"I believe nostalgia has many appearances and that it’s not just the privilege of adults. An adult can feel nostalgia for a specific time in their lives, but I think children too can have nostalgia. It’s one of mankind’s most shared emotions. It’s one of the things that makes us human, which is what makes it difficult to define. It was when I saw the film Nostalghia by Tarkovsky that I realised that nostalgia is universal. Even though we use it in Japan, the word ‘nostalgia’ is not a Japanese word. The fact that I can understand that film even though I don’t speak a foreign language means that nostalgia is something we all share. When you live, you lose things. It’s a fact of life. So it’s natural for everyone to have nostalgia."
"While you’re thinking and thinking, your brain looks for wording, the surface. What you have to do is keep thinking and working hard and you break through, falling through into the complete darkness. Only then, will you be able to see the light, open your mind, open your heart and see your images…I take it for granted…Sometimes the filmmaker falls into the old trap that they’re very much afraid that the audience will become bored. You should not be defeated by that threat. That’s why the American films are too much in the face, rather than keeping space. We do not have to speed up the tempo to make the audience involved in the film. As long as you really tap into the children’s feelings and try to get the real essence, you will never lose their patience."
“Miyazaki taps a cigarette from a silver case. The Disney deal suits him, he explains, because he has stuck to his guns. His refusal to grant merchandising rights means that there is no chance of any Nausicaa happy meals or Spirited Away video games. Furthermore, Disney wields no creative control. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: “No cuts.”
The director chortles. “Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts.” He smiles. “I defeated him.””
Looks like Miyazaki and his producers are fully aware of the U.S. and Disney’s business of meddling with the works of foreign production.
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.
"Youth isn’t just about running pell-mell at the sun yelling, ‘Damn it all to hell!’ Youth is about asking yourself who you are, what you can accomplish. It is about fervently drawing pictures every day, on the one hand thinking, ‘They’re all right, I’ve got something here,’ and on the other hand wondering if your work will be accepted by others, and worrying that it may all be an illusion and that you really don’t have any talent at all. This anguish in the midst of uncertainty and impatience is what youth is all about."
— Hayao Miyazaki (via corcordium)
"Watching Miyazaki’s movies, one gets the sense of humankind (and its fantastical stand-ins) as creatures in a permanent state of evolution, able to transform from year to year, week to week, even moment to moment. In Miyazaki’s work, people are what they choose to be, but they’re also what other people have decided they are — and the tension between those two definitions (plus the complicating factor of characters not having a strong sense of themselves, much less knowing what they want from life) makes Miyazaki’s features more complex than almost anything being made in the American studio system, animated or live action."
"Sophie, the girl, is given a spell and transformed into an old woman. It would be a lie to say that turning young again would mean living happily ever after. I didn’t want to say that. I didn’t want to make it seem like turning old was such a bad thing — the idea was that maybe she’ll have learned something by being old for a while, and, when she is actually old, make a better grandma. Anyway, as Sophie gets older, she gets more pep. And she says what’s on her mind. She is transformed from a shy, mousy little girl to a blunt, honest woman. It’s not a motif you see often, and, especially with an old woman taking up the whole screen, it’s a big theatrical risk. But it’s a delusion that being young means you’re happy."
"I believe that fantasy in the meaning of imagination is very important. We shouldn’t stick too close to everyday reality but give room to the reality of the heart, of the mind and of the imagination. Those things can help us in life. But we have to be cautious in using this word fantasy. In Japan, the word fantasy these days is applied to everything from TV shows to video games, like virtual reality. But virtual reality is a denial of reality. We need to be open to the powers of imagination, which brings something useful to reality. Virtual reality can imprison people. It’s a dilemma I struggle with in my work, that balance between imaginary worlds and virtual worlds."
— Hayao Miyazaki, on the necessity of fantasy in children’s stories.