Wed Jan 26 02:19:41 EST 2000
Three messages in one, so this ended up a little long...
>From: Aaron Gerow <gerow at ynu.ac.jp>
>Hayao Miyazaki : Master of Japanese Animation : Films, Themes, >Artistry by
>Helen McCarthy [...]
>Any comments on these? Anyone see any articles they liked? Can >anyone
>talk about the themes, shape, and nature of the discourse on >Miyazaki?
I've read about half of McCarthy's book, and I have somewhat mixed feelings
about it so far. First of all, I do like it--It gives a well-researched,
detailed and interesting look into Miyazaki's background and work. It's
probably the most in-depth original writing on Miyazaki I've seen in
English. On the other hand, while there is a good deal of "commentary"
about half of the space is devoted to story synopses, character descriptions
and pictures. Despite all the valuable information, the book lacks a clear
thesis and ends up a sort of fan handbook instead of a sturdy examination of
It's put together more or less like Donald Richie's "The Films of Akira
Kurosawa," reviewing each film with different sections on story, background,
commentary, and etcetera, but it doesn't reach the critical depth of the
latter. McCarthy treats Miyazaki seriously as an animator, but as a
filmmaker... ? I'm not so sure. The book also struggles a little to find a
"Japanese" context to put him in. Considering its good points though (and
of course the audience it's selling to), I think it was worth my money and I
would recommend it.
Recently I've been tracking down some more Japanese writing on Miyazaki and
anime. Books by Saito Minako, Sato Kenji, and Inoue Shizuka, also Kinejun
and Eureka special issues, etc. While I won't say these works all strike me
as "academic" they definitely try to tackle more difficult topics than
anything I've seen in English. Gender stereotypes, the "left wing" and
political issues, culturally and historically-based critiques... I still
get the impression that western audiences don't want to challenge their
'fun' with Miyazaki (or anime) by asking such difficult questions.
Last week I had the chance to borrow a copy of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's
made-for-TV film from last October (?). Does anyone know if it will or has
been rebroadcast, or if it will be released to video in the future?
Finally, one query--can anyone point out political or social events that may
have had an effect on trends in the film and television in the early to mid
1970s? AMPO, the oil shock, Mishima or anything of the sort. When I say
"trends" I'm thinking party of the "anime boom," pornography, and this
well-noted, somewhat vague "decline" in Japanese film in general, but I'm
interested in hearing any ideas. Also if there is any good writing on
trends in Japanese film during the 1970s, I'd really appreciate
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