Posters - Porco Rosso

I really love the classical romanticism of this poster for Porco Rosso. It's a bit unconventional by modern movie standards, but it's perfect for this film. This is not the umteenth ripoff of Star Wars. This is not a movie that revolves around noisy action scenes and explosions and firefights. This is a movie about romance and lost youth.

I often think of Porco Rosso as the definitive Studio Ghibli film, because it captures all of the great qualities of the studio's work - the impressionist artwork, the rustic adventurism, the Neorealist attention to detail, the emphasis on nuanced, three-dimensional characters, the sheer humanity of the stories. If you want to hook somebody into the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, this might be the perfect choice.

For Miyazaki, it's one of his more personal works, as he reworks one of his minor comics into a midlife crisis. The longing nostalgia speaks not just for the world before WWII, or the early years of aviation, but his own youth. The slapstick comedy harkens back to his early adventurous work, like Animal Treasure Island or Lupin III, and there's a sense of boyish fun throughout the picture.

And, of course, this wouldn't be Miyazaki without the strong female characters, who are the moral center of this film. There's a quiet romance between Marco and Gina that reveals itself, slowly, like a blossoming flower. They share a long history together, and the subtleties of their relationship, as well as Marco's reluctance to finally pursue Gina, are carefully revealed through glances, asides, grunts, and unspoken gestures.

The boys in this movie, of course, are all baffoons. Miyazaki gets his kicks from turning gender stereotypes on its ear, just as he enjoys portraying violence as so much boyish huffing and puffing. You could probably write a whole essay on that climactic air battle between Marco and Curtis. The whole movie builds up to the big fight, and when it comes, Miyazaki slashes the air out of the tires, and everything ends in a punchout worthy of The Three Stooges.

Again, great movie poster. There have been a couple other Porco Rosso posters, but this one is the best.

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