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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Wind Rises (2013)

After an astoundingly successful career as an animator with a style that is enviable, luscious, and brilliant, Hayao Miyazaki announced that he is retiring.  His last film, 'The Wind Rises',  is a breathtaking dream of flying that is crafted with hand-drawn attention to detail/  It is a rich treat for the body and the mind alike. The film is nspired by the life of second world war Zero fighter plane designer Jiro Horikoshi, and the writings of Tatsuo Hori.   The movie plays out over a troubled historical canvas encompassing the great Kanto earthquake of 1923, years of depression, the tuberculosis epidemic, the descent into World War II.
The movie includes details of Horikoshi's personal life as well as his professional accomplishments.  He is a man who is passionate about his work, but he had an equal passion for the woman who became his wife.  He credited her living with him rather than in a sanatorium for suffers of TB with his ability to concentrate fully on his work.  The film does not shy away from the war applications of Horikoshi's plane, but it does depict him as a man devoted to building the best flying machine rather than the best fighter plane.  He knew what it would be used for and he did not resist that, but he is not depicted as highly nationalistic.  His coworkers and his supervisor are all supportive, nice, and I wouldn't mind working in a place that functional myself.  Wonderful visual experience with a bit of history wrapped up inside it.

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