Monday, January 09, 2006

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

So, Hayao Miyazaki is one of those directors that if you're into the genre, you have to watch his stuff, if for no other reason than nobody will take you seriously when you say you're a student of genre and haven't seen any of his stuff. It's like a film student having never watched a Kubrick or Scorsese movie.
Having said that, I like most of his stuff. Princess Mononoke was good, Laputa: Castle in the Sky was amazing, Spirited Away was fabulous, Kiki's Delivery Service was cute, My Neighbor Totoro was OK, and Howl's Moving Castle is on my "to watch" list.
I had seen parts of Nausicaa over the course of about 15 years, but never really saw all of it in one sitting, until last night. Nausicaa is Miyazaki's first film, and the story is based on the manga he wrote, though as I understand it, the manga's story is very different.
Anyway, one of the themes Miyazaki likes to explore is industrialization vs. the environment, and he usually sides on the don't-let-Industry-ruin-our-beautiful-world front, as Mononoke and Laputa have it as a central theme, though coming from opposite ends, Laputa is post-industrial and Mononoke is pre-industrial. Nausicaa is the one that started it all, literally, it was his first movie. Looking at how Miyazaki does movies, it was very interesting to see how his style has or hasn't evolved, though, honestly, the only keys to that I could find where in the animation. The storytelling is pretty rock solid across the board.
Anyway, I rank this one up there with Laputa and Mononoke as my favorites of his, and it all comes down to Nausicaa herself. She's definitely a girl's girl, but she's nobody bitch either, and I like those kind of girls a lot. So, naturally, Nausicaa appealed greatly to me.
Oh, the one thing that was a bit odd, was that thanks to my friend Geoff, I've had the Nausicaa soundtrack for years, and have listened to it a fair amount, so there was a lot of "Oh, that's where there this goes." Usually, the soundtrack is supposed to remind you of the movie, but not so in this case.
So, yeah, that was Nausicaa, it was good, I liked it enough that I'm going to get the manga, when I have some extra cash. So there ya go.


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