The Screening of Water in the Cinema of Hayao Miyazaki

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, Keynes Library
Booking details: No booking required

Speaker: Dr. Raúl Fortes (Universitat de València)
Chair: Dr. Marcos Centeno (Birkbeck)

As its title indicates, this lecture will focus on the peculiar screening of water in the cinema of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, one of whose guiding themes is precisely the presence of nature, best represented by aquatic environments, which can serve as spatial and aesthetical frameworks, as narrative devices and carnivalesque components, and as symbolic elements closely related to the psychology of the characters, to Eastern and Western mythology, and/or to religion, especially Shinto and Buddhism, thus becoming an ideal vehicle for the transmission of universal truths. The explanation will be illustrated by examples taken from Miyazaki's different works, with main references to the films Spirited Away[千と千尋の神隠ざ(Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi), 2001] and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea[崖の上のポニョ(Gakeno ue no Ponyo), 2008], which can probably be seen as the most handsome tribute to the exalted triumph of water ever shown in the history of the Seventh Art.