants to harm his enemies, is a feathery (hairy) bird angel/demon, always shifting forms, while his other half is the hairless, effeminate wizard twink involved in a homophilic relationship with Calcifer, Billy Crystal, who explicitly possesses Howl's heart. The two boys/powers met and consumed each other in a secret mystical marriage in the "secret garden" of Howl's childhood. Im not making any of this up! Together they are one life creating new worlds, (remember the scene where they "move" to a different castle? Howl draws the alchemical hieroglyph on teh ground outside and in the floor inside, then enters into communion with Calcifer. Their new home is "pulled" into being by their combined magic power...it's beautiful, and gendered, oddly. "Be gentle on me.." Calcifer asks, LOL )...Calcifer, as magic fire from the sky and spirit of the moving castle, can signify power and electricity, or even technology. Howl's dark bird body resembles the bombers he is fighting. Howl can signify mankind or the complexities of masculinity, if you want, He is not just a homo-lover, but also desires to "protect" skinny, beautiful, liberated women. And he is a father. The kindhearted scarecrow provides the "Ghibli spice," and within seconds an entirely different Frog Prince narrative and alternate universe blinks in and out of our imagination, no big deal. It is a great movie, toped with shimmering psychedelic visuals and landscapes. please see it.

3 comments:

Richelle said...

Love this movie, I think it's one of my favourite movies of all time!

hideyuki said...

it is love

joel garnier said...

i have seen this with a woman who watched it as a child and it is still her favorite. i was sort of blown away.

May all beings be Free and in Love.



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