There’s something about children’s books that makes me cry. There’s just tragedy in all things innocent especially when you’ve grown into a battle-scarred, cynical adult. And I just find it ironic that children’s books are the ones with the most soul and offer us a peek into our inner dreams and hopes more than adult books.
When I first read the synopsis of Starry Starry Night, I cried. I still cry everytime I read it. The film is based on Jimmy Liao’s book.
Starry Starry Night is about a young girl who is a loner and a young boy who is as detached from society as she is. It tackles childhood friendship and the memory of a starry starry night.
Jimmy is one of Taiwan’s most successful children’s book illustrators. One of his works, A Chance of Sunshine, was turned into a movie, Turn Left Turn Right, with Takeshi Kaneshiro and Gigi Leung.
Starry Starry Night the movie is directed by Tom Shu-yu Lin whose debut feature, Winds of September, was a critical success. The film delves deeper from the book, tackling mature themes as divorce and physical abuse.
“Together, they run away from home in search of that missing piece of puzzle in their lives, only to find in their adventure that perhaps, they have been the missing pieces to each other’s puzzle all along,” Tom wrote in the synopsis he submitted.
Tom said that after tackling coming-of-age for boys in Winds of September, he wanted to take up the same theme from a girl’s perspective.
“My ambition for this film is to create a world with the poetics of Terrence Malick and the liveliness of Miyazaki Hayao.”
The first trailer of the film, which stars Gui Lun-mei as the grown-up version of the young girl Mei, certainly gives a Miyazaki vibe.
“This film is about the imperfections in life that we all experience; it is about the hollowness inside all of us, it is about all the regrets in life we grow up with. My aim for this film is to reach out to all those who feel outcast, who feel like they don’t belong anywhere, who feel unloved. I hope to make a heart-breaking coming-of-age love story that can fill the hollowness we all feel, deep down inside.”
Looks like the film is going to make me cry too, as much as the book did.
It opens November 4 in Taiwan.