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Turning Point 1997-2008 [Hardcover]

Hayao Miyazaki
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 May 2014
In the mid-1990s, filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki moved from success to success as his work found an audience outside of Japan. His animated films of the era, including Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo, were internationally lauded, and Miyazaki won an Academy Award(R) in 2003 for his popular and critical hit Spirited Away. Follow Miyazaki as his vision matures, as cinema-lovers worldwide embrace his creations, and as critics such as Roger Ebert take up the cause of animation and Miyazaki's films. In a legendary career, these crucial years represent the turning point.

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Turning Point 1997-2008 + Starting Point 1979-1996 + Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Viz Media, Subs. of Shogakukan Inc; Reprint edition (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421560909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421560908
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Hayao Miyazaki is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. He is also the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, the award-winning Japanese animation studio and production company behind worldwide hits such as PRINCESS MONONOKE, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE and SPIRITED AWAY.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is essential reading for anyone interested enough in the masterful Hayao Miyazaki to want to hear more from the man directly about his movies. Whilst the material on Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo are rather disappointing, as in there isn't enough of it (or really any directly relating to Howl for that matter), the stuff on Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away as well as a myriad number of different related and unrelated topics make up for it.

Whilst Miyazaki himself cautions in the afterwards against this 'type' of book collecting together numerous essays and interviews and other bits and pieces from over the years into a work representing him and his views, you cannot deny what insight it does provide into the man's creative mind and processes. Written material on Miyazaki and his films, particularly of a scholarly nature, is rather few and far between, so anything, especially directly from the man himself, is like gold dust. Its an arresting read for the most part, that whilst sometimes can dip into areas of more limited interest for the Miyazaki fan, nonetheless show how diverse and wide his interests go when relating to his creative works. You might not agree with everything Miyazaki believes or thinks, but it still shows what an interesting person he is even outside his creative endeavours.

Now I just want a book on Miyazaki's conceiving and writing of the Nausicaa manga, his true masterwork which to this day is still veiled in mystery in terms of the working and thought processes behind it.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Buy this if you love Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki! It is a gem to have Miyazaki's words all in one place to read and has some insights it would be impossible to Google.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Master Himself 10 April 2014
By Shayleen Daley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you read Starting Point, his collection of essays and interviews from 1979-1996, you'll love Turning Point. It follows the same format, showing translated articles from various interviews/essays/notes/sketches. It really helps to expand the understanding of the various films he's made and worked on. You get to read in his own words what he thinks of them, his inspirations, and low points, what he considered the best and the worst. There are also parts where he talks simply about his opinion on the state of the world, his interpretation of nature, films, animation, the conditions necessary to raise a child just to name a few.

In short, if you want to have a more robust understanding of Miyazaki Hayao and where he's coming from, buy this book. After you read Starting Point of course. This is a continuation of that and it shows his growth as a person and animator. He's not perfect. He admits he has faults, that he's not the best person. But he's honest and true to his vision and someone I greatly respect for sticking to his beliefs.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was hoping for from someone who enjoyed "Starting Point." 13 May 2014
By Jon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book but I had issues with so many interviews being similar. So you end up reading the same questions and same responses repeatedly. I also thought it was naive of Miyazaki to grossly generalize people on quite a few occasions in the interviews. In several parts he pretty much says Americans could never understand some aspect of cinema because their movies are all about blowing stuff up and that's what they all enjoy. I mean there are variations of this kind of thing where he takes American POP CULTURE (ACK!) and uses it to generalize 300 million people. He does throw around other generalizations about Japan, Europe etc as well. Anyhow, I did get a lot of what I was hoping for too. You get a sense of where he got certain ideas for movies and why he made certain decisions in directing a film a certain way. You can get some of these ideas about Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. Anyways, it was very much like the previous book, "Starting Point" but this one (Turning Point) was mostly interviews, some poems, and a few essays or they might've been speeches. No articles that I can remember. There were chunks of content that could've been left out without losing anything. As I said, content is repeated in a few places. Far worse in the first half of the book. Worth reading for people who want more insight into this masterful director with the understanding that there are a few awkward and unrelated comments to take with a grain of salt.

I still give it four stars because for good or bad, it's mostly what I wanted. And in the afterword, Miyazaki writes about how uncomfortable he was/is about the book. That he felt it misrepresented him or at least didn't identify fully with the book in some ways which is probably the nature of biographies. Views change and also generalizations fade when you're standing in front of someone shaking their hand. And besides, pretty much everyone is contrary at some point, and it's going to be especially obvious when interview after interview is documented like this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the genius works and what interests him the most 12 May 2014
By A. Cervera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Now that we face Miyazaki's retirement from films, one can only wonder how he was at his peak the last 10 years of his career. Beginning with "Princess Mononoke", you can notice in every conversation in this book that Mr. Miyazaki was reaching new ground beyond what animation has been all over the world. Here you may find more conversations and interviews than articles, and you will perceive how Hayao Miyazaki has become a cultural force in Japan and all over the world. It's a must have for every film enthusiast who wants to understand the greatness and importance of Miyazaki's work. Also you may find interesting what Miyazaki really thinks of Disney animation.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but uneven 28 Aug 2014
By SogeKing - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Having read and enjoyed "Starting Point," I eagerly looked forward to reading "Turning Point." The results were a bit more mixed compared to the last book. For one thing, it's too long - They could have cut 50 pages without losing anything. A great deal of insight is contained into the thinking and film making process behind Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Although a hundred pages are devoted to Howl's Moving Castle, disappointingly, there is very little content devoted to the actual film. At the end there is a bit devoted to Ponyo. It was very interesting and refreshing to read academic, intellectual discussions on subjects like the history of iron-towns and the forests (Princess Mononoke) or the philosophy of how to raise children (Spirited Away). The book is somewhat repetitive, and digresses at times into subjects that seem to have nothing to do with the films represented in the book. For example, at the end of the Spirited Away, there is a long chapter devoted to the history of an obscure Japanese village called Hienosoko. What this has to do with the themes of Spirited Away, I am not exactly sure. Chapters like this one bored me, quite frankly. Throughout the book, Miyazaki shares his thoughts on a wide range of subjects: the history of medieval Japan, child rearing, World War II, cinema, the nature of art, the environment, and the problem of Japan's low birth rate. He believes that children need to recapture their sense of curiosity, he espouses an old school return to nature approach and wants to make education less rigorous. Also parents need to back off and not expose their children to passive media or feel the need to take pictures all the time (Ghibli Museum). These are valid and interesting points. Sometimes he is totally off base though, especially when discussing live action movies. He slams American war movies, singling out Saving Private Ryan as being one of the worst because it promotes a "video game" aesthetic of film making. It's more like the other way around, video games (Medal of Honor) and other movies (Black Hawk Down, Enemy at the Gates) felt the need to copy SPR's style. Is Spielberg to be blamed because he innovated some visual techniques that everyone else including makers of video games, felt the need to emulate? He also dismisses Apocalypse Now as an example of American Vietnam War "not understanding things" cinema.

All in all, a great book for discussion on the themes of Mononoke and Spirited Away. Not so much on Howl's Moving Castle or Ponyo. The editors should have waited a few years, then they could have included The Wind Rises. That's only one movie though, so they can't devote an entire book to it. It would be called "Ending Point: 2014." What they should do is put out another edition of this book with an extra chapter, because I would really like to learn more about what he was thinking when he made The Wind Rises.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 20 Jun 2014
By Alex IT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you really know Miyazaki movies e is a fan of his work this book is a must read. A lot of things important about animation and the history of ghibly studio.
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