We all Need Totoro for a Neighbor

Nowadays, it’s no surprise that anime has such a huge following. But the road to its success is paved by classics in the genre like Akira and Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro.

Though casual Hollywood buffs would probably be more familiar with the Japanese director

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’s other award-winning films like Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies, Totoro has become the face of Studio Ghibli, the director’s film outfit.

But what makes My Neighbor Totoro so appealing and loved by those who’ve seen it? One easy answer is that, while the narrative is driven by the fantastic, it offers a very human, realist take on family values, as well as tackles concepts like sibling rivalry, loyalty, devotion, and hope.

The plot revolves around sisters Mei and Satsuki, who moves to the country with their dad, a university professor in Tokyo. Soon Mei encounters the guardian of the forest near their new house, Totoro. The huge, cuddly, and magical creature proceeds to help the sisters cope with their situation and solve their problems, burdens which otherwise might be too great for children to bear.

This film is very poignant; while we might be wondering where their mother is, the film takes its time to give

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us the reveal. It plays up its central themes of innocence and coming of age very well, leaving us haunted at the end.

My Neighbor Totoro is a must-watch, not only for fans of anime, but for the family and maybe even the entire neighborhood.

Hello! David Berkowitz here. I am a production designer for an independent film production company in Los Angeles, California. This job has been one of my wildest dreams since childhood. Do check out my Facebook page..

Chicago’s Finest: Best Movies Filmed in the Windy City

Chicago has provided numerous movies a great backdrop and setting for their story. Even the late director John Hughes made a career out of writing and directing many of his films in this great city.

Here are some of the best movies that were filmed in Chicago:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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This 1986 classic told the story of a high school student named Ferris Bueller who decided to skip school to spend a day with his friends in downtown Chicago. The movie gave us great shots of Chicago’s iconic landmarks, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Wrigley Field, Sears (now Willis) Tower, Lake Shore Drive, and many more.

Scarface

This 1932 film is different from the Al Pacino starrer most of us already know, although the latter is actually based on this movie. Scarface is a story about the rise and fall of an American Gangster during the time when Chicago’s very own Al Capone rose to fame for his exploits in the city. The movie also reenacted the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day massacre, which had just happened three years before the movie’s production.

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The Blues Brothers

An homage to the great city, the musical crime comedy film starred Chicago native John Belushi, together with another great comedian Dan Aykroyd. The movie showed the wonderful sights of city, authentic Chicago accents, and a soundtrack that featured the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown.

Hello, I’m David Berkowitz, a movie buff from Chicago. If you want to read more articles about films, subscribe to this blog.