Film Screening 1st November, 2014

Poster for The Wind Rises (Kaze tachinu)

The Wind Rises (Kaze tachinu) 

7:00 PM, 1st November, 2014

  • PG
  • 127 mins
  • 2013
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Morio Kazama, Jun Kunimura

In Japanese with English subtitles

Hayao Miyazaki is the most celebrated of all Japan’s anime directors, creating such masterpieces and critically acclaimed work as Howl’s Moving Castle. The Wind Rises is his final animated masterpiece in what has been a long and highly acclaimed career.

The Wind Rises follows the story of Jiro who, as a boy, always dreamt of a career as an airplane designer. Jiro is particularly obsessed with the Italian aviation pioneer Giovanni Caproni whom he dreams of meeting one day.

After a violent earthquake hits Tokyo in 1923, which is superbly illustrated and animated in the film, almost as if it were done as a live action film, Jiro is able to fulfil his dream of becoming an aircraft designer, eventually designing the Zero fighter plane used by Japan in the Second World War.

Miyazaki delivers yet another fantastically animated film in his signature style. The Wind Rises is visually stunning and a pleasure to watch, with vivid and fantastically illustrated scenes some of which seem almost too real. The movie covers a perhaps slightly controversial topic but fans of Miyazaki’s other works such as Spirited Away (screening after this) will certainly enjoy this film.

Jess Trajanoska

Poster for Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi)

Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) 

9:17 PM, 1st November, 2014

  • PG
  • 122 mins
  • 2001
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Rumi Hiiragi, Takashi Naitô, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Miyu Irino

In Japanese with English subtitles

If you’re unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli films and the anime works of writer/director Hayao Miyazaki, this is a really good a place to start.

This is the story of Chihiro, a typically sulky young girl, reluctantly moving with her parents to a new town. After getting lost, they stumble into a surreal realm of spirits. There’s a plot here about saving her parents (who’ve turned into pigs in the meantime, BTW) and escaping but, to be honest, it’s really just a framework to hang some visually amazing scenes and imagery from while maintaining a detached, whimsical tone.

There are giant-headed witches, Chinese-style dragons, a spider-armed boiler man, a trio of disembodied green heads rolling about the place and so much more. These simultaneously cute, amusing and slightly grotesque creatures are very reminiscent of the earlier My Neighbor Totoro (even down to the soot creatures). The film has the typically shallow-perspective animation used in a lot of anime and Miyazaki films in particular.

This is certainly a worthwhile film to see for the imagery, and the somewhat unnecessary plot in no way detracts from that. If this is your first Ghibli film and you like it, there are many more you’ll be lining-up to see such-as Porco Rosso, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Miles Goodhew