NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984)
Echoes of Frank Herbert's DUNE may be found here, together with pessimism about the future of modern society, and an abiding faith in the resilience of the human being. Adapting early portions from the director’s own "manga" (comic book) of the same name, this landmark animation film visualizes a future in which the Earth, ravished by her children, blankets herself in toxins – “the Seas of Decay”. Pitiful remnants of mighty civilisations struggle to hold on. The post-apocalypse is a great favourite in science fiction; to this crowded field Miyazaki brings a tale that more than holds its own, a tale full of life and complexity. Although not as technically proficient as his later work, it transfixes the viewer throughout.
About the director: Hayao Miyazaki (b. 1941) started out as a footsoldier, moving up the ladder as he honed his skills. His big break, LUPIN III: THE CASTLE OF CALISTRAGO (1979), put him in the orbital where he could make what he wanted to. He would go on to co-found Studio Ghibli (along with notables such as Isao Takahata) which would turn out such classics as MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (1988) and SPIRITED AWAY (2001).
Our thanks to Jayakrishnan (GD) for the posters. :-)