Thursday, September 29, 2005

More Miyazaki to come

Oh, Porco Rosso was mesmerising! I had such great difficulty falling asleep last night because of it. And I thought the TV guide was wrong in calling it "The first of the Miyazaki films in the genre of Japanese anime, Porco Rosso..." since Miyazaki started making animation way before that. Now I know why! The TV station is actually lining up a whole series of Miyazaki animation to screen every Wednesday and Porco Rosso was the first of these! Next Wednesday, they are screening this (taken from the local TV guide again):

10pm - 12.10am : Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Animation (1986) (Japan/English)
The second of the Miyazaki anime films, this tells the story of Sheeta, an orphan and a descendant of the people who once lived in Laputa. She is taken by the secret service, her only connection with the past a stone inscribed with a strange emblem. Pirates attack the secret service's airship and in the commotion Sheeta falls. The the stone lights up and slows her descent and she floats down into the arms of Pazu, an orphan boy. He too has an interest in Laputa and so they set off together to find the legendary floating city.

Miyazaki films are almost certainly based in fantasy worlds. But Porco Rosso was based in the real world, Italy in the early 1930s. Therein lies part of the attraction of Porco Rosso for me. Indeed, the only part of this animation that is fantasy is the form of the main character; He is, literally, a pig. But the main attraction for me is the basis of the story, which is that of aviation in the era just before WWII. You see, I am very into WWII pilotage stuff.

Indeed, the film can be viewed superficially, just for pure entertainment, or in a more profound manner, as the story suggests more underlying themes. For example, I get the impression that Porco's pig form is self-inflicted and he himself is the one preventing the change back to human form. Or it could be another way of telling viewers how war can leave scars on everyone that participates in one. All in all, I actually like this film more than Spirited Away. This is even more impressive, considering Porco Rosso was done in 1993, about a decade before Spirited Away.

Now, I'm toying with the idea of getting the DVD for keeps. Can't wait for next Wednesday.

183 days to go.


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