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The Art Of The Wind Rises Book Review

The Art of the Wind Rises Book

“The Art of the Wind Rises” tackles Miyazaki’s latest and possibly last film.

As with the past “The Art of” books, the hardcover edition of “The Art of the Wind Rises” is stacked with material that details the production and animation processes of this particular Studio Ghibli motion picture. Throughout the book’s 280 pages, there are the expected background art, storyboard, final frame, concept art, watercolor sketch, character and plane design, and poster gallery images that are accompanied by notes from Studio Ghibli crew members about the locations, characters, planes, key scenes (like the earthquake segment), etc. The book itself is divided into sections of the main character Jiro’s various ages (just like the film itself). From there, the various pieces of art tell the story of the film more or less. Interviews with Kitaro Kosaka (supervising animator), Yoji Takeshige (art director), Michiyo Yasuda (color designer), and Atsushi Okui (director of digital imaging) are also included here. The group chats about such subjects as experiences in working on the project, digital art, key frames, kimonos, color, Hayao Miyazaki, lighting, and, of course, animation. Last, but not least, the book concludes with the English-language version of Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” script.

“The Wind Rises” (which was recently released in theaters in the U.S.) may be Miyazaki’s most controversial and divisive picture of his illustrious career, but, however you may feel about the film, there’s no denying that it is yet another picturesque work from the legendary director. This is especially evident in the numerous amounts of detailed art work and vibrant film frames displayed in the book’s pages. All of the art truly makes you realize what an accomplished filmmaker he is and that the animation industry simply won’t be the same without him if he truly does decide to hang it up from here on out.

Aside from the breathtaking visual components of “The Art of the Wind Rises,” I found the material about the production process to be the most fascinating. Everything from Miyazaki’s project proposal to his notes on the film’s look really grabbed my attention here. Now, granted, some folks may be more drawn to the art elements, but I’m always intirgued to see what the director has to say about his vision and work.

Overall Thoughts: While not the best “The Art of” book or indeed one of the best Miyazaki films, “The Art of the Wind Rises” is well worth adding to your collection if you already own the previous installments in this series of Miyazaki film art books.

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June 11, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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