Porco Rosso

It’s not often the romantic hero in a movie reminiscent of Casablanca is a pig – but Porco Rosso is a Studio Ghibli film by Hayao Myazaki, so leave your preconceptions at the door.

Marko and Gina

This movie is in fact a beautiful, timeless metaphor for the horrors of war, and the deep wounds that the living are left to bear. Marco hides behind his guilt at being the last man left out of a squadron of pilots, one of whom was the husband of Gina, the woman he loves.

Perhaps Miyazaki drew on a similar tragedy that happened to Japan’s oldest film director, Kaneto Shindo. Shindo’s latest movie, Postcard, is based on his own war time experience of being one of six men who survived a battle where 94 of their comrades perished. Shindo says he has always carried the souls of those men with him, and this is the underlying theme of Porco Rosso, the guilt of being the one who lived.
Of all the gin joints in all the world…

At first, the capers with pirates and a pig faced pilot is just fun, but gradually the deeper meanings of this lovely animation draws you in. The atmosphere is thrillingly nostalgic, the characters so wonderful you just don’t want it to end because then you will have to leave them behind – again Miyazaki creates a world so beautifully detailed that you seem a part of it until it ends.
One of Miyazaki’s most delightful young heroines, Fio

*Sigh* I’ve seen almost every movie in my Studio Ghibli compilation now, but I am happy to say I am breathlessly awaiting the arrival of a copy of Arietty, subtitled of course, with Tatsuya Fujiwara voicing Spiller. Can hardly wait!

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