“Maboroshi no Hikari” translates literally as “Light of Illusion” and I am tempted to read this as a reference to my favourite film by Eric Rohmer, Le Rayon Vert (i.e., “The Green Ray”). It is however fairly unlikely, seeing as the two film do not have all that much in common – although it has to be said that both figure a young female protagonist who is somehow out of synch with her surroundings.
There is a certain kind of slice-of-life film, the kind where nothing much happens, where there is neither action or drama but where ordinary people do ordinary things and where viewers (if they don’t fall asleep) are drawn in by the slowly unfolding poetry of everyday life.
I love Shakespeare; I made my way through a massive one-volume edition of the Schlegel-Tieck translations of his oeuvre as a teenager, and since then have read most, if not all of them again in the original English. I have seen several of his plays on stage during the years, in particular when I was visiting London (I have to admit that I’ve grown lazy in my old age, and haven’t been to a theatre for a very long time), but always have purposefully avoided watching screen versions of them (with the occasional exception, like Peter Greenaway’s glorious Prospero’s Books). So it has been with some irritation at myself when felt a sudden urge to splurge myself on TV and movie adaptions of his plays – an irritation, however, which did not last very long as I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself (for the most part, anyway) with them.
It is very rare these days for a director working for big Hollywood studios to have his own visual style: All in all there maybe are a handful of directors whose work one can actually identify by just taking in the visuals, i.e. without having recourse to story or dialogue, not even to mention credit rolls or IMDb and the like.