There is a profound beauty to be found in the quiet of morning. The gray sky, with the faint light of the rising sun on the horizon. The chill air rushing past you as you briskly walk to the train station. The lonely street lights, solemnly illuminating your way. Where are you going? To New York City, to witness the New York International Film Festival’s premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s final film: “The Wind Rises”.
You enter the train. Rows of empty seats line the sides of the car, until one of them is filled by you. The train leaves as quickly and as carelessly as it arrived, moving steadily through the early morning to New York.
There are delays. Two hours of worth, due to a power outage in Connecticut. But this does not phase you. Your mind is set on one thing and one thing alone: You must see this film on time, no matter what it takes.
However, there is a funny thing about passion. Sometimes it fails to reach fruition, and failure becomes inevitable.
You are late. A half hour late, in fact. You walk meekly into Alice Tully Hall, saddened, and yet still determined to see what remains of Miyazaki’s last artistic masterpiece.
Your determination does not leave you disappointed, for “The Wind Rises” truly is his greatest work, the culmination of everything in his 50 year long career.
The animation astounds you. Utterly captivating artwork, a style that has reached the most extreme levels of maturity, and has found an indelible sense of complexity within its own simplicity. Simple colors, simple structures, simple lines. Stunning animation, powerful emotion, beautiful reality depicted through fantasy.
Two scenes move you, almost to tears. A plane flies through the air, imbued with an incomparable sense of passion, unlike any flight you have seen. Miyazaki’s true love of flight comes through like never before, realized to its fullest potential.
A drop of red on an artist’s canvas. A drop of blood from the mouth. Coughing, heaving. An incurable disease: Tuberculosis. The same that took Miyazaki’s own mother from him, could seemingly take hers. He rushes to her side. This is truly cinema of the highest caliber. Emotion at its peak. An art form perfected.
The music touches your ears, gently. It beckons you. Lilting waltzes by the sea, serene piano in the rain, a bite of strings, coupled with the excitement of flying.
And then it ends. Glorious applause fills the room around you. Your eyes are filled with the sight of a thousand people smiling. Happy. At peace.
You walk outside. The noise of traffic and bustling crowds makes the peace you felt just moments ago feel like it is eons away. You choke on the smoke that fills the air. Billboards and sickening, hideous screens flash vile, cadaverous images at you. Monstrous, bright flashing lights, screaming at you, torturing you. You feel like running away. Never looking back. Leaving this world far, far, behind.
But instead, you get on a train. The seats have remained unchanged, empty just as before. There are more delays, three hours worth, but you hardly care anymore. Your mind is preoccupied with other, more heavenly things. You ride back to your city in silence, alone, but in peace.
Boston stands before you, just as you had left it. It seems that the only thing not unchanged is yourself.
You take the subway in the thick darkness of night back home to your apartment. You turn the bronzed key, open and shut the door, and lie down in your bed. Everything seems the same, and yet nothing is. You have had revelations like this before, and each time it has left you speechless, each time it has left you a new person, and this time is no different. You are a different person than you were that chill, gray morning.
You close you eyes, entering sleep. Your last thoughts concern the fate of this admirable artist: Hayao Miyazaki. Where will he end up? What will become of his stories?
Some think that he has told all of the stories that he can tell. But you believe differently. You believe that his stories have just begun….