Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blind Spot: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Miyazaki delivers more cinema magic.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by Isao Takahata
Written by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura and Hisako Kyôda (Japanese version)

Plot Summary: On the verge of war in her post-apocalyptic world, Princess Nausicaä attempts to save her people and their dying planet.

Significance: Generally considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, Miyazaki’s film received Japanese honors from the Mainichi Film Concours and the Kinema Junpo Awards, as well as an award at the Fantafestival in Rome. It was originally released in a butchered, shorter version called Warriors of the Wind in the U.S., but Disney re-released it uncut (with English and Japanese versions) in 2005.

Thoughts: Not unlike his other features, Miyazaki’s family-friendly fantasy is a lovely little film. Visually, the film is arguably Miyazaki’s best work, and composer and frequent collaborator Joe Hisaishi also provides a magnificent score. Of course, the story features environmental and social commentary, which are themes often present in the director’s films. While the animation is stunning, the film doesn’t quite reach the heights of Miyazaki’s more celebrated work, such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. However, it strikes me as one that will grow on me over time, and it’s a film I’ll revisit in the future. For completists or Studio Ghibli fans (though not actually a Ghibli production), it’s definitely worth a look.

Rating: B

This is the fifth film in my 2016 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.

6 comments:

  1. I'm gonna try to watch Grave Of The Fireflies later on, but this one sounds really good as well, so now I feel conflicted lololol

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    1. Watch Grave of the Fireflies first. ;)

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  2. I haven't seen this one. I need to work on watching more Miyazaki as I love Spirited Away so much.

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    Replies
    1. Spirited Away remains my favorite Miyazaki film, but he does create magic on screen.

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  3. I can't wait to watch this. It's been in my watchlist for a while...UGH...now I need to bump it up.

    Maybe it's time I work on the 1984 Fistis!

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