Sunday, 23 January 2011

Critical Study (Auteurship)


I am going to look at the work of Hayao Miyazaki, as I personally enjoy his films and animation genre. I will discuss a little information about Hayao Miyazaki as i feel that it helps to understand him better.  
Hayao Miyazaki is a famous anime artist alongside animator and film director, he has received numerous awards and nominations for his films. 
After graduating in Tokyo he joined Toei Animation studio as an artist who only created the in-between frames. Slowly rising in the ranks and getting a better understanding of the animation industry throughout the decade, he created his first feature length film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. His second film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind led to the establishment of Studio Ghibli in 1985 alongside Isao Takahata. Studio Ghibli was the start of something new for Miyazaki, where he had more control of his work as a producer. Walt Disney also has distribution rights of the movies which Studio Ghibli make.

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke tells the story of an epic fantasy where Ashitaka (protaganist) is driven to leave his village to find a cure to the curse which is inflicting him. Throughout his journey in the land he meets a small town (Iron town) who is run by Lady Eboshi (antagonist). Eboshi's mission is to exploit the surroundings for iron/weapon resources causing her to see the forest and the animals as the enemy. Although she seems to be the antagonist her compassionate side shows when it is revealed that she buys girls who were sold to brothels and gives them work, making her a respected figure.
Ashitaka also meets San, a fierce girl who was raised by mountain wolves ('gods') and believes she is one of them. She has fury against humans who invade the forest, causing her to constantly attack Iron town. When she meets Ashitaka her heart swings between the 'gods' and the humans giving her mixed emotions.

Princess Mononoke's themes revolve around the earth and nature in a fantasy genre, showing various beautiful atmospheric value alongside a brilliant plot, which is much of Miyazaki's work. The film received a great reception and became the highest grossing movie in Japan until Titanic was released, but it still remains the fourth highest grossing anime movie in Japan, next to Howl's Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo (2008) and Spirited away (2001) which were also made by Miyazaki. 

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited away follows a 10 year old girls moment in time where she moves houses, and experiences a magical moment of moving from one world to another full of monsters and spiritual beings. Spirited away amongst many other films shows a little girl, Chihiro Ogino (10 years old) innocent and child-like. Miyazaki's work shows a trend in similair characters, especially female protaganists. In an interview with Miyazaki the following was asked in matter to female persona's used frequently in his work:

"Why do you always choose a girl as your theme?"
Miyazaki: 'I don't logically plan it that way. When we compare a man in action and a girl in action, I feel girls are more gallant. If a boy is walking with a long stride, I don't think anything particular, but if a girl is walking gallantly, I feel "that's cool." Maybe that's because I'm a man, and women may think it's cool when they see a young man striding. At first, I thought "this is no longer the era of men. This is no longer the era of taigimeibun."[1] But after ten years, I grew tired of saying that. I just say "cause I like women." That has more reality.'
[Kikan Iichiko, October 20, 1994. Reprinted in Shuppatsuten by Hayao Miyazaki; published by Tokuma Shoten, 1996.]
[1] Taigimeibun can mean justification, justice, or a big good cause something like "for the human race" --ryo 
Quoted from: 

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

 My Neighbour Totoro is one of many touching films produced by Miyazaki, again a similair plot to that of Spirited away, girl's move houses, connect with nature, discover monsters/spirits in the garden and struggle to come to terms with their mothers illness. Satsuke (10 years old) and Mei (4 years old) are the central focus of the film just as Chihiro is of Spirited away. The character's show a resemblance, especially between Chihiro and Mei, as they are both quite fearful and adventurous at the same time. The story's climax usually involves some form of happiness i.e. Mei's mother starting to recover and the growing bravery of the girls to represent that they have overcome their fears. 

Miyazaki uses recurring themes and similair characters in his films, one can compare the enviromental messages given in various of his films, from the beauty of the lush natural landscapes or the dramatic urban city set in a fantasy enviroment made to perfection and enough detail to fill the user with awe.

Howl's Moving Castle
My Neighbor Totoro

Spirited Away

I like Miyazaki's work because I enjoy the mood and the atmosphere which he creates in his films. It's something which I can relate to when I was a child and it brings out those memories. Much of his work is really imaginative which brings out the 'wow' factor and the plot's are unique injunction with the art visuals which work brilliantly, it shows the passion which Miyazaki has in his work. You can definately tell what sort of style he has in his work, fantasy elements mixed with epic and dramatic storylines, female protaganists, scenes where characters usually fly, plots which fill the viewer with hope, these are some of the things which make Miyazaki's work his.

I think his work is good for analysis because I am quite intrigued by his work and passionate about his artistic style. As i wish to become an environment designer within the gaming industry, his work holds high inspirational value for me, and I could learn how to develop a similair style by using Miyazaki's work as inspiration. 

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