Features and Columns

How ‘Whisper of the Heart’ Captures the Rhythms of Being an Artist

Here’s a video essay about how Yoshifumi Kondō’s ‘Whisper of the Heart’ resonates with the experience of many artists.
Whisper Of The Heart
By  · Published on June 12th, 2020

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There are a lot of movies about what it’s like to be a filmmaker. Which makes sense; making art is something artists have a lot of firsthand experience with. There are myth-making biopics like The Agony of the Ecstasy and Basquiat, metaphors for movie-making like Get Shorty and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and scripts about how hard it is to write a script like Adaptation and Barton Fink.

There are many films about making art, but there are few films like Whisper of the Heart, the first and only film directed by the incomparable  Yoshifumi Kondō. Whisper of the Heart is an under-appreciated gem from Studio Ghibli, a quiet, slice-of-life about a young girl who falls in love with a boy and, more deeply, with writing. It’s a film about being passionate about what you do, not because it’s an obsession, but because it’s just that: something you do.

The video essay below, from Accented Cinema, unpacks the ways in which Whisper of the Heart likely resonates with the experience of many artists. It’s a soft, insightful, and honestly inspiring essay that teases out what makes Whisper of the Heart so special: the limitations of talent, the catharsis of feedback, and the quiet resolve of realizing how far you’ve come.

You can watch “Whisper of the Heart: How Does It Feel to Be an Artist” here:

Who made this?

This video was created by Accented Cinema, a Canadian-based YouTube video essay series with a focus on foreign cinema. You can subscribe to Accented on Cinema for bi-weekly uploads here. You can follow them on Twitter here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).