In a month full of horror and malevolent covens and blood-curdling scares, I offer now the soothing respite of Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful and serene Kiki’s Delivery Service. Possibly Miyazaki’s most under-appreciated film, it is surely his most modest, which I mean as a compliment. It is the epitome of Miyazaki’s quiet filmmaking, letting the soft emotion and warm aesthetics of the animation do most of the talking. The fact that Kiki is a witch is rather beside the point, because this is a coming-of-age story for a young girl committed to helping others but forgetting about herself.
Even before Emma Watson took the stage at the UN to give a speech about feminism, and before the video was shared by everyone you know on Facebook, and everyone was talking about her and whether she should be the face of modern feminism…before all that, she was still our boss ass witch. Throughout all eight Harry Potter films, Watson played Hermione Granger, the female member of the Holy Trinity that also included Harry and Ron Weasley. Though Harry is ostensibly the hero of the series, considering it’s named after him, Hermione is the ingenious character and the one that saves the day more often than not. Many have pointed this out, but it’s worth saying it explicitly: Hermione Granger is the hero of the Harry Potter series.
Suzy manages to hail a cab after arriving in Munich, rain pouring down like the gods are dumping giant buckets of it onto her. It sounds like the apocalypse is happening all around, not least because of Goblin’s typically menacing score, which we are hearing for the first time. A McDonald’s visible in the distance, she pushes her way through the rain in order to yell down a cab and get inside (after the driver refuses to come outside and get her bags). She wipes herself off, reds and blues washing over her and the car. She tells the driver where to go (with some difficulty), then she’s off to the dance academy, with many different vibrant colors flashing through the cab and the thunder crashing all around. This is our introduction to Suzy Bannion. This is Suspiria.