Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Source: Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Such a wonderful quote on the Japanese master that we couldn’t help but share it.

It might make me a bit old and cantankerous to say so, but to me Miyazaki was the achievement of what anime could be. Not his love of planes or rolling green hills and environmental metaphors (for every auteur has themes to which they love returning), but for the sense of honest wonderment and scope. For characters who lived and breathed and whose actions felt real, and whose relationships were always honest. For worlds that were unique and enthralling even when he stepped into the works of others, and for female characters that were dynamic and varied and strong without having to be Strong Female Characters. The man gave me my favorite film, and a language to speak about animation with passion before I knew such a thing was possible. I will miss him dearly as a viewer As an artist, I’ll try to carry his dreams into the future.

Thanks Nitrateglow!

The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals (Isao Takahata, 1987)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals.

criterion logoA special project originally conceived as an animated feature, director Isao Takahata and producer Hayao Miyazaki were so struck by Yanagawa’s 290 miles of waterways that they created The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals, a tribute to this Venice of the East and Studio Ghibli’s sole live-action feature film.  Mixing documentary forms, Takahata traces the history of the canals from a 16th century irrigation and drainage system to a polluted eyesore in the 1970s to a reclaimed tourist attraction and cultural centerpiece to the local community.  The result is an extraordinary portrait in keeping with the themes of Miyazaki’s famed Studio Ghibli and its animated features, exploring the uneasy coexistence between man and the natural environment against the backdrop of ongoing modernization.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer supervised by director Isao Takahata, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview with Takahata by Norio Akasaka
  • “Grass: Cultivating a Sense of Community,” a 22-minute uncut final chapter
  • Storyboards
  • Trailer
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholars Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc

Continue reading