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New Yorker on Miyazaki 196

An anonymous reader writes "The New Yorker issue of 17 January has an in-depth article on Hayao Miyazaki. It gives a nice look at the arc of his work, short interviews with him, and more extended interviews with his co-workers. Here is an interview with the article's author."
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New Yorker on Miyazaki

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  • by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @06:37AM (#11378061) Journal
    For those of you who do not instantly associate that name with anything, a link [].
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I hate admitting ignorance...

      But even after viewing the link, I can honestly say I have never heard of him or his works. (just now, I had to check to see if I should say "him/his" or "her".

      • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @09:25AM (#11378392)
        I hate admitting ignorance...

        There is no shame in not knowing everything. Nobody knows everything. There are plenty of time in Slashdot where I need to look up some acronym, Just to know what the story is about. People have interests in different areas and know different things. So even a site like Slashdot which is ment to focus on technical and geeky people there are still a wide range of information that people may not have come across before in there life. The smartest people I know are the ones who are not afraid of saying that they are unfamiliar in that area and ask to learn more. The dumbest people I know feel that they know all the information and are afraid to admit that they don't know a thing about it. The reason why this is true is simple. The person who isn't afraid to admit that they dont have all the knowledge seek it out and learn more. Those who don't avoid the seeking of knowledge and fail to grow.
        • Another aspect of this is that if I allready knew everything on slashdot I wouldn't bother coming here to read the news, I expect most people feel the same.

          To stay on topic I think it's great that Miyazaki and ghibli are finally getting mainstream recognition in the western world, lots of good movies from that source.
        • Very well put. You are an asset to the community.
        • Nobody knows everything.
          Then why is it so hard to say, "I don't know?"
          • Because we have been trained in school that if we don't know the answer then we are somehow stupid. But to be fair most of the time this happends the student was required to read the information the night before for homework, and most of the times they don't know because they didn't read the information or read it well. So the smart kids (Who actually may not be very smart per say but better readers) always had their hand up ansering the questions while the stuggling kids tried to hide in the back to avoid
  • His stuff's always been a bit too "warm and cuddly" for me, with the exception of Princess Mononoke. Still, it's nice to see some recognition being handed out in the field, and her certainly deserves it.
    • Ah, as warm and cuddly goes it doesn't get much better. Not what I'd watch all the time, but sufficiently well executed that it's worth getting excited about something new. And I reckon a lot of his stuff is a nice balance of mature themes with stuff that's interesting for kids. More food for thought than, say, a Disney movie.

      But then, I'm not an anime geek. I tend more towards David Lynch and Atom Egoyan than most anime, so maybe I'm grossly misinformed.
      • If you like the weird stuff, try hunting down Visitor Q or other movies down by Takashi Miike. Truly wonderful.
        • I've seen a lot of his other stuff, but Visitor Q is actually banned in New Zealand. We have a wonderful lobby called something like The Society For The Protection of Community Standards who make it their business to fuck up every film festival they can by getting the brochure, figuring out which movies might be controvercial in any way and then lobbying the censors to get them banned.

          One year they pretty much got their way and Visitor Q got taken out in the process. Screenings had to be cancelled... the
          • Banned, eh? Well luckily there's broadband. I've only seen about 4 or 5 of his movies and neither was Katakuris or Dead or Alive.

            Any film festivals in Feb or March? I'll be in New Zealand then.

            How does the lobby feel about Peter Jackson's early stuff?
            • Katakuris is extremely funny, DOA is extremely... different. Starts by making about the most aggressive opening it possibly could, settles down into a Yakuza movie and then... well... that would kind of spoil the ending! Catch it, it's certainly an experience.

              And as for the broadband thing, only just! We're emerging from the land of 128kbps over here very, very slowly. I got an email on Friday from my provider INTRODUCING a 10gb data-cap on my previously unrestricted plan, with no reduction in price.
              • Nope, I haven't even heard of Old Boy. I'll take a look for it when I'm in Melbourne. I'll be there for 2 weeks while my bike is being shipped to Christchurch.

