Just watched: The Wind Rises

19 February 2015

I am a big Studio Ghibli fan and a few weeks ago I watched director Hayao Miyazaki's final feature film The Wind Rises and loved it. 

It's a beautiful, surprising and heart-wrenching movie that I cannot recommend enough. The film didn't make it to the cinema in Wagga Wagga and I spent a few Sydney trips trying to catch it. Interestingly, I'm yet to find any Studio Ghibli films to rent on iTunes, which has been a good excuse to build my DVD collection.

The Wind Rises tells the story of Jiro, a young boy who dreams of building aeroplanes who grows up to be a gifted but somewhat reclusive aeronautical engineer. In between the two world wars, Jiro is entrusted to work on a special project and builds a plane that is ultimately used in World War Two.

If you're worried about watching a movie about planes, don't worry, it's a love story too. And while it's more of a historical drama and one of the least fantastical of Miyazaki's films, it is still manages to be totally magical, funny and moving. Its depiction of earthquakes is particularly amazing.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness makes excellent companion viewing, it's a documentary that follows Hayao Miyazaki as he works on The Wind Rises and contemplates retirement. The way he works is pretty fascinating (he doesn't plan the story out first but lets it unfold as he storyboards and writes the film) and if you're tempted to watch this before The Wind Rises, just know that it is packed with spoilers!

If you haven't watched a Studio Ghibli movie before I can recommend starting with My Neighbour Totoro, Ponyo and Spirited Away in Japanese with English subtitles :)

P.S - It would be fun to make your own choc-tops for a home movie night.

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