Still catching my breath after experiencing the tour de force animation in The Wind Rises

I’m still catching my breath after experiencing the tour de force animation in The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s own Doctor Zhivago. He loves cameras and film: lovingly hand-animating moving parallax perspective, the carefully delineated iris hexagons in the carefully painted lens flare, the beautiful bokeh, the shutter-blur on railway-bridge pylons as they flash past, the defractions of teardrops, the distortions of pre-war glass-panes, and the sheen travelling across aluminium. But he loves paint equally: our heroine palette-knifes the great animator’s own colours into her fateful canvas, to be eventually washed away by the rain, more driving rain become the manga shorthand of parallel lines for motion, in an aerial view a winding train becomes a charcoal line that momentarily drifts off the tracks, and the faces of the quake victims morph into expressionistic blobs of paint. Although I think it’s somewhat disingenuous for Miyazaki to compare, via the Italian dude philosophising on the plane wing, Imperial Japan’s brutal ‘Co-Prosperity Zone’ and Mitsubishi’s Zero fighter program with the Pharaohs and their pyramids, for an end-of-career movie this one is amazing.


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