Sunday, October 18, 2009

miyazaki intro

Here is an interesting article on the famous Japanese movie director Hayao Miyazaki. It has a lot of interesting tidbits, including his views on Disney, as well as some interesting facts about his political views. Miyazaki is apparently strongly influenced by Marxism and Communism. My friend Zhun has told me that this theme appears in an early television show of his titled Future Boy Conan. While the communist theme of industrialism and a post-capitalist utopia are described very explicitly in that show, one can see more subtle elements of this in his later movies as well.

For example, in one of his most celebrated films titled Spirited Away (2001), the theme of greed is encompassed in the interesting character, "Noface." He is first portrayed in the movie as essentially a passive character. He does not voluntarily enter the spirit bath house but waits to be welcomed in by Chihiro. He is a product of his environment (definitely a Marxian idea) since once he enters the bath house (which could easily be seen as the ideal capitalist firm), he is overtaken by the greed of the workers and he feeds off of this greed just as much as the greed feeds off of him. It is not until he encounters the genuinely selfless Chihiro that Noface changes back to his previous form. He then spends time with Xeneba in a world that is completely the opposite of Yubaba's, an ideal post-capitalist society that is another recurring theme in his movies.

Check out a very good Miyazaki interview at the Disney studios here

At any rate, enjoy the excellent introduction to Miyazaki and his ideas!

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