By Shane Scott-Travis
“Miyazaki has been crafting films more lusciously illustrated and rapturously imaginative than almost anything else on the silver screen.”
– Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
Come sail away
Most assuredly there is no one else making animated films like auteur-director Hayao Miyazaki. Born in Tokyo in 1941, the personal universe he presents onscreen is absolutely unparalleled, a manufacturer of one of a kind miracles, consummate cosmologies, and as such, his delicately captured and elegantly rendered artisanal fantasies are surreal singularities, loved and cherished in the hearts of so many.
Japan’s highest grossing movie of all time, Spirited Away earned 30.4 billion yen, and was the work that got Miyazaki identified as one of Nippon’s greatest living writer-directors, and rightly so.
With its ample and teeming animation styles, not to mention its vicious-streaks, and often scatological connotations, Spirited Away denounces Disney’s silky-edged hegemony with speed. Offering recurring leitmotifs, Studio Ghibli presents vibrant fantasy realms populated with young, analytical, forward-looking, female protagonists and––above all––the suspicion that what is being shown is a dreamlike estimation of unconscious anxieties prompted by being in the real world.
“It’s not me who makes the film. The film makes itself and I have no choice but to follow.”
– Hayao Miyazaki
Over the hills and far away
Dissident to so many mainstream animated films, Miyazaki constructs imaginative worlds without the condescending expression and over-sentimental characters. This certainly allows for the appeal his features have to both adults and children, elaborate enough for the former to appreciate yet simple enough for the latter to enjoy on an altogether express level.
Like so many of Miyazaki’s films, like My Neighbor Totoro (1988) or Ponyo (2007), Spirited Away rewardingly contrasts the differing and digressing behaviors of adults and children, which also adds to the prescription for what’s essentially universal appeal.
“Miyazaki is one of the
From:: Taste Of Cinema