Last week we reported on the theatrical re-release of Grave of the Fireflies, but there's some other news regarding the saddest movie ever made. UK-based Dresden Pictures has picked up the British film rights for a live-action version of Grave of the Fireflies. Shooting will begin in 2014. Liam Garvo and James Heath will produce the film. No other cast or crew has been announced. This will be the third live-action version of Grave of the Fireflies (one was made in 2005, another in 2008), and the first made outside Japan.
I still have yet to see either of the live-action versions, but I think Roger Ebert identified one of the hurdles these films face and why the anime packed such a punch. From Ebert's Grave of the Fireflies review:
Live action would have been burdened by the weight of special effects, violence and action. Animation allows [director Isao] Takahata to concentrate on the essence of the story, and the lack of visual realism in his animated characters allows our imagination more play; freed from the literal fact of real actors, we can more easily merge the characters with our own associations... This film proves, if it needs proving, that animation produces emotional effects not by reproducing reality, but by heightening and simplifying it, so that many of the sequences are about ideas, not experiences.
As a reminder, people in the New York area can see Grave of the Fireflies at the IFC Center from December 7th to December 18th as part of GKIDS's Studio Ghibli retrospective. For more information, visit the IFC Center here.
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