Monday, November 07, 2011
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
Recently, the children and I have been watching films made by studio Ghibli, mostly because I saw them on offer in a shop (three for 99kr). I bought six titles; 'Princess Mononoke', 'Porco Rosso', 'Howl's Moving Castle', 'My Neighbour Totoro', 'Kiki's delivery Service', and 'Ponyo'. I'd already seen the first three, but I bought them to watch with Freja who is now old enough to appreciate them. So far we've seen 'Princess Mononoke' which Freja found a tad scary but which she liked, 'My Neighbour Totoro' which we all loved, and 'Kiki's delivery Service' which was good, but not as good as 'My Neighbour Totoro'.
One thing has struck me about Miyazaki whilst I watched these films. He is obsessed with unusual aircraft. Since I too am a big fan of unusual aircraft, I began to read about him on Wikipedia, specifically to see if he had made any other films which featured the same kind of idea's and exotic aircraft. I was certain I'd read, some where in the past, that he had made a post apocolyptic film and sure enough, two titles sprang forth almost at once. 'Castle in the Sky' which I have yet to see, and 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind'.
I watched 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind' last night and it is an excellent movie, with a fascinating iconography and plenty of inspiring ideas. The story is more or less a straight forward path, but I can forgive that as it makes its way through multiple points of interest, some of which are so well done, they seem almost to belong to Jean Giraud Mobius.
Nausicaä is a princess (of course) of a small valley nation which survives in a world dominated by a poisonous jungle where giant insects rule and the air is filled with toxic spores that will kill a human within five minutes. Several other nations also exist, but as the toxic jungle continues to spread across the Earth, the remaining nations battle each other for survival. Nausicaä and her people get dragged into this conflict when two larger nations struggle for control of an ancient weapon which they believe can push back the toxic jungle and save humanity...