The Wind Rises may have lost the Oscar to Disney's Frozen, but Hayao Miyazaki and his famed Studio Ghibli animation studio aren't shedding too many tears. The studio won its own Oscar in 2003 for Spirited Away and was nominated again in 2005 for Howl's Moving Castle.
Given that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten so good at doing the action-hero thing in these big budget blockbusters, one might wonder why he'd then be so eager to voice a desk-bound aeronautical engineer in The Wind Rises. But Joseph has a two word answer to that question: Hayao Miyazaki.
In The Wind Rises and in his essay last summer Miyazaki is forcing his viewers and readers to confront a nasty truth about the human condition. War can be exciting -- stirring up visceral emotions to an intensity we don't often feel in our normal lives.
To the casual observer, the documentary film The Last Of The Unjust is very much of a piece with director Claude Lanzmann's masterpiece Shoah (1985). But for those intimately familiar with that movie, this is a subtly radical departure.
Mind you, Franck wasn't willing to settle for the sort of half-hearted hand-drawn animation that you used to see on Saturday morning television back in the late 1970s / early 1980s. He wanted to do something richer, far more highly detailed.
For many baby boomers, the first images of war they remember did not come from the news. Instead, they were from an extremely popular documentary television series that aired on NBC in 1952 and 1953 and was subsequently made into a feature film.
I'm sure that Tales from Earthsea, taken from the science-fiction writing of Ursula LeGuin, will entertain undiscriminating young viewers and will probably thrill anime lovers. It left me bored and impatient.