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“The Boy and the Heron” by Professor Hayao Miyazaki “charms” the audience and flies at the box office (like the film Courtesy)

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still there (Miyazaki) tomorrow? An overwhelming success at the Italian box office The boy and the heronThe twelfth feature film by the Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazakivery similar to the sequence of six-digit numbers and numbers from the movie by Paola Cortellesi. Starting January 1, for three days of programming, including two weekdays, The boy and the heron Its total profits amounted to about two million euros: a truly impressive result (at most with… The wind picks up In 2013, Miyazaki reached €1 million in several weeks of programming) which also represents the unique record of the first Japanese film to top takings in the history of Italian cinemas.

It's hard to fathom the kind of audience that has suddenly packed theaters over the past 72 hours, including this writer in a literal 120-seat cinema. run outEven if the lack of an actual animated film for the holiday period might have piqued the curiosity of a large segment of the audience (265,000 spectators in three days) who were unfamiliar with Miyazaki's cinema and who, according to the logic of numbers, do a fair amount of word of mouth.

It also remains complicated Deciphering the enchanting, fascinating and always unforgettable dual world of Shinto inspiration Which has been featured in Miyazaki's films. That magical kingdom where the soul and the animal, plant and mineral body (stones in the case… The boy and the heron) blend and intertwine with the human condition, creating an unrepeatable state of suspension of disbelief that has made history in Japanese and international animation.

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During World War II, Mahito lost his mother in a hospital fire in Tokyo. So her father, Shoichi, the owner of a munitions factory, marries Natsuko, his sister-in-law, and moves in with her in a large lakeside mansion, filled with a handful of old aunts, and close to a mysterious tower immersed in the forest. Commissioned by the family's great-uncle, who appears to be inaccessible to humans. The intrusive, funny, and constant intrusion of the “nosy” gray heron, who haunts Mahito with the memory and thought of meeting his mother; Difficult relationship with classmates who push the boy to hurt himself with a stone on his temple; The sudden disappearance of the sweet new (pregnant) mother in the forest, prompting the boy, an old aunt, and the heron to search for his stepmother among the tangled plants, and then they are transported to the “underworld.”

This is the place The boy and the heron A twist and turn in Miyazaki's imagination as Mahito travels for the first time into oceanic space where he follows an enchanted fisherman who with her giant catch will revive the warwara (small sperm-like creatures that fly to the world above to be reborn); He was saved from predatory swans thanks to the fiery powers of the witch Hime; Visit the world of colourful, mischievous and unnatural military parrots; He finally arrived through the corridors and chambers in the year 2001, in the presence of his great uncle, the Creator of the Destinies of the Universe, under the care of a great stone spirit intent on proposing honors and burdens to his young relative appointed as his successor. Will Mahito be able to bring him back? Equilibrium Spheres, parallelepipeds and cubes to model from“Underworld” “Upper world” Improves? Or will he return to the real world, recognizing its lies, limits and idiosyncrasies, devoting himself tirelessly to drawing and animation?

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They are highlighted and annotated by the dominant green color of the Impressionist theme, which has been liberally dipped into the writing on the book of the same name by Ginzaburo Yoshino But first of all to acknowledge the autobiography of the young Miyazaki, The boy is a heron It is another summary of what the critic said Paolo Mereghetti He's been writing in his dictionary for decades about the Japanese director's films, and he still gives him very high marks: a plot that is sometimes “exhausting,” but visual talent that is always “at the highest level.”

That's stressful The boy and the heron However, it's a much less obvious problem than many titles in the past, precisely because Shinto spiritual inspiration (“The Stone Is Not Happy”) by the Japanese author, increasingly imbued with a serious and painful philosophical maturity, less trivial and less exposed to the charm of his animated if eloquent acting, seems compressed and dry due to his typical deluge of digressions and small thoughts. Under conspiracies.

This kind of image density, drawn from the now-natural blend of traditional and digital animation, also helps support the film's symbolic and metaphorical organicity. Dual world: real/imaginary, human/animal, plant, mineral – which magically spread across a single enchanted space-time plane. Finally, the great themes of one's social and political responsibility (the looming of all-out, destructive war is so urgent) and individual mourning that must be overcome (something that hurts deeply in the protagonist's soul) are mixed with grace and providence toward others. Instantly decipher the sarcasm of surrounding characters, as well as the essence of magical powers and the narrative of physical sliding doors.

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At the bottom with Miyazaki The boy and the heron He wants to tell us The pain of loss, insecurity and inadequacy Present with a clear future in mind. A universal material that remains with the viewer, as in the scene of endless pieces of paper sticking to the heroine’s skin, determined to awaken a female character with elusive maternal features. Recommended for those over 18 years of age rather than younger ones perhaps The last film for Miyazaki (83 years old), who feared retirement ten years ago after The Wind Rises.

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