73.1 F

Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Four springtime films to watch this quarter

Spruce up your spring with some movies to add to your Letterboxd 


By NATALIE SALTER — arts@theaggie.org 


As springtime blooms here at Davis, one of the best ways to celebrate the start of the season is to watch films with your friends and family. If you’d like to keep in line with the bright, gentle presence of this season, here are four films that will help put you in the mood for the next few months. 


“Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1990) dir. by Hayao Miyazaki

When headstrong witch-in-training Kiki hops on her broomstick and flies away from home to learn the life of a witch hands-on, she finds herself swept away to a sprawling seaside town full of curious people and places. Inspired by her own acts of kindness, Kiki decides to start a delivery service with her trusty cat, Jiji — however, Kiki’s new job may put her in both trouble and good fortune. The film is equal parts comforting and exciting, and is friendly for viewers of all ages, making it an ideal watch for you and your friends and family.

Just like springtime itself, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” captures your attention with vibrant scenes of the natural world in vivid bloom and strings you along on a tale ripe with childlike whimsy and enchanting playfulness befitting the season. It’s the perfect film to not only inspire you to enjoy the colors and events of the season, but to also make springtime a brighter place for everyone else around you by being kind and helpful unconditionally. 


“Emma” (2020) dir. by Autumn de Wilde

Bright with pleasant pastels and floral patterned sets, “Emma” is a film alight with the aura of springtime. Set in Regency-era England and adapted from the Jane Austen novel of the same name, the film follows the wealthy Emma Woodhouse as she discovers a passion for matchmaking. Though she is clever and well-liked, Emma’s games entangle her in a web of relationships and rumors that even she might not be able to charm her way out of, leading to a series of comedic mishaps that put her in unexpected trouble.

Springtime is often associated with flirtation and playfulness. “Emma” is a film built around these characteristics. Lighthearted, romantic and humorous, the movie is certain to entertain and amuse viewers, tied together by lovely sets, costumes and cinematography painted in the delicate shades of spring. It’s an absolute gem of a film that is deserving of your attention if you’re looking for something to watch this season.


“The Sound of Music” (1965) dir. by Robert Wise

In 1930s Austria, stubborn and curious young nun-to-be Maria finds herself hired for the position of governess to the wealthy Von Trapp family. Maria’s unconventional methods put her at odds with the seven children’s father, the Captain Von Trapp, but her relentless joy breathes life into the family and brings them all closer together. Music, romance, family and pure hopefulness are the foundations of this classic piece of cinema, and the scenery of Austria’s mountains and hills are touched by the unadulterated beauty of spring.

As a musical film, the soundtrack of “The Sound of Music” is delightfully infectious, and the characters and story at its heart are touching and lovely. It’s easy to fall in love with the family central to this film, and Maria’s love for them is the perfect reminder to appreciate one’s own loved ones this spring. 


“The Tale of Princess Kaguya” (2013) dir. by Isao Takahata

Spring is the time of cherry blossoms, and if you want to watch a film that feels like one of these blooms brought to the screen, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is a lovely choice. Based on “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” a Japanese folk tale, the story follows Kaguya, a tiny girl who is discovered inside of a bamboo shoot. The film chronicles Kaguya’s life and happenings as she unearths her own identity while discovering the world, with an emotional final act certain to move any viewer.

Gorgeously animated with lush pastel colors and delicate brush strokes, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is as beautiful in its imagery as it is in its story. A film as exquisitely graceful as this seems perfectly befitting of the season, and as such deserves a place on your watch list this quarter. It is unexpected yet unforgettable and is sure to linger in your thoughts whenever you enjoy and reflect upon the wonders of springtime.


Written by: Natalie Salter — arts@theaggie.org 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here