The Wind Rises (JFF) | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

The Wind Rises (JFF)

Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy living in a provincial town, has a dream about climbing up onto his roof and flying away in a bird-like airplane, while wearing aviator goggles. After a while, a large, monstrous ship emerges from the clouds, and drops some anthropomorphic bombs on him. His plane is destroyed, and he plummets to the ground, then wakes up. Borrowing an English-language aviation magazine, he diligently studies it with an English dictionary, then has another dream where he meets Caproni, an Italian plane designer. Caproni is surprised that a Japanese boy has intruded in what he thought was his own dream, then realizes that airplanes are a shared dream they both have. Caproni tells Jiro that he can`t fly a plane with glasses, but that building planes is better than flying them. Jiro wakes up and decides he will build planes.

Language: Japanese
Subtitle: English
Classification: P13
Release Date: 11 Sep 2014
Genre: Animation
Running Time: 2 Hours 6 Minutes
Distributor: Film Festival Organizer
Cast: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Steve Alpert
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Casey Lee

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Watch this if you liked: Hayao Miyazaki films

For being known as the animator that has brought many wild wonders and innocent imaginations, Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" is unhappy and unpleasant. There is a sure bitter taste in watching the natural destruction, the widespread fires, the roving masses of the poor, unemployed, hungry and angry at a crippling economy, and fearful children who cannot trust the generous offerings of food from a stranger, at the same time waiting in dark corners for their breadwinners to return home from an exhausting day of work.

Seeing Miyazaki bring these evoking scenes through the studio's dedication to hand-drawings is painstaking; not only for the hours that must have been spent to make these picturesque images that can only be inspired from grim real-life photos, but imagining the emotions and memories of those who had lived through those hard times. This is further darken by the lack of magical sequences, (no rides on cat-buses, walking castles or mythical bathhouses in here), but it is on this soil of sorrow where the seeds of hope, dreams, and love (fated but doomed as it may be) are sowed and we are reaped of our affections to a figure like Jiro, especially when he drives his engineers to an excited euphoria while describing their latest innovation; forgetting for a brief and precious moment that they were making a war machine, but an escape from their grounded troubles.

By now many would have known of the controversies stirred by this Academy-nominated feature due to its subject matter; Jiro Hirokoshi, but that is not to say that Miyazaki is uncharacteristically glorifying the men who was behind one of the deadliest killing machines of World War II. His anti-war sentiments are still alive, if not harder to read between the scenes of Jiro's dreams of flight, or the almost mystical appearance of a German gentleman on the "Magical Mountain", in reference to Thomas Mann.

As we are constantly reminded of Jiro's dilemma (to live in a world with or without the Pyramids, as he is asked by Italian aircraft designer Giovanni Caproni in a dream), we are told that dreams are beautiful and a curse as well and that is the defeating irony that we are asked to wrestle with in "The Wind Rises". Move above the political issues, and you will see that Miyazaki is not concerned about Japan's imperialism as he is about painting Jiro as an artist of his time; a man who has made achievements that would be warped by the unkind fires of history, which in some way could be read as being reflective of Miyazaki's decision to end his career on such a somber note.

For a film dedicated so much about flight, "The Wind Rises" is one of the most matured and grounded films Miyazaki has made (next to "Princess Mononoke"); flying in the face of human drama and realities of people living in challenging times rather than helping us escape from them. Certainly there's appeal to be lost for fans who are familiar with his friendlier fare, but the comparison for "The Wind Rises" should be made with Isao Takahata's "Grave of Fireflies" than Miyazaki's own 10 other animations that defined him.

In that respect, Miyazaki has made a subtle, silent and soul-searching effort. This is not an attempt to pull a wool over the atrocities committed during the war (Miyazaki poignantly pulls no punches in showing the role that Jiro's fighters had played in fanning the fires of war), but seeks to find the spirit to face and rise above insurmountable setbacks (man-made or otherwise) to achieve what makes our lives complete; our dreams. As we should be inspired by the opening quote: "Le vent se leve!...Il faunt tenter de vivre!".

Cinema Online, 21 April 2014
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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