Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

Hayao Miyazaki's obsession with flight gets its most thorough airing-out in this film. Anything that can become airborne eventually does become airborne. Miyazaki clearly is enthralled by objects in flight and the accompanying sense of exhilarating freedom, and this exhilaration is mirrored by the wonderful film he's made here. It's a gorgeously animated and exciting paeon to all things aloft; my personal favorite is the pirate ships that look like giant flies. This also ties into the film's other concern, the strange relationship between man and nature. Here's it's suggested that while man and nature can coexist, and man can even harness nature to a degree, it's man's impermanence that will be his undoing. The message is clear: Nature is timeless and we are fleeting. It would be in our interest to enjoy ourselves and exist harmoniously with the world around us. With films like this around, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

Grade: A-


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