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Shinkai Shorts Program

Shinkai Shorts Program

Shinkai Shorts Program

Various / 88min / DCP

DIRECTOR: MAKOTO SHINKAI

THE SMILE aka EGAO (2003 / 2 min)
SHE AND HER CAT (1999 / 5 min)
GATHERING OF CATS (2007 / 1 min)
SOMEONE’S GAZE (2013 / 7 min)
CROSS ROAD (2014 / 2 min)
VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR (2003 / 25 min)
THE GARDEN OF WORDS (2013 / 46 min)

The medium and short films throughout Shinkai’s career condense and reveal his central themes of exhilarating love connections and wistful melancholic separations caused by uncontrollable external circumstances, situated between poles of meditative stillness and monumental action. In The Garden of Words, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden—depicted in some of Shinkai’s most lushly-realized animation—unbidden feelings develop as a 15-year-old aspiring shoemaker boy and a 27-year-old woman playing hooky from her office begin an ongoing discourse. In Voices of a Distant Star, an exquisite, powerhouse short work made almost singlehandedly by Shinkai, high school sweethearts Mikako and Noboru face a test of their commitment when Mikako is chosen to join an expedition battling with alien forces; as she travels the cold of space, their messages to one another are delayed by a space of years. Preceded by two pet-related shorts that showcase Shinkai’s adoration of animals: Egao, a music video for a Hiromi Iwasaki song featuring a girl and her pet hamster, and the monochrome She and Her Cat, the simple, elegant self-distributed short that brought Shinkai his rst public success, in which the director voices the eponymous feline.