August 26, 2013
Hayao Miyazaki latest film, a biopic about the designer of the Zero fighter plane, is not Miyazaki's first film about (real) fighter planes. In Porco Rosso, an Italian fighter pilot's WWI experiences have turned him (literally) into a pig. He declares: "I'd much rather be a pig than a fascist."
And speaking of the Miyazakis, From Up on Poppy Hill, a post-war Showa melodrama directed by Miyazaki's son, Goro, is scheduled for a September release on region 1 DVD.
Goro's first effort, Tales from Earthsea, is a good example of a bad adaptation. It is technically proficient, but anybody not familiar with the Earthsea series (like me) would just end up confused.
Even Le Guin had mixed feelings about the film and the editorial choices made about what was kept, cut, and changed.
I saw NHK documentary about Hayao Miyazaki when Earthsea was coming out and it was clear that he thought the "suits" had rushed the "heir apparent" into the director's chair before he or the project was ready.
He was so grumpy at the in-house screening it made me cringe. But Goro must have a thick skin and learned a lot in the meantime as From Up on Poppy Hill has been very well received.
Twilight of the Zero