Sunday, December 6, 2015

Miyazaki: “Film-making only brings suffering”

He says that about an hour and 47 minutes into a documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, which has made about Studio Ghibli in 2012 or so. While it’s not about the making of The Wind Rises, that film was being finished at that time and so it figures heavily in the documentary. Just a bit later, after a screening of Wind for the staff, Miyazaki goes to the front of the theater: “This is embarrassing, but this is the first time I cried at my own film.”

There’s some discussion of his father and the war. He tells a story about how his father gave some chocolates – rare at the time – to a family that had camped out in their home after an air raid. And mentions as well that his father became rich during the war selling airplane parts. Elsewhere there’s a segment where he talks about having difficulty drawing (pictures of) Zeros. Why? Who knows, I just was difficult. Here and there we learn of conflicts and contradictions. That is, life as usual.

The single most interesting thing – at least with respect to The Wind Rises (for there was some interesting studio gossip as well) – is that in his original storyboard Miyazaki had Horikoshi dying. That of course is not what happened with the real Horikoshi, but apparently that’s what Miya-san (as he was often called) had in mind for the film. He’d also intended a final battle scene but that didn’t even make it to the storyboard.

What would The Wind Rises have been like if Horikoshi had died at the end? Would Miya-san have cried at the and of THAT film?

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is streaming on Netflix and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Miyazaki.

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