Thursday, September 11, 2008

She and Her Cat - Their Standing Points

She and Her Cat - Their Standing Points
Directed by Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 1999
Total Running Time: 4:49
Source: You Tube
English Subtitled

She and Her Cat - Their Standing Points is a story about a cat and his owner. This less-than-five-minute-long animation is divided into five sections - 'Introduction,' 'Her Ordinary Life,' 'His Ordinary Life,' 'Her Loneliness,' and 'She and Her Cat.' Through out these five sections, the season changes from early spring to winter, and a cat named Chobi observes the girl’s ordinary life. He watches her tying up her long hair neatly and putting make up every day. Chobi says that he is not that interested in her job or what she is doing outside the house, but he just loves the girl for the way she is because she is kind as a mother and beautiful as a lover.

Makoto Shinkai, the Director of She and Her Cat - Their Standing Points, is one of the most famous animation makers in Japan. He was a literature major, and used to work for a game company. He did not have any education on the computer or animation before. While working in the game company, he started to learn the basics of software and make animations alone after work. In the end, Shinkai quit his job in 1999 in order to make animation seriously. This animation, She and Her Cat - Their Standing Points, was made in 1999, right after he left the company. He did everything by himself but music and the girl’s voice, which means the voice of cat, Chobi, is actually the voice of Shinkai himself. He tried to shorten the production period and the cost of production, therefore the animation was made in black-and-white.

The narrator of the animation is a cat, not a person. With the animation’s unusual point of view, the film shows something that people do not pay attention. The cat narrator sees trifles that ordinary people just ignore. For example, the girl's unintended action like humming. Also, the cat says that he is not interested in his owner’s job, and I guess the film tries to tell the viewers that it doesn’t matter what kind of job a person has, it is the person that matters. Although he said he does not care about her job, he still concerns about her when he sees the girl opening heavy metal door and going outside alone. Furthermore, he is in love with the girl, instead of viewing them as different species especially when he describes her with her coat on.

I first saw this animation two years ago. Whenever I see it, it leaves an impression on me that last long. The film starts quietly and ends quietly, like someone has thrown a pebble into a pond and disappeared. The calm wave in the pond remains for a while. The animation effectively depicts loneliness and sadness that people feel in everyday life, and warm feeling that the girl and the cat are sharing. Although life can be sometimes harsh and painful, you will be able to enjoy your life if there is someone who can share your heart. We always say "I am screwed," or "my life sucks," and so on. But we wake up in the morning, have meals, meet friends, and feel happy. It means we still like the world, like Chobi and the girl say at the end of the animation.


YELI said...

You are right. Life can be painful sometimes. But that's the reason why our life is so precious. I think there's no meaning in Plain and simply happy life. When we struggle for life, life will let us find something percious.

Soyoung park said...

It seems more desolate since it is a monochrome film.

Hyunpyo said...

Sometimes we think that everyday is just like the same rutine. Here, I think what the little cat sees makes her life different. Because he knows the little differences of her life. What he pays attention to is not what everybody wants to know about.

yoonmi said...

It`s amazing film. I mean
kind of funny that money is the
reason of monochrome film !!

I enjoyed your review!
Lastly, I agree with you that
there is someone who can share
my heart^^

sura koh said...

The film is interesting by showing it through the perspective of a cat. I think it is a different point of view from a person. I also liked the fact that though life may be harsh, there is someone out there who makes our lives less miserable! Interesting animation and review!

Narae said...

I've stayed in the states for a month, and I feel awfully lonesome since there is no one to talk to. I want to have a cat like Chobi, it would be much better...

Hyemin said...

I think the director really caught up detailed things. For example, I could see how the man and women's relationship was deep after looking at the shoes at the frontdoor. I was really empressed.

Mikyung Kim said...

I saw his film, The Voice of Star, which is directed by makoto. I like his way to express his own mood in the animations. I think that he always focus on his memoirs, it is the most impressive thing in his films.

kyoungmin said...

I saw this animation at first time in this blog. It is calm animation but makes me to think many thing. In this blog, the director of this animation tried to shorten cost of production so he made it in black and white, but I think it's more harmonized with animation's atmosphere.

Minju said...

By looking through life from Chobi's point of view, I realize the small things that I ignored before such as coexistence and warm feeling between people and all the other things.

Song said...

How cute the cat is! I really like this kind of animation. It reminds me that I should consider and treat thoughtful to anything around me. I had a good time while watching this movie. Thank you for provide the animation "She and her cat."