interviews with Miyazaki

I found these fabulous interviews with Miyazaki on Nausicaa.net – the best Miyazaki resource I have found.

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This is a conversation about Princess Mononoke. It gives away many of the movie’s secrets so dont read it if you still intend to see it.

This interview is important to me because it confirms a lot I felt about the movie. That there is no easy choice between right and wrong, with no clear evil characters. And the theme of human against nature is so delicately complex – to quote from this interview:

It’s not like we can coexist with nature as long as we live humbly, and we destroy it because we become greedy. When we recognize that even living humbly destroys nature, we don’t know what to do. And I think that unless we put ourselves in the place where we don’t know what to do and start from there, we cannot think about environmental issues or issues concerning nature.”

In this piece, he describes how he came to be an animator, and on the state of animation in America and Japan.

He describes how he fell in love with the heroine in the animation “Hakujaden” and how this made him reconsider the kinds of stories he wanted to tell:

“It made me realize what a fool I was, who was trying to be a manga writer by writing an absurd drama, which was in fashion at that time. It made me realize that despite the words of distrust I spoke, I yearned for such an earnest and pure world though it may be a cheap melodrama. I could no longer deny the fact that I really wanted to affirm the world.

Since then, it seems that I came to think seriously about what I should make. At least, I came to think that I should work with my true heart, even if that’s embarrassing.”

In another one, Miyazaki and Moebius have talk about their different and interlocking works. They compare their differen ways of working – Moebius as the solitary artist versus Miyazaki:

” I am an animator. I feel like I’m the manager of a animation cinema factory. I am not an executive. I’m rather like a foreman, like the boss of a team of craftsmen. That is the spirit of how I work.”

And a insight into the creative process of someone who works in this manner –

I can’t do a film after having debated it. I am unable to do a film while discussing it with my team. I issue directives. I do not achieve it otherwise.”

From another article in the Guardian Weekly, this excerpt:

“Miyazaki taps a cigarette from a silver case. The Disney deal suits him, he explains, because he has stuck to his guns. His refusal to grant merchandising rights means that there is no chance of any Nausicaa happy meals or Spirited Away video games. Furthermore, Disney wields no creative control. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: “No cuts.”

The director chortles. “Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts.” He smiles. “I defeated him.”

Here is a interview from Entertainment Weekly – he is asked whether CGI will destroy 2-D animation:

I’m actually not all that worried. I wouldn’t give up on it completely. Once in a while there are strange, rich people who like to invest in odd things. You’re going to have people in corners of garages [making cartoons] to please themselves. And I’m more interested in the people who hang out in corners of garages than I am in big business.”

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