Hayao Miyazaki names the Hollywood films he hates the most

Hayao Miyazaki is undoubtedly among the greatest living artists today, known for his seminal masterpieces such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away among many others. His contributions to the art of animation have inspired artists from various fields, including live-action filmmakers who have praised Miyazaki’s understanding of movement.

Although the aging author had announced his retirement to the world, Miyazaki decided to make one final addition to his illustrious filmography before bidding farewell to the world of cinema. He is currently making an adaptation of his favorite childhood novel – How Do You Live? by Yoshino Genzaburo – and he has dedicated the upcoming project to his grandson.

Over the years, Miyazaki’s political stance about America’s involvement in global conflicts as well as the country’s contribution towards the globalization of American culture has been unwavering. “Anti-jeans, Anti-bourbon, Anti-burgers, Anti-fried chicken, Anti-cola, Anti-American coffee, Anti-New York, Anti-West Coast,” Miyazaki once said while describing his beliefs.

According to excerpts from multiple interviews, Miyazaki’s dislike for all things American also extends to the realm of cinema. Despite the fact that the Japanese author had named John Ford as one of his chief visual influences and even named his 1946 film My Darling Clementine among his personal favourites, he doesn’t feel the same way about other popular American films.

“Americans shoot things and they blow up and the like, so as you’d expect, they make movies like that,” Miyazaki stated. “If someone is the enemy, it’s okay to kill endless numbers of them. Lord of the Rings is like that. If it’s the enemy, there’s killing without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls within collateral damage.”

Miyazaki compared the visual politics of large-scale Hollywood productions such as the Lord of the Rings to the country’s international policies. Attacking America’s actions in Afghanistan, Miyazaki claimed that such projects are a dangerous addition to public discourse because they diminish the value of human life by weaponizing the audience through cinematic violence.

Miyazaki continued: “How many people are being killed in attacks in Afghanistan? The Lord of the Rings is a movie that has no problem doing that [not separating civilians from enemies, apparently]. If you read the original work, you’ll understand, but in reality, the ones who were being killed are Asians and Africans. Those who don’t know that, yet say they love fantasy are idiots.”

Throughout his body work, Miyazaki has conducted continuous conversations about antiwar pacifism – an ethical belief that has been deeply influenced by his own experiences. Miyazaki has often explored the paradoxes of pacifism in a world that embraces violence through his art which is why these cinematic spectacles fail to amuse him.

When his magnum opus Spirited Away became the first anime to win Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars, Miyazaki refused to attend the ceremony because he did not want to support America’s actions in the Iraq war. Even though his producer asked him not to speak about the issue, he later came clean and revealed that his producer had felt the same way.

Miyazaki was also very critical of Steven Spielberg’s iconic film series IndianaJones. Addressing many of the issues caused by capitalism in post-colonial nations, Miyazaki admonished those who failed to recognize the political and racial allegories embedded within the subtexts of supposedly innocent and purely entertaining action films.

“Even in the Indiana Jones movies, there is a white guy who, ‘bang,’ shoots people, right? Japanese people who go along and enjoy with that are unbelievably embarrassing,” he explained. “You are the ones that, ‘bang,’ get shot. watching [those movies] without any self-awareness is unbelievable. There’s no pride, no historical perspective. You don’t know how you are viewed by a country like America.”

Follow Far Out Magazine across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Leave a Comment