"You cannot change fate. However, you can rise to meet it."
August 3, 2015 3:34 AM   Subscribe

 
Someone should clean this place up, so much dust.
posted by Fizz at 3:52 AM on August 3, 2015


I saw this and immediately thought, "Oh, god- he's not dead is he?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:08 AM on August 3, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ugh, yes, I could have worded the post a little bit better. Apologies for any false scares.
posted by Fizz at 4:11 AM on August 3, 2015


this is a good place for me to shill The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on Blu-Ray, coming November 17th
posted by numaner at 4:28 AM on August 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


November 15th is my birthday and that bluray will be my gift to myself because fuck yeah, I deserve it!
posted by Fizz at 4:30 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have already told my close circle of friends that they can all pitch in and get me that for Christmas. As a grown-ass adult, that's literally all I want for Christmas.
posted by numaner at 4:32 AM on August 3, 2015


numaner, I did something similar back when the Absolute Editions of The Sandman were being released. At the time I couldn't justify spending it on my own, so for four birthdays in a row everyone pitched in and that was my birthday gift from my closest groups of friends and ex-gf.

"Are you sure this is all you want?"
"YES!"
posted by Fizz at 4:49 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


this is a good place for me to shill The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on Blu-Ray, coming November 17th

Before the feast arrives, I recommend an appetizer of Panda Go Panda.

[Panda Kopanda & Panda Kopanda and the Rainy-Day Circus were] created by the team of Isao Takahata (director), Hayao Miyazaki (writer, layout, scene design)... [who] would found Studio Ghibli; the two Panda Kopanda films are widely regarded to be forerunners to My Neighbor Totoro.
posted by fairmettle at 5:06 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I watched Kingdom of Dreams and Madness on Netflix everytime he talked about how the world sucks now and people are no good, which is a fair bit, I pretended he was talking about Zen Pencils.

Also it has a cat in it.
posted by Artw at 5:11 AM on August 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


His most recent film: The Wind Rises is something I cannot recommend highly enough. But as I always tell people, watch it and be prepared to have your emotions and heart-strings tugged upon. The Wind Rises is a little less like some of his earlier more child-focused works. It is the work of an animator at master status.
posted by Fizz at 5:19 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's some hints in the doc I just mentioned that outside interference was responsible for it not mentioning WWII as much as it maybe should - which is one of the reasons I've not put the effort into managing to watch it that maybe I should and maybe I'm wrong about that.
posted by Artw at 5:33 AM on August 3, 2015


Artw, I think you'd enjoy it. It is him at his most masterful story-telling and animation.

I have not watched the documentary (not for lack of interest but just need to be in the right mood for that kind of film). There are numerous references to WWII. The story is about an aircraft designer who designs fighter planes. The film does raise concerns about the fact that he is designing this beautiful machine only to be utilized as a tool of war.
posted by Fizz at 5:40 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I pretended he was talking about Zen Pencils.

I'm going to pretend I didn't just snort coffee out my nose.
posted by DigDoug at 5:42 AM on August 3, 2015


#MOON

It is my sincere hope that genius and perfectionist Hayao Miyazaki lives the rest of his life without finding out about that dopey fucking comic written about him.
posted by Artw at 5:52 AM on August 3, 2015


The Wind Rises has actually put a dent in my love for Miyazaki. There's a huge amount of love still there, but I just couldn't ignore the fact that the movie is a loving ode to a weapons designer/manufacturer. The plane whose design the movie addresses was a major weapon in WW2, responsible for plenty of bloodshed and destruction. The main character was so focused on his calling that he seemed to barely notice that that calling was leading him to build an incredibly effective weapon, and the movie itself seemed to barely notice that fact as well.

This isn't meant as a blanket condemnation of the engineer, or Miyazaki, there's plenty of context and ethical tangles to consider. It's just that the movie seems to barely consider them. Imagine a movie that lionizes Oppenheimer, his intelligence, drive, and purity of spirit. The movie clearly says that War Is A Bad Thing, yet neither Oppenheimer nor the movie itself seem to notice that his energies and talents led to the creation of a terrible weapon. It would just seem willfully blinkered, and definitely gave me pause.
posted by tempythethird at 6:20 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's the sort of thing I'd heard and which put me off seeing it, yes.

From the documentary I got the impression that even the mentions of WWII that did get in were considered kind of edgy and likely to get in the way of distribution, and that this is an increasing trend recently. They really don't make much effort to follow that thread up though.
posted by Artw at 6:30 AM on August 3, 2015


Heh. From Wilipedia: In Japan, The Wind Rises received criticism from both the political left and right, and from an anti-smoking group
posted by Artw at 6:32 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


World War II was only in the background of The Wind Rises. It is a story about an engineer and his love of his craft. What the powers that be chose to use his creation for is incidental to the story that Miyazaki—a great fan of flight—wanted to tell. I seem to recall that the film does not even really focus on the Zero, but rather on the design of its predecessor. The Zero was a great plane, anyway, and as it was made to be used against military targets it stands far lower on the atrociousness scale than most of the weapons used in WW2.

Miyazaki's anti-war stance is in any case well-established.
posted by Aiwen at 7:00 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


He really likes planes, that's for sure.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on August 3, 2015


Wind Rises reminded me of an old fashioned Hollywood bio pic. With a splash of Dr. Zhivago.