                I was planning on looking for other Akashi Miike movies while I was there.
                • Old Boy shouldn't be too hard to find, it did quite well at Cannes last year IIRC. I imagine you'll do better for movies in Melbourne than anywhere here, Auckland only has a population of a little over a million and nothing else even comes close. Enjoy the South Island, it's nice down there - can't speak quite so highly of Auckland though, it's a traffic nightmare and largely boring. Wellington has a bit more of a city atmosphere, but it's too small to hit critical mass. I'd live down there if it wasn't
                  • I'll be on both islands. First the south since my bike is getting shipped to Christchurch. I've "met" a few kiwis from a punk rock board and from myspace who've offered me places to stay in Wellington and Tambaurani (sp?). I've heard from everyone who's been there that it's a great place to be.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      As a more mature and less bombastic alternative to Miyazaki, I would recommend Studio Ghibli's own Isao Takahata. His films speak for themselves, and not only limited to Grave of the Fireflies. []

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You find Nausicaa (the manga) and Princess Mononoke too "cuddly"?
  • Fascinating stuff (Score:2, Interesting)

    by camcloud1 ( 758094 )
    It still amazes me that the whole comic book / manga artform is so well respected in Japan. I love Manga as much as the next guy but to see EVERYONE relating to it astonds me. Unless you visit Japan (as I have done twice now) you can't really fathom the impact that this artform has on Japanese culture. The people I spoke to in Japan about it think that what we consider Manga and the Manga we have access to in the west is pretty light weight.
    • I dunno. When I think manga, I think of Golgo 13. Pretty heavy if you ask me. What does Duke Togo have to say about that?

    • Why do we have "access" to light-weight mangas? Do you mean the anime that are translated and shown to the public? In Europe, I can go in any japanese library and buy the same comics they have in Japan. There is no selection or censorship. It is the same thing with american comics. Of course it has absolutely no impact on our culture like it is in Japan.
    • Re:Fascinating stuff (Score:4, Informative)

      by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @10:47AM (#11378565)
      The reason why the Japanese love manga is the fact they had the equivalent of modern manga back in the 18th Century!

      From Frederik L. Schodt's book Dreamland Japan, he said the Japanese back then produced extremely popular toba-e and kibyoushi books (that look very much like modern comic books in style) using woodblock printing in that the same way that manga artists produce their works in Japan today: a overall creator helped by a small group of assistants to complete each work. Indeed, today's Japanese manga is essentially like toba-e and kibyoushi production, only using modern drawing techniques and vastly larger reading audiences thanks to modern printing methods.

  • by Chas ( 5144 )
    So when do Disney hijack THIS and claim it as their own original work?
    • When Disney discovers what a patent is....
    • Well, in a way they already have hijacked Miyazaki's work. Miramax bought the international rights to all the classic Ghibli movies just to lock them away (nothing besides Princess Mononoke got more than a "pro-forma" run with a handful of copies). As to the why?

      If they'd actually release them on the big screen, people would realize that even older Ghiblis (like "Porco Rosso" and "Laputa" are not only better-made (wrt. story, art, soundtrack) than the disney fare of their time, but also (still) better th

  • Might it not be... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bpuli ( 654182 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @06:54AM (#11378091) Homepage
    a good idea to include some info about who the heck this guy is?
    I had to do a search. May I suggest that the editors/posters re-read their submission instructions?
    In related news, Wilbert Rideau [] has been released.
  • Expo in Paris (Score:5, Informative)

    by quake74 ( 466627 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @06:56AM (#11378096)
    If you like Miyazaki and are around Paris, you might want ot check out the exposition [] at the museum de la Monnaie (right in front of Pont Neuf). I went there yesterday and it is quite interesting: it is centered around a comparison of Miyazaki's work and Moebius' work (one of the best french cartoonist). The most interesting stuff to me was a cross-interview of Moebius and Miyazaki, good stuff. They also show other two documentaries on their respective work, but I don't know if it is worth it for 9 euros.
    • Nine euros works out to, less than $15? For an exhibition of any artist in the States that's a bargain. I live outside of Boston, which is supposed to have a lot of culture, but the museums and music events are really expensive.
    • I was in Paris during the holidays, but I never got a chance to go see the exhibit. I am so pissed at myself! I saw posters for it everywhere around the city. I was under the impression that there has been a long standing history between Japanese and French animation. Does anybody know any more details on the connection? Is it true that the French invented anime (i.e. the style) and out sourced work to the Japanese, who quickly adopted the art form and improved and expanded upon it?
    • I went to the exhibit. If you have a student ID. Its only 6 Euros.
  • by ZSpade ( 812879 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @07:13AM (#11378121) Homepage
    A long time now I have been a fan of Hayao Miyazaki. I find his movies strangely unique, and moving. In fact, I would call them more of an experience. Especially with his latest masterpiece Sen To Chihiro(Spirited away.)

    this man really knows how to take you into a world of awe and amazement. He can take you to world filled with ancient gods, and mysterious magic, or to the skies and ancient forgotten cities who's only surving inhabitans are it's gargantuan robot caretakers.

