Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"ma" - word in Japanese

...I told him I love the "gratuitous motion" in Miyazki's films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or sigh, or gaze at a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.
"We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It's called 'ma.' Emptiness. It's there intentionally." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is 'ma.' If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it's just busyness."

This is extremely "Japanese" in and of itself, if that makes sense.
I'm thinking of Tonari no Totoro, Mononoke-Hime, The Wind Rise, in particular.

-Spirited Away Movie Review & Film Summary (2002) | Roger Ebert

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