A true giant of Japanese animation cinema, Hayao miyazaki is often cited (rightly) as one of the greatest filmmakers in history. So when the master delivers his top 10 favorite films, we can only rejoice.
The master’s inspirations
With eleven films to his credit, Hayao Miyazaki has deeply contributed to the history of cinema. I have to say that the director of My neighbor Totoro and of Princess Mononoke has been able to offer posterity timeless and universal works, offering a wonderful alternative to American animated cinema.
Very discretly, Hayao Miyazaki had already spoken about his favorite books, of which he had drawn up a list of fifty works that inspired him, among which are obviously Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll (which he adapted in Spirited away) or The little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
When it comes to his cinematic tastes, until now, it was necessary to read the many interviews with Hayao Miyazaki or his historical producer, Toshio Suzuki, or the many exegesis made on the Japanese filmmaker. So we learn that for Princess Mononoke, he was deeply inspired by the cinema of his compatriot Akira Kurosawa, and more particularly films The castle and the spider and The Hidden Fortress.
Or that if Hayao Miyazaki does not like animated feature films from the Disney studio, he admires the series of short films. Silly Symphonies, a real experimental laboratory for Walt Disney, whose many artistic discoveries have led to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo Where Bambi.
Or the french animated film The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, by Paul Grimault based on a screenplay by Jacques Prévert, then reissued under the title The king and the bird, is one of his greatest influences, and from which he was inspired for the films Cagliostro Castle and The castle in the Sky.
But today, we discover the list of 10 favorite films of the director of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, published by our British colleagues from Far Out.
- Jaws by Steven Spielberg (1975)
- The Hellish Pursuit by John Ford (1946)
- The spirit of the hive by Victor Erice (1973)
- Kôchiyama Sôchun (in English, Priest of Darkness) by Sadao Yamanaka (1936)
- Snow Queen by Lev Atamanov (1957)
- Ashes and Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda (1958)
- The Soldier’s Ballad by Grigori Tchoukhraï (1959)
- The Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa (1954)
- The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep by Paul Grimault (1953)
- Duel in Takada-no-baba (in Japanese, Chikemuri Takadanobaba) by Masahiro Makino and Hiroshi Inagaki
By paying attention to this list of films, we notice the very diverse tastes of Hayao Miyazaki. We have three Japanese movies (Kôchiyama Sôchun, The Seven Samurai and Chikemuri Takadanobaba), two American films (Jaws and The Hellish Pursuit), a Spanish film (The spirit of the hive), a Russian film (Snow Queen), a Polish film (The Soldier’s Ballad) and a French animated film (The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep).
Hayao Miyazaki’s cinematographic tastes therefore particularly reflect the intrinsic qualities of his cinema.. Whether in Ponyo on the cliff (in which he adapts The little Mermaid) or in Spirited away, he adapts and Japaneseizes European literary works. Hayao Miyazaki therefore likes a cinema open to the world.
Remember that the Japanese director is currently preparing a new feature film, due in 2023 : Kimi-tachi wa dô ikiru ka? (in French, How do you live?). In the meantime, we remind that all the films of the Japanese giant are available on Netflix, like all the films of the studio Ghibli.