Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Documentary Review
Ever since 2005 or was it 2006? I'm not too clear on the details, I have loved Hayao Miyazaki's work. What drew me to him first was Spirited Away. I was perhaps still in elementary school at the time in 2005/2006, so I can at least remember how moved I was by his anime film. The scenes that perhaps best stayed by me were when Chiyo gets taken into flight by Haku and some of the more vulnerable moments where Chiyo is quite fearful of her situation, but somehow moves past this fear to realize she can accomplish things on her own.
So yeah. Since that moment when I first watched Spirited Away and began to cry because of the beauty of it, I have probably always craved a look into the creative process of Hayao Miyazaki. And to be honest, I was worried that once I watched Kingdom of Dreams and Madness it would be a waste of time, since creatives are always interestingly enough terrible at describing their creative process. I mean they can create beautiful work that moves people, but when it comes time for them to get interviewed they never really reveal much about themselves or they do reveal things but they end up being too cliched and therefore useless information.
Thankfully this was not entirely the case with Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. We actually get an eye-opening account of Hayao Miyazaki's work ethic right off in introduction. That was nice to view, because let me tell you he is way, way dedicated. He begins his day early and only stops at a certain set time he sets for himself. Every day. That to me continued to nurture huge flames of almost romantic appreciation for him as an animator, since he put so much care and discipline in his work. Not to mention, he holds others who work with him pretty accountable too.
Still this wasn't the only thing I would get with this documentary. I also got a look at the dynamics of the other animators of Studio Ghibli. The ones I am sad I still haven't made the time to check out and their work, but hope to some day especially after seeing how much of an influence they had on Hayao Miyazaki. And in some ways, Hayao Miyazaki on them.
There is in fact a few other points about the film that worried me while watching that Hayao Miyazaki revealed about Japan's current society and its politics, but I don't want to get into it. Since I don't want to even imagine if any of that terrible sentiment could possibly be brewing in Japan. So instead, I will move onto something that really surprised me about Hayao Miyzaki and that is that he truly believes that as more and more of the years go by, a lot, of the films being produced in the world are losing their meaning. And interestingly enough, I have begun to think so too for some years now. It's an inescapable worry of mine and one I wonder if others experience or if I was alone in thinking it, but do films now produced nowadays even ever try to pursue a real message? No. Most of the times Hollywood films don't. The only instances I can think of is Titanic, American Psycho, The Notebook, Jumanji, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Toy Story movies, and the Batman movies with Christian Bale. Needless to say, this is still too little in occurrence. Not to mention many of the films I listed were from the 90s or early 2000s. And it worries me. Yes. I do agree a lot of the films in the world can be exhilarating and entertaining, but many aren't trying to impart deep or meaningful messages anymore and it just niggles at the back of my mind for some reason.
I actually did not expect that Hayao Miyazaki would actually reveal so much of himself or should I say that the documentary would. I'm happy because not only did I get to know more about this great animator/director, but I also gained insight and affirmation on something that has vexed me for some time now.
You can buy Kingdom of Dreams and Madness on DVD or Digital via Amazon.com