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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 43)

28th February 2006

Number 43 - Declaration of "Neo-Classicism"

In the previous entry, I wrote of one of my goals for the film "Tales from Earthsea" to "recapture the original appeal of animation through simple pictures".

But using this word "simple" it's fairly difficult to transmit the correct nuance. I worry that it will be mistaken as "half hearted effort" or simply won't get its meaning across in the modern world. It probably conveys to many an image of simply returning to the past, but actually from the time I entered production, I heard the same doubts[1] raised by the voices of staff members.

So I began to use the word "neo-classicism".
Looking up "neo-classicism" in the dictionary produces:

A movement in art, reacting against the baroque and rococo art styles, that occurred over the whole of Europe and which lasted from the mid 18th century to the first half of the 19th century. Based on a return to [the aesthetics of] Ancient Greece and Rome. Also called "Classicism". (Koujien)[2]

In other words, restoring art, which had become flashy and decorative, to a simple and strong gravity. That is the principle of neo-classicism.

38 years since "Horus, Prince of the Sun",
22 years since "Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind".
In that time Japanese Animation has developed and been refined.
But, the result of those developments and that refinement,
like the position in art history occupied by baroque and rococo art,
is that animation has become overdecorative,
and to the extent that it has done so, has lost its strength.

How do we return once more to taking "Horus" and "Nausicaa" as our model, not simply to copy them, but to restore their strength to those things that we possess in the present?
That is the theme that the neo-classicism I think of aims for.

Translator's Notes

[1]: That he spoke about in the last entry.

[2]: Koujien is an oft cited J-J dictionary. This is as literal as possible translation of the Japanese definition given..

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