Photos - Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea

These Ponyo shots are screen-grabs from the US trailer. Again, looks wonderful, can't wait. I'm always amazed how Miyazaki can sneak in his apocalyptic revenge fantasies - a devestating flood - into a children's movie, and nobody bats an eye. Have the Americans ever figured this out? This isn't mere spectacle; this is what he really believes. Miyazaki really is rooting for the giant tidal wave and the giant bugs to take out civilization.

Much like John Lennon had discovered, if you take a serious message and wrap it in a dollop of sugar, it goes down very well. What is the hope of a young generation in a world headed for extinction? How do you pull yourselves together among chaos and suffering, with no visable escape?

Aha! It just occured to me that what I'm describing - it's World War II. Miyazaki was born in 1941. He grew up around the complete destruction of his homeland, and the long, painful aftermath. Is this the source of his apocalyptic leanings? Does he view today's world through that prism? In that sense, these scenes are very deeply personal. These are the dreams and nightmares of a five-year-old Hayao Miyazaki, reexamined through 60 years of life experience.

In a few weeks, we shall see how everything in Ponyo fits together. This is a much deeper and richer movie than it first appears.


Chris said...

Daniel, I'm sure it's just a matter of time until you post this news, but through GhibliWiki there is a link to a LA Times article from Comic Con about Miyazaki's intense criticism of America's Iraq attack.

Miyazaki says this: "The reason I wasn’t here for the Academy Award was because I didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq. At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I don’t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling."

Now I completely and totally and without a doubt agree with him here, but my question is, knowing sometimes the knee-jerk reactions of people, do you think these comments are ill-timed before the release of Ponyo? Do you think there could be a backlash?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I've been busy obsessing over a pair of classic Toei Doga movies this weekend before heading back to Comic Con. I'm still looking for a complete video of the Miyazaki appearance.

And it's very true that he boycotted the Oscars as a protest against the Iraq War. Suprised? Really? No Miyazaki fan should be surprised. Heck, the war theme in Howl's Moving Castle was a direct response to the war in Iraq.

I can't imagine why there would be a backlash. The Iraq War is deeply unpopular in the US, and was a major reason why the Republicans suffered heavy losses in the 2006 and 2008 elections. It's also the major reason why Barack Obama is now our President, and Hillary Clinton is not.

The only types who would object to Miyazaki's statements are the paranoid, racist rubes who take their daily marching orders from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Fox News. And they ain't gonna watch any movie made by furiners. Fuck 'em.

Thanks for sharing, as always. I'll be sure to put it into a post before trying to reinstall Windows and potentially break my computer.

Chris said...

You know, you may be right about the flood being an allegorical apocalypse. I don't know enough to argue either way. However, I will say that after you watch the film, you'll realize how strongly Miyazaki is riffing the second Panda Kopanda film. I haven't taken the time to compare directly, but I'm sure you'll find frame for frame consistencies between this flood sequence and the one in Panda Kopanda.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, I'm sure Panda Kopanda and the Rainy Day Circus might be a reference point. Hakujaden is another. We'll have to catch up on our Miyazaki before heading out to the theaters to see Ponyo.

And I'll do my part by showing lots of riffs, so we're all able to play the Ghibli Riffs Drinking Game.

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