    I would have to say I dislike this being classified as Anime though, as while it is Japanese, it is nothing like any other Japanese animation. These are truly works that will outlive Miyazaki to become classics, and his own name will outlive him to become legend.

    I highly reccomend this mans works to everyone here, even if you dislike anime, you may be pleasently surprised by the experience.
    • while it is Japanese, it is nothing like any other Japanese animation
      Animation is just a method not a genre, and in Japan it isn't restricted to Disney style stuff. Horror, romatic comedy etc are all done - the SF and fantasy tend to get noticed more in the west since impressive drawn special effects are easier to do than people moving about in front of a blue screen. Japan's postwar film industry didn't have a lot of money, so a lot of stuff was animated.
      • Animation is just a method not a genre, and in Japan it isn't restricted to Disney style stuff.

        Neither is it here in the U.S.

        I think the guy was referring to the stereotype of anime, somewhat justifiably, that's built up based off of our more-commonly seen anime, like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragonball-Z, Yu-Yu Hakusho, and a good many more. Those things are to Miyazaki as your typical Internet webcomic artist is to Charles Schulz.

        Miyazaki actually expresses disdain for most anime (including his own) in the
      • ... the SF and fantasy tend to get noticed more in the west ...

        "SF and fantasy" is a very strange way to typo "porn"...

    • Wow, a "man i hate teh Animez" post gets "Interesting". I'm also glad we have such an expert on anime here who has seen every bit of it ever made, thus being able to distinguish between Miyazaki's and everyone else's works.

      "Anime" is a term just like "movie"; it's based off facts about the film, not subjective quality. Should we call Citizen Kane something besides "movie" just because so many other movies suck? Some anime is terrible, some isn't. Deal with it.
      • Wow, someone who didn't read my post made a comment on it?

        I didn't say I hated anime, quite the opposite my friend, but I do not think this ranks with what most Americans see as Anime.

        The differences I speak of are in the art, direction, and quality.

        I do not speak of anime as a genre, I speak of it as a movement, and I for one do not feel this is part of that particular movement.
        • Hmm... you did say it is 'unlike any other Japanese animation', therefore implying 'any other Japanese animation' == Anime == crap.

          Like the parent poster, without your clarification I would interpret this as ignorance on the fact that 'anime' != Dragonball & co, and that Miyazaki's work are not unique in being 'films' rather than cartoons.

          Maybe they're not as amazing to your taste as Miyazaki's, but I would not classify the works of any of the following as fundamentally different: Grave of the Firefli
        • I've already watched every other work on your list, yes I am very avid. I also agree that Miyazaki's work is not the only exception.

          Honestly, when I think anime, I think Naruto, Evangelion, love hina, dragon ball z, Trigu, cowboy bebbop, tenchi muyo, and a host of others. This is the movement, and Miyazakis work is far removed from it. Many of the movies you movies you mentioned were as well.

          I'll also admit I'm very biased when it comes to Miyazaki's works, as he is simply my favorite director, and an exa
    • I would have to say I dislike this being classified as Anime though, as while it is Japanese, it is nothing like any other Japanese animation.
      Hell, Miyazaki's work is like no other animation I've ever seen. But you have to classify it somehow.

      For that matter, Miyazaki does a better job of creating a sense of place and an illusion of reality than most live-action filmmakers.

  • by boa13 ( 548222 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @07:43AM (#11378179) Homepage Journal
    I just saw Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki's latest work, and I just have this to say: It's excellent!

    I've been told a few critics around here (in France) were disappointed or something -- I haven't have the chance to read them yet. Many others were enthousiastic, and I join their rank!

