Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ), 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル) at Pitt Japanese Film Night, October 7.

The University of Pittsburgh's Japanese Culture Association will show two movies as part of its October 7 Japanese Film Night: the 2013 Hayao Miyazaki animated movie The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ) and the 2007 Makoto Shinkai animated film 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル).

A 2014 TIME magazine review summarizes The Wind Rises on the occasion of its stateside release:
The Wind Rises — its title taken from a line in Paul Valéry’s poem “The Graveyard by the Sea” (“The wind is rising! We must try to live!”) — weaves a tender, doomed love story into two volcanic decades of Japan’s history, from 1918 to the end of the ’30s. Here are indelible images of the 1923 Kanto earthquake and the firestorms that devoured whole cities and killed 140,000 people. Here is the Depression that crippled Japan while its government poured more money into its military.

The movie is really a double biopic: of Horikoshi, whose life it follows from his youth to his work at Mitsubishi, with a brief postwar coda; and of the author Tatsuo Hori, whose 1937 novel The Wind Has Risen tells the story of a tubercular girl at a sanatorium. The life and works of Hori, who died of TB in 1953 at age 48, inform the character of Naoko Satomi, the young woman who becomes Jiro’s wife.
And Anime News Network summarizes the latter:
A tale of two people, Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari, who were close friends but gradually grow farther and farther apart as time moves on. They become separated because of their families yet continue to exchange contact in the form of letters. Yet as time continues to trudge on, their contact with one another begins to cease. Years pass and the rift between them grows ever larger. However, Takaki remembers the times they have shared together, but as life continues to unfold for him, he wonders if he would be given the chance to meet Akari again as the tale embarks on Takaki's realization of the world and people around him.
The Japanese Film Night runs from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm in room G-8 of the Cathedral of Learning (map), and is free and open to the public.