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Ecology and spirituality in the cinema of Hayao Miyazaki

Grant number: 17/07312-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal Investigator:Cecilia Antakly de Mello
Grantee:Arthur Alves dos Santos de Souza
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The proposed research aims to analyze how ecology and spirituality are embedded in the work of Hayao Miyazaki, starting with three representative films of three phases of his career, namely Nausicaä (Kaze no Tani na Nausicaa, 1984), Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime, 1997) and Ponyo (Gake no Ue no Ponyo, 2008). Director of 11 feature films, Miyazaki is one of the most prolific and consistent filmmakers in the universe of animation as well as in the cinematic landscape in general. His films had a strong impact on the film industry, inspiring and enchanting animation icons in Japan and across the world. Now aged 76, Miyazaki witnessed in his country the impact of World War II, its political consequences on the national and international scene and the subsequent Japanese industrial development and its great environmental impact. These events had a direct influence on his work, which problematizes the interaction between humanity and its economic, political and social activities and the natural environment in which it lives. The intention of this research is therefore to observe the ways in which these three Miyazaki films portray the interaction between human beings and nature, evident both in the elements of audiovisual language and in the narrative progression and interactions between the characters. As we will suggest, this interaction in Miyazaki's films mobilizes elements related to Japanese ecology and spirituality, and makes a compelling commentary, through animation, about his country. (AU)

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