The final feature film of an acclaimed Japanese director will screen Wednesday night at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre.
Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” will screen ahead of its American theatrical release in February. “The Wind Rises” is Miyazaki’s eleventh and final feature film.
According to Box Office Mojo, “The Wind Rises” (“Kaze Tachinu” in Japanese) earned the biggest box office of all films released in Japan in 2013. The animated film earned $119,513,192 last year, the only film to top the $100 million threshold. It earned almost $30 million more than “Monster’s University,” the second-highest grossing film in Japan.
An animated historical fantasy film, “The Wind Rises” was written and directed by Miyazaki and adapted from his eponymous manga. The film will be released in the United States with an English-dubbed cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, William H. Macy, and Werner Herzog.
Starring in the Japanese language release were Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, and Steve Alpert.
Next week’s screening is the first time “The Wind Rises” will ever be featured in its English-dubbed format.
The film tells the story of the designer of two styles of Mitsubishi aircraft used by the Japanese Empire during World War II.
In addition to claiming the box office throne in Japan, “The Wind Rises” won several awards, including Best Animated Feature from the Boston Society of Film Critics, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Online Film Critics Society, San Diego Film Critics Society, and Toronto Film Critics Association. The film was also the runner-up in the Best Animation category of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Beyond film critics, associations, “The Wind Rises earned nominations for the Golden Globes, Annie Awards, and Satellite Awards. The film’s composer, Joe Hisaishi, was shortlisted for the Oscar category of Best Original Score. “The Wind Rises” also claimed a nomination at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and won the Audience Favorite (Animation) prize at the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Miyazaki, 72, has worked in Japanese cinema as a director, producer, and writer since 1979. However, Miyazaki is also a manga artist and published his first work in the medium – “Puss In Boots” – in 1969. He is also an animator and illustrator.
In 1997, Miyazaki gained significant attention outside of Japan and in the United States with the release of his film “Princess Mononoke,” which had many parallels with James Cameron’s 2009 release of “Avatar.”
Prior to “The Wind Rises,” Miyazaki’s last feature film, “Ponyo,” released in 2008. Miyazaki was the first anime director to receive the Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government.
“The Wind Rises” was released July 20, 2013 in Japan and is slated to release Feb. 21 in the United States.
The film is rated PG-13 and will screen Jan. 8 at 7:30 pm; running time is 126 minutes. Tickets are $11 for the general public and $8 for American Cinematheque members.
More information about the screening is available on the Aero Theatre website: www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/the-wind-rises-0.
The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.