(17-06-2014, Mrs. Mokum) There’s a reason why I named my bicycle after Hayao Miyazaki. He’s a film god who produces divine beings, a master who carves films in holiness. I remember the first time I went to see one of his films. It was a life changing event and made me who I am right now; an obsessed film nerd. I’ve seen most of his films, almost all Studio Ghibli films and have expanded my freaky obsession to anime and manga. When I heard that Miyazaki was making his last film I cried a sorrowful, bittersweet tear. THE SITUATION I was living in EYE at that moment. Imagine Film Festival was rocking films to heaven and I became part of the furniture. Friends, family and (mainly) my schoolwork were complaining about my absence in real life but I didn’t care. I was absorbed in narrative-land. It was there, in EYE, during that festival that I watched The Wind Rises (2013) , Miyazaki’s last film ever.
THE FILM Firstly, I must admit that it was not the best film he ever made. Nevertheless, it was a great film. If you’ve seen Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, Miyazaki) you might notice some similarities. There’s a strong anti-war vibe, it demonstrates the power of destruction, bombs everywhere and a boyish obsession with aviation. It differs on one important aspect that might make this film more accessible to the mainstream public; it’s lack of fantasy elements. The film shows the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a little boy with a great passion of designing the best airplane ever. He dreams of making the most efficient, the fastest, the most aesthetically pleasing airplane, but finds himself in the context of a war. Thus, in order to pursue his dreams, he has to design airplanes for the military. Following the theory of identification, you might notice a paradox here. On the one hand, it’s natural to follow the protagonists' dreams and wishes, hoping for him to succeed in his goals. On the other hand, you might condemn his choices, being aware of the destruction he will create by pursuing those dreams. For me, this was the strongest asset of the film. The way it can shift one’s perspective and provide views different from your initial view. It has the power to make you understand why Jiro Horikoshi designed the kamikaze airplanes.
There’s one thing I have yet to find out. Since Miyazaki portrays the life of this engineer, I wonder why he had changed some events. Was it to fictionalize the biography and make it more of a drama? Or did he actually want to punish Jiro Horikoshi by making his life more miserable than it actually was? Like the type of cinema revenge found in Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds. It’s a question I have no answer to. Find out for yourself, read into Japanese history and the life of Jiro Horikoshi and be amazed by Miyazaki. The films still run in theaters. Link to the original article: http://www.mrsmokum.com/the-last-miyazaki-the-wind-rises/