    Like many other Miyazaki movies, there's plenty of everything, for everyone, to be seen, felt, understood, admired. There's entertainment for sure, suspense, chasing, quite a bit of war, beautiful machineries and landscape, music, great characters (including a most excellent demon of fire!), etc. There's also a classical but well-told love story, some insights about power and corruption, and interesting and thought provokind depictions of age, old age mostly (an unusual subject for an animé, but very tastefully done), and young age in contrast to the elderly. There's also plenty of English-tale feeling, since the story is adapted from a recent (1986) English children-book. Miyazaki manages to blend the English and Japanese cultures masterfully.

    Overall, and almost as usual with Miyazaki, this is a movie you can go see with your children (or nephews, or whatever), they will immensely enjoy themselves, and you certainly won't be annoyed or bored either.
    • I just saw Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki's latest work, and I just have this to say: It's excellent!

      To each their own, I suppose. I saw it on opening day (here in Japan), and to be frank I was disappointed. Not that it was a bad movie, by any means--it's just less than I expected for a Miyazaki work, and it didn't have quite the same touch his better films have had. If you haven't already been indoctrinated with Nausicaa and the like, then you'll probably find it very enjoyable.

      • I've seen "all" his other works (I mean all movies and major TV shows), and I still enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle. :-)

        But as you said, to each their own.
      • AFAIK, inthe case of "Howel's" he is adapting a book to screen. He did this with "Kiki's" and many readers of the books enjoyed "Kiki's" but not as much since things are always lost in the translation.
        Maybe some peoples reaction to "Howl's" is the same way?
  • Is it just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MukiMuki ( 692124 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @07:59AM (#11378203)
    Is it just me, or is an interview with the guy that interviewed Miyazaki just a bit... much?
    • We could do a /. interview with the interviewer of the interviewer to get to the bottom of this fascinating story... =)
    • It's better than that. If you read the actual New Yorker article, you find out that the website interview is with the guy who almost, but didn't actually, interveiw Miyazaki. The cult of authorship pervading the New Yorker can be hard to take...

      The actual New Yorker article is good, by the way. I didn't know much about Miyazaki before this; here's some things I learned from the article:
      1) In addition to "Howl's Moving Castle" coming out (in movie theaters, presumably) this year, good versions of "Nausicaa
  • I just watched Spirited Away last night. Then I went to to find out more info... and then I came to /.

    Rather odd.

    Anyway... to make this post semi-legit, I figure it's worth mentioning a related 'news' item: Disney's Nausicaa version (with Mark Hamil and Patrick Stewart!) is due to come out on DVD next month.
  • I find that one of the most striking features of his films is the abundance of details. Quite often (most of the time, actually), animated films omit a lot of background activity, irrelevant details, robbing the fictional world of it believability. In Miyazaki films, however, I always notice how details such as hand movement when opening a door always appear well thought out and natural. Instead of glossing over such trivialities and using overly broad strokes (just to tell the story and set the general ton
  • by strelitsa ( 724743 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @10:33AM (#11378525) Journal
    ... that would be nice places to live. (Well, most of them anyway).

    I'm sorry this topic got hijacked. As an animation buff, I consider Miyazaki's work to be some of the finest in the genre today, and I dearly wish his body of work were much larger. Much like HR Giger (Alien), Miyazaki melds a strong sense of the organic into the fantastic in a kid- and family-friendly way. Miyazaki's work extends far beyond just Japanese culture. His vision utilizes influences as diverse as Alice in Wonderland and Jonathan Swift to tell his stories.

    Miyazaki's flying machines look like they were grown in some massive garden or hewn out of a redwood tree using an ax, but with the added bonus that they can really fly. His cities are exquisitely and almost painfully rich with detail, with kitschy lofts, alleys, shops, and access roads that meld the charm of Old World Europe with the practicality of a cleaned-up New York City. Miyazaki obviously cares about place and time every bit as much as character development, which is why it is so easy to get lost in his anime. (My DVD player's pause button gets a workout every time I watch a Miyazaki feature).

    There is a refreshing lack of the judgmental in Miyazaki's body of work. Like Samuel Goldwyn, he apparently prefers to let Western Union or NTT relay his messages. While Miyazaki obviously recognizes that there is great evil in the world, he also knows that even the most evil often have valid reasons that they did what they did, and he leaves it up to the audience as the court of last resort when it comes to their "guilt" or "innocence".

