DiCaprio introduces Scorsese to Hayao Miyazaki classics. Have you watched them? | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Leonardo DiCaprio introduces Martin Scorsese to Hayao Miyazaki classics. Have you watched them?

Jan 17, 2024 05:06 PM IST

The acclaimed Japanese director has been making movies since three decades. How many of them have you seen?

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are one of the most revered actor-director pairs working in Hollywood right now. They have worked in six movies together, their latest being Killers of the Flower Moon. In an interview with Letterboxd, the actor has now revealed that he introduced Studio Ghibli movies like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke to the director. Both these iconic animated feature films are helmed by the influential Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Let's us do a quick dive into his oeuvre to find out why he is considered a modern master. (Also read: Leonardo DiCaprio to star in new ‘big-budget’ Paul Thomas Anderson movie with Sean Penn. Check out details)

Hayao Miyazaki's works have caught the attention of Martin Scorsese, all thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio.
Hayao Miyazaki's works have caught the attention of Martin Scorsese, all thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio.

About Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese manga artist, film director and animator of several anime feature films like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Howl's Moving Castle to name a few. He co-founded Studio Ghibli, an animation studio and production company along with Isao Takahata. Often considered the greatest living animation director, Hayao's works combine the fantastical with the ordinary, and often involve action-adventures with monster-populated worlds that are headlined by child protagonists. It encompasses a stirring reminders of the gift of kindness and warmth, evoking a sense of revelation about the balance between nature and life around us.

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About Hayao Miyazaki's works

Princess Mononoke

Do you know that Princess Mononoke was Ghibli’s most expensive movie? The 1997 release also went on to emerge as Japan’s highest grossing picture at that time. Set during the 14th Century, the Muromachi period of Japan, it revolved around a young warrior named Ashitaka who is cursed by an animal attack, and follows his journey as he seeks a cure from the deer-like god Shishigami. It evolves into a striking difference between the gods (kami) of a forest and the humans who consume its resources.

In comparison with his other works, Princess Mononoke is surprisingly violent in nature, and more darker in tone and thematic structure. In an interview with Empire, the director said that he wanted to capture a particular aspect of mortality through this film. “I think I really exhausted the animation staff with this film. I knew that was gonna happen, but felt that we had to do this. But when I finished, I didn’t understand it: ‘What did I make?!’ At first I decided, ‘This is something children shouldn’t see,’ but in the end I realised, ‘No, this is something that children must see,’ because adults, they didn’t get it — children understood it," he said.

Spirited Away

Regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, Spirited Away is one of the director's most acclaimed works till date. It also became the only, hand-drawn, Japanese anime and non-English-language animated film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the category's history. It also won the Golden Bear at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival.

Spirited Away revolves around a 10 year-old girl named Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) who finds herself trapped in a world of spirits and demons after her parents are polymorphed into pigs. There, she meets the mysterious Haku (Miyu Irino), who explains that the park is a ground for supernatural beings. So, she must work in their realm to free herself as well her parents. Spirited away is at once a coming-of-age tale as it is about the many paradigms of generational conflicts and environmental issues that exist in Japanese culture.

The Boy and the Heron

Upon its surprising announcement last year, many international fans of the master director were shocked that a new Studio Ghibli work was already made in secrecy and was awaiting release. The 82-year-old director premiered his latest project, which also has his hand-drawn animation, at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to rave reviews.

Loosely inspired by Japanese author Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel How Do You Live?, the film revolves around a coming-of-age story of a young boy after the death of his father. The Boy and the Heron won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature last week. An Oscar next? We will have to wait till March.

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