NY Film Festival: The Wind Rises
In what might be his last anime (Mr. Miyazaki has announced that he is retiring from film), the director has hit a political vein in his country. He has publicly opposed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's current plan to rebuild his country's military, and when the film opens in the United States, it is certain to strike a vein in our collective view of the role Japan played in the war before its final defeat in 1945.
Japan churns out computer animated anime by the hundreds each year, but a film by Miyazaki has always been the product of traditional animation. Even though he used digital paint in Princess Mononoke (1997), the computer animated department of Studio Ghibli, the animation studio he founded in 1985, was dissolved in 2008. The art work in The Wind Rises, with its gentle, soft images and hand-drawn characters is like fine calligraphy, and represents another great milestone in the career of one of Japan's great filmmakers.