Our movie today was Hayao Miyazaki’s farewell masterpiece, The Wind Rises.
It is a fictionalization of the life of Japanese aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi, during the turbulent first decades of the 20th century. And it is simply one of the loveliest films ever made. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the screen for even a second.
This is Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki pulling out all the stops. Just watch it.
- I am not a film scholar, but a more detailed review (with some spoilers) may be found here: The Wind Rises, Beauty In Isolation
- We just got the special edition of the Blu-Ray, with an essay written by Miyazaki himself during film production. Totally worth the few extra bucks
- Yes we prefer the Japanese voice acting with subtitles. Partly because the sound engineering of the film is as masterful and moving as the animation. I am sure they did a fine job with the English dub version if you prefer that.
- The scene of the 1923 Kanto Earthquake is terrifying and amazing. I had never considered what Earthquake aftershocks might sound like. Not just a loud rumble; an eerie, otherworldly sound.
- When it was released in 2013, this film was the the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan.
- The film touches upon but is not about the run-up to World War II and the creation of the Zero fighter plane. It is a story in history, about a fundamentally noble person and the people around him.
- The film has many scenes of Horikoshi using a slide rule, and one of them is detailed enough to show that (once he was out of college and working at Mitsubishi) he had a Hemmi mechanical/engineering rule that is the ancestor of the 1970’s Post Versalog (also manufactured by Hemmi) in my collection. I don’t use it routinely because it has some scales I do not understand, but even at >50 years age it still works perfectly.