Hayao Miyazaki is undoubtedly one of the most famous names in Japanese animation, having produced and directed through his renowned production company Studio Ghibli films such as the Oscar-winning Spirited Away and the Oscar-nominated Howl’s Moving Castle.
Prior to 2013, Miyazaki’s most recent feature was the water fantasy Ponyo, in which a human boy becomes fast friends with a fish princess, but Miyazaki has moved on to slightly more mature themes with his new animated feature.
The Wind Rises spans over a decade of history between the 1920s and 1930s: a troubled period for many countries in the world, during which Japan was subject to the poverty of the Great Depression and the devastation of the Great Kanto Earthquake, before eventually becoming embroiled in World War II. Miyazaki’s film is loosely based on Tatsuo Hori’s novel of the same name, and is the largely fictionalized story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, the planes he designed (including the Mitsubishi Zero), and his romance with a tuberculosis patient.
A subtitled trailer for The Wind Rises has just been released ahead of its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The animation is as beautiful as we’ve come to expect from Studio Ghibli films (the depiction of the earthquake looks particularly chilling), and the trailer runs to a generous four minutes with Japanese singer Yumi Arai’s song “Hikoki Gumo” providing the soundtrack. It also looks like The Wind Rises is going to be a merciless tearjerker, so be sure to bring a tissue if you make it to a screening.
Before turning The Wind Rises into a film, Miyazaki first adapted it as a serialized manga, and the director also wrote an accompanying essay in which he draws parallels between pre-WWII conditions in Japan and the country’s current economic and political situation. Miyazaki’s description of WWII as a “truly stupid war” and his condemnation of recent attempts to establish a standing army in Japan have been the cause of quite a bit of controversy, and it’s likely that such subjects will also be tackled in The Wind Rises.
Tell us if you like the look of this trailer for The Wind Rises, or if you’d rather Miyazaki stuck to directing fantasy films, in the comments.
The Wind Rises will premiere in North America at TIFF, but doesn’t yet have a US release date.
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