Review of “On the Film Dark Blue World: A Dialogue with Producer Toshio Suzuki” (2002)

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Miyazaki Hayao (interviewee), Suzuki Toshio (interviewee).

Read in 2021.

Read in Turning Point.

A round-table review of the Czech film Dark Blue World (2001).

Miyazaki happily admits that he doesn’t “watch films at all”. He does manage to produce a review, but there are lots of fun side tracks: Solidarity’s radio broadcasts from barricaded factories in Poland; the relationship between Oshii Mamoru, his Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie (1989), its sequel, and the various branches of the JSDF; a superficially allegorical interpretation of the bad guys in The Lord of the Rings (1954) as representing Asians and Africans; the joyful killing in US movies and the speechmaking in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001); Miyazaki getting into an argument with one of his students at Koganei (c.f. “Animation Directing Class”) about the obfuscated ending of Gloria (1980); and Miyazaki catching a glimpse of some unidentified Andrei Tarkovsky film on late-night TV and finding it “full of significance and importance, but it was totally incomprehensible”, so it was definitely Tarkovsky even if he didn’t catch the title.

Suzuki is more normal in his tastes, citing Joint Security Area (2000) with a chuckle as an example of a war film “which tries to give us history as is in the context of an entertainment film”, something Japanese filmmakers don’t do. Suzuki instead says the Japanese are “making films about people they personally like or dislike”, and then decides to hold his tongue, saying nothing about Japanese imperialism.

References here: Turning Point: 1997–2008 (2008/2014).

Japanese production non-fiction text