So, today I saw “The Wind Rises” (2014), Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, and I have to say it was pretty stellar. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a Studio Ghibli movie on the big screen, and I’ve never been able to appreciate their beautiful work like this before. Each splash and stroke of color in the background, each intricate detail on an airplane, a home, or a city, the thin crisp lines on the characters, and the color choices! I haven’t geeked out so much about color choices so hard since… well, the last film I saw, Spike Jonze’s “Her” (2013) a few weeks ago.
“The Wind Rises” was just… it was so good, and I’m writing this too close in proximity to my viewing of it to adequately describe it. It was a romance, a history piece, a biopic; it was different from what I’ve seen Miyazaki and Ghibli do together before. It’s light on fantasy and magic, but it’s magical. Jiro and Naoko might not travel to a land of spirits or cats, or encounter friendly forest creatures, but their story is entirely deserving of a place with “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988) and the rest of the great Studio Ghibli movies. I need to write a full review one day, but I’ll say this on a final note: I’m happy “The Wind Rises” is this oddly realistic, down-to-earth movie, because it feels like a movie that could make a believer out of those who have never given Miyazaki and Ghibli a chance.
Moving on, “The Wind Rises” was the second movie this semester I saw solo, and I’m really starting to like this as a movie-going tactic. I think there are some movies that I absolutely wouldn’t see alone, like comedies, or action movies, but these touching movies – they work in a solo-viewing experience. I immersed myself deeper into the worlds of “Her” and “The Wind Rises” because I had no one to take me out of them. The one thing I miss from the traditional, “plus one” movie experience is somebody to talk to I suppose – you know, somebody with whom to discuss each and every last detail.
But that’s what writing is for; self-discussion.