- Published: Sunday, 11 December 2016 19:02
- Written by Ethan Falk
There have been a handful of “body switching” narratives that Hollywood has played around with over the years--Freaky Friday, The Hot Chick, Vice Versa, and the list goes on. These films always seem to fall under the atrocious--guilty pleasure category and don’t generally make that “Marvel” money. Despite the trend, Japanese director Makoto Shinkai, has taken his anime switching-places film, YOUR NAME, and propelled it to become the second highest grossing Japanese title of all time! In fact, his picture is now in the running to be crowned the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.
Shinkai debuted his first film, Voices of a Distant Star, in which he created nearly every aspect of his film, sending a message to the anime world that he would continue the tradition of producing masterpieces like his idol’s, Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Takahata (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) . Despite the recent announcement that Miyazaki’s Ghilbi Studio’s has decided to close its doors on making feature length anime films, Shinkai’s not so sure Miyazaki’s ready to pass the torch just yet.
“I did feel very disappointed that Studio Ghilbi has decided to stop doing feature length animated movies. That being said, Mr. Miyazaki on a TV show says he still has a desire to making movies, so I’m looking forward and hoping he hasn’t fully retired yet.”
With the international success of Your Name, Shinkai told Cinemovie that he’s received offers from Hollywood to create a live action adaptation, but doesn’t intend to redo it in any other medium now.
“The U.S. feels like such a far away land to where I was in Japan. Especially Hollywood movies seem like they’re in a whole other stratosphere. Even now it feels kind of far to me despite being here in Los Angeles.”
The director has spent most of his time on the YOUR NAME press tour in the confines of the hotel’s he working/staying at and hasn’t gotten to take any tourist ‘selfies’ on Hollywood Boulevard yet.
“I haven’t had a chance to really go out and see it. As far as the LA I’ve seen, it looks like what I see in the movies, smiled Shinkai.”
According to Shinkai, he’s always intended to create films that would be consumed by the largest market possible, but wasn’t always given the resources to bring it to that level. YOUR NAME was truly a labor of love. He drew inspiration from ancient literature and poems to help establish depth and importance within the fabric of the story. One poem in particular called Ono no Komachi was his main source of creativity.
“In this poem he talks about how you meet someone in your dream, when you wake up, all you have is this feeling of nostalgia and had you known it was just a dream, you’d want to stay there forever.”
Shinkai expressed that his most important goal is his filmmaking is to simply spread joy to everyone.
“What it takes to bring tears, laughter, and enjoyment is different for every person, but my hope is to at least bring a piece of joy to everyone.”
YOUR NAME has a limited release here in the states at the moment, but you can bet as a result of the films commercial success and critical acclaim, we won’t be seeing the last of Makoto Shinkai.