The Wind Rises – Director, Hayao Miyazaki

This was my last film of the week and was one of the best. For those who may not know him, Miyazaki is the founder of Japan’s best animation studio — Ghibli Studios. He and his studio have created some of the most beautiful animated films of recent years including Ponyo, Spirited Away (Academy Award winner), From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Secret World of Arrietty (based on the Borrowers stories). Many of these films are oriented toward children but the stories are so sophisticated and the films so beautiful to look at that they attract audiences of all ages. This film is aimed an adult audience and tells the compelling story of the man who designed one of the world’s most successful planes – the Zero fighter plane used by the Japanese in World War II. The plane was revolutionary in design and changed aeronautical engineering forever. The movie however focusses on the man and his life and despite the focus of his career the film has a major pacifist message while acknowledging the brilliance of Jiro Horikoshi the engineer. It is also a charming but tragic love story and explores the tension of love and career in time of war. From what I can find out it will be given limited release in the US to allow for Academy Award recognition and full release in early 2014. I recommend it to everyone and in the meantime if you have not already become a Ghibli/Miyazaki fan be sure to look at the other films listed above.

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