It's as beautiful to look at as anything Miyazaki's done, maybe his most beautiful.

I think I've seen Miyazaki hint at his love of flight in other movies. In Spirited Away there's a wonderful shot of the boy as a dragon w-a-a-y up in the sky where I thought, he's seen that in life with a plane or a bird and marveled at it.

I don't agree that he had to apologize more. I don't know if that's his job.
posted by Trochanter at 7:09 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking as an engineer, the uses to which our creations are put are never incidental. If everyone acted like this was the case, no one would think twice about working on weapons (or viruses or spam systems or whatever) if the money is right and the technology involved is sufficiently interesting.

More generally, "use your talents/calling for good and not evil" is a tenet you'll find not just in engineering but various sciences, medicine, psychology, and so on. Love of craft that's devoid of any feeling of responsibility is at best narrow-sighted and at worst psychopathic.

I don't agree that he had to apologize more. I don't know if that's his job.

No one is demanding apologies, but some level of historical/biographical critical analysis seems to be called for, otherwise it comes off as an insensitive gloss.
posted by tempythethird at 7:14 AM on August 3, 2015


No one is demanding apologies,

That was the tone of some of the reviews. "Which Japan has never acknowledged..." and such.
posted by Trochanter at 7:35 AM on August 3, 2015


There is a telling moment in Porco Rosso where the airplane designer has guilt about his design's use especially having female members help in the process. Love is complicated. I think the tension of how one's love, whether person or non person based, gets channeled and expressed is always present in more than just Miyazaki 's works.
posted by jadepearl at 7:48 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


The main character was so focused on his calling that he seemed to barely notice that that calling was leading him to build an incredibly effective weapon, and the movie itself seemed to barely notice that fact as well.
tempythethird

I think you're wrong about this. The tension between the desire to build something beautiful, but that beautiful thing being used for violence, was brought up again and again in the movie. I would say it was one of the driving themes of the work. The final scene in the film, where Jiro dreams of meeting Caproni, directly addressed this.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:52 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


This may satisfy my desire to see Memories Dance updated to include the newer films.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:34 AM on August 3, 2015


I've been watching Kingdom of Dreams and Madness this week, and it's really interesting. I put some of Miyazaki's grumpiness down to being an older person who can't get a bunch of people off his lawn. On the other hand, he's totally committed to his work and looks like he's enjoying himself, which is inspiring.
posted by sneebler at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


The tension between the desire to build something beautiful, but that beautiful thing being used for violence, was brought up again and again in the movie. I would say it was one of the driving themes of the work. The final scene in the film, where Jiro dreams of meeting Caproni, directly addressed this.

Yes, this is also how I felt walking away from the film. Jiro acknowledges that his contributions to Japan are complicated, that he has finally crafted something beautiful and worth being remembered for (mirroring Caproni's own contributions to flight/science/etc.)

No one is demanding apologies, but some level of historical/biographical critical analysis seems to be called for, otherwise it comes off as an insensitive gloss.

While the focus is definitely on Jiro and his journey as a designer/engineer, the war and its impact on the people is something that is present throughout the course of the film. That opening scene with the train and the earthquake felt symbolically associated with the War.
posted by Fizz at 8:41 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is also, the scene with the German, Hans Castorp who is critical of the Nazi regime, at the resort where Jiro meets Nahoko.
posted by Fizz at 8:48 AM on August 3, 2015


Not to mention the movie pulls no punches with regard to the negative portrayal of the Imperial Japanese regime Jiro lives in. It's portrayed as a highly repressive environment where the people are carefully watched and controlled. A major plot arc involves Jiro personally dealing with that repressive control. I don't know how you can watch that and not come away with the idea that the movie is taking a negative stand on Japan during WWII.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:40 AM on August 3, 2015


I haven't seen The Wind Rises, but plan to. I get an Icharus vibe from some of the descriptions. Loved sharing the video with my family. None of us recalled the smoking cat at the bar. Maybe it will fill in the blank.
posted by childofTethys at 10:55 AM on August 3, 2015


this is a good place for me to shill The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on Blu-Ray, coming November 17th

ooooooh thanks for the heads up on this I have been so close to just buying the previous bluray collection but it was so crazy expensive, but this I can do. eeeeeeee!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2015


Miyazaki's anti-war stance is in any case well-established.

Yeah --- if you've seen all of his movies, I can't imagine anyone could be confused about his stance on war. Especially stuff like Nausicaa, Castle in The Sky, Mononoke -- war and military people are always the bad guys, always the enemy. Not in the "one side is good and the other is bad" sense, but in a "pox on all their houses" sense.

Also, he's been one of the leading voices against Abe's "reinterpretation" of Article 9. (Which puts Miyazaki in agreement with 80%+ of the Japanese public, but not the decisionmakers in the current government). Unlike America, it's far less common for public figures to vocally disagree with the government which makes this fairly notable.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:38 PM on August 3, 2015


I still need to watch The Wind Rises, but what I find interesting from reading commentary is how some people are uncomfortable with the themes and htink its not explicitly anti-war enough, while _other_ people call it his "most anti war film" (I've seen quite a few reviews/comments about that). Need to get around to seeing it to figure out why the reaction is so uneven. (My wife, who is a huge Ghibli fan in general, just found it boring however which is part of why i haven't seen it yet).
posted by thefoxgod at 4:48 PM on August 3, 2015


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