Hayao Miyazaki

Witchcraft Wednesdays: The Salving Calm of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

In a month full of horror and malevolent covens and blood-curdling scares, I offer now the soothing respite of Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful and serene Kiki’s Delivery Service. Possibly Miyazaki’s most under-appreciated film, it is surely his most modest, which I mean as a compliment. It is the epitome of Miyazaki’s quiet filmmaking, letting the soft emotion and warm aesthetics of the animation do most of the talking. The fact that Kiki is a witch is rather beside the point, because this is a coming-of-age story for a young girl committed to helping others but forgetting about herself.

How ‘Akira’ is a cautionary tale about the dangers of anger

Finding the reason for Akira’s resonance with all manner of audiences is not particularly difficult, since it is the zenith of great narrative-meets-dreamlike philosophical reality bending. For all that it blurs the lines of established faux-reality and fantasy, science-fiction and existentialism, it is ultimately a film about the fatal danger posed by one’s own anger.

Here Be Dragons: Nausicaä of the Gully of the Fern

An escapist, morally simplistic tale purveying hackneyed truisms masquerading as profundities, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s second feature and his inexperience as a writer shows. His debut is the relatively obscure Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, which this column will cover at some point in the future.

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