    And the best part of statements like Princess Mononoke? Miyazaki's creatures and environments are not passive victims or Bambi - they have teeth and claws and weapons of their own, and they are not shy about using them if driven to do so. You gotta respect it when the deer breaks out a Weatherby .454 and starts shooting back.

  • In the article ./ linked with an interview of the author Margaret Talbot answers:

    Are there countries other than Japan where animation is as popular across different age groups? I think that Japan is unusual, if not unique, in its animation and comic-book culture.

    I think france is another country where animation and comic books are consumed at all ages. One can find grown men reading hard cover and paperback comics on the metro in paris and the average age of movie goers for animated films is definit
  • The thing with me and Anime, is that I pretty much perfer what looks like it would be considered kiddie by the mainstream American audience. There's always something in the lighthearted anime that I will take over the darker kind like Ghost in a Shell. Hayao Miyazaki's anime is no exception in terms of the fact that it was more made for kids. However, there is always something deep within Miyazaki's anime that other animes don't have. It's like a candle lit brighter than the other candles. Then again,
  • I very much admire Miyazaki's work, especially when he writes original stories. But it bothers me that in the west, we hear so much about Miyazaki and so little about other Studio Ghibli animators. I've never had a chance to see a single non-Miyazaki Ghibli movie, and I suspect that they all have some of the artistry and attention to detail that blows away Miyazaki fans.

    It's also important to remember that the Ghibli approach to animation requires massive effort by a huge team of creative people. Again, t

  • Bait and switch! (Score:3, Informative)

    by MunchMunch ( 670504 ) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:17PM (#11379855) Homepage
    I saw

    "The New Yorker issue of 17 January has an in-depth article on Hayao Miyazaki. It gives a nice look at the arc of his work, short interviews with him, and more extended interviews with his co-workers."

    and clicked through. Pretty disappointing to find out that the actual article is an interview with somebody who interviewed Miyazaki, and includes no actual excerpts of interviews with him.

    To sum it up, most of the article seems to be Margaret Talbot explaining her own opinions on and experiences with Miyazaki films to the New Yorkers Dan Cappello. She paraphrases something Miyazaki said in their actual interview maybe thrice throughout the story. Most of it is simply her personal opinion on his work or statistical/biographical info that is available to anyone-- which is fine if you've never heard of him, but rather boring if you have seen his works, already know that he is incredible, and would just like to hear what he has to say.

    Disappointing to say the least! So where's the actual New Yorker article that the Slashdot story spent most of its time describing??

    • where's the actual New Yorker article that the Slashdot story spent most of its time describing??

      In the New Yorker?

    • Pretty disappointing to find out that the actual article is an interview with somebody who interviewed Miyazaki,

      You could have found that out if you'd read the link you clicked on, and the submission in general. It's only bait and switch if there was an attempt to hide something.

      So where's the actual New Yorker article that the Slashdot story spent most of its time describing??

      In New Yorker magazine (a paper publication), of course. The submitter of this piece did the best he could do (other t

      • "You could have found that out if you'd read the link you clicked on, and the submission in general. It's only bait and switch if there was an attempt to hide something.

        If you read *my* post, you'd know I did indeed read the whole article. Judging from the other posts available at the time I posted, I have to note that mine was the only one that referenced the article anyways. I didn't see you complaining about how relevant and referential those who treated an article containing the word "Miyazaki" as

        • If you read *my* post, you'd know I did indeed read the whole article.

          Perhaps what I wrote was ambiguous, although I can't help wondering if you're just doing the same thing all over again. I said "read the link", by which I meant read the text of the link within the Slashdot submission, not the article. You're complaining because you clicked on a link without reading what the link said, and then were surprised when the linked article was exactly what it was billed as.

          As to my meanness, I respond

  • He's also a first-rate manga artist as well: check out the four volumes of _Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind_, the art, characters and story are just astounding. From the introduction to the comic:

    "In a few short centuries, industrial civilization had spread from the western fringes of Eurasia to sprawl across the face of the planet. Plundering the soil of its riches, fouling the air, and remolding lifeforms at will, this gargantuan society had already peaked a thousand years after its foundation: ahead lay

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken