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March 10, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 7A

Grisly 'Hannibal'

Miyazaki's last 'Wind'

Second season of
NBC drama brings
new chills_
Daily Arts Writer
"I can'tgetnyou outcof my head."
The season two premiere of
"Hannibal" picks up where sea- "I HATE THE MATRIX."
son one left off:
with former FBI eventually explodes in Will's face.
investigator Will Some poor workers discover bod-
Graham impris- Hannibal ies pumped with preservatives
oned by both and featuring gruesome holes and
physical bars in Season Two perforations, probably having been
prison and the Premiere strung up or tied together. (That
intricate web of Frida t one isn't even a hallucination. The
manipulation days at FBIjust always gets cases like that).
that his thera- 10p.m. And Will even dreams of Hanni-
pist, Hanni- NBC bal shoving a tube down his throat
bal Lecter, has and forcinghim to eat ahuman ear.
spun. Hannibal The show jumps in and out of hal-
has put Will behind bars for being lucinations, crazy FBImurder cases
the infamous Chesapeake Ripper, and graphic food scenes (Hannibal
painting Will's hallucinations as claims he's serving flounder, but
insanity and his empathy as a sure his name doesn't rhyme with "can-
sign of derangement. But withchief nibal" for nothing) with seamless
agent Jack Crawford buying into prowess.
Hannibal's charms and psychiatrist Despite all the grisly horror,
Alana Bloom's loyalty tested, Will "Hannibal" is somehow the most
finds himself increasingly isolated visually stunning show on televi-
and losinghis grip on reality. sion. The cinematography is top-
The premiere kicks off with notch, from the lush, saturated
a bang - an exciting fistfight colors contrasting with the dank-
between Jack (Laurence Fishburne, ness of Will's prison cell to the
"The Matrix") and Hannibal (Mads beautiful culinary creations Hanni-
Mikkelsen, "The Hunt"). The two bal serves his guests (human meat
throw punches that are dangerous- never looked so tasty). The water in
ly loaded, and Jack suffers a neck Will's fishinghallucination sparkles
wound that could be fatal. As soon andthe ink on Hannibal's signature
as the adrenaline of the fight scene is palpably wet and staining.It's as if
rampsup, we snap back to anearlier showrunner Bryan Fuller picks the
timeline for some context. images with the intent of providing
But the real thrill of "Hanni- the best screencaps for the show's
bal" is that there is no comfort in devoted fan artists and graphic
context. The show brings viewers designers. (This is his design).
straight into the heart of the dark- But the real indication that this
ness and madness that is Will and season of "Hannibal" will be the
Hannibal, and nothing is ever as best one yet is how well the show
it seems. A routine hypnotherapy is handling Will's imprisonment.
session (only on "Hannibal" could Though Will and Hannibal shared
hypnotherapy be so nonchalant) relatively few scenestogether inthe
ends in therapist Alana turning premiere, the therapist's presence
into a seductive ink monster who could be felt in every scene. A par-

ticularly chilling moment is when
Will tells Hannibal that the voice
he hears in his head is no longer his
own. We feel for Will, but Hanni-
bal's cool and calm reaction proves
that his plan is going exactly as he'd
intended. Will even finds his way
into Hannibal's life. Beverly Katz
dubs him the "new Will Graham"
after he helps with a crime scene,
of mind just as Will had done last
season. Hannibal's conversations
with his own therapist, Bedelia Du
Maurier (Gillian Anderson, "The
X-Files") are especially strained
because of her unique insight into
his psyche and motivations. He
knows that she's too close to discov-
ering the monster he really is, and
it's an interestingrolereversaltohis
and Will's dynamic. There is defi-
nitelylesstime devotedtoexploring
Will and Hannibal in isolation, but
clearly the effects of their season
one relationship resound inthe new
Will Graham may be locked up,
but the walls holdingup Hannibal's
alibi are dangerously close to col-
lapsing. We aren't yet caught up to
the teaser at the beginning of the
episode, where Hannibal's favorite
puppet of a FBI agent is driven to
fight the closetccannibal and Chesa-
peake Ripper. But what's contained
and held secret can't stay that way
for long, especially with a team of
psychologists and investigators
(and Will's army of adopted stray
dogs) ready to sniff out even a hint
of guilt. This could be the season
Hannibal is exposed. I, for one,
can't wait.

DailyArts Writer
Death and darkness seem to
always stir at the periphery of all
of Hayao Miyazaki's visionary
work ("Spirited
Away"). A wild A
drops over the The Wind
world. Uncer- Rises
tainty sets in,
then fear and Michigan
catastrophe, all Theater
of which sus- I
tain equal parts Walt Disney
of wonder and
terror. And yet time and time
again, Miyazaki saves us with-
out shutting us blind to harsh
realities, and with his latest fea-
ture, "The Wind Rises," perhaps
for the last time.
Miyazaki is retiring, an
announcement which we've
heard before from the legend-
ary anime director, but there's
a terrible certainty this time
around. In "The Wind Rises,"
he turns now to where his
mind has wandered these past
six decades - to his dreams, to
the sky. The whimsy of his past
films has been toned down for a
more somber film, and suitably
so. This is the story of Jiro Hor-
ikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
"Don Jon"), the mastermind
behind the infamous World War
II fighter plane, the Mitsubishi
Horikoshi knows that with
the creation of his vision comes
destruction. It will kill Chi-
nese soldiers, it will kill British
soldiers, it will kill American
soldiers. But history can wait;
history must wait. Horikoshi is
on a solitary path that to turn
from would mean the ruin of
all toward which he strives: He
must dream, he must create.
In scenes of destruction that
border on the apocalyptic, we
are reminded throughout the
picture that war draws near.
Miyazaki, as an animator, artist

and director, develops some of
his best work in his rendering of
the pandemonium of the Great
Kanto Earthquake.
We begin in blackness and a
long crack of dark light thatsplits
open the void. The land rolls like
a huge rug and the passengers of
a train hold tight. As the earth-
quake subsides we watch little
stones shake and shift among
each other. Equally impressive is
a shot of a crowd in its thousands
swarm for safety. Miyazaki's
work ethic has always stunned
American animators, and his
artistry here shows no less effort
nor imagination.
We often picture Japan, a
small island frequently struck
by earthquakes and tsunamis, as
a place of annihilation, but also
reassembly and growth, tied to
the past, pulling for the future.
Such themes are always pres-
ent in Miyazaki's films, in his
redemption-bound character.
Horikoshi is a visionary, who
by the end of the film, becomes
emblematic of all Japanese inno-
vation. His planes bear his own
auteuristic spirit and his love for
Japan in their graceful design
and forward-thinking mechan-
ics. In this way, Miyazaki finds a
kindred spirit in Horikoshi.
Most of the film concerns
itself with Horikoshi's journey
as an aerospace engineer, but
there are also incredible char-
acter moments in "The Wind
Rises." Much of the tertiary
cast relies on tropes, such as
the blue-eyed German named
Castorp (the great Werner Her-
zog, "Grizzly Man"), who recalls
the joie de vivre of Count Greffi
of Hemingway's A Farewell to
Arms. Still, Miyazaki enriches
each of these familiar themes
with his own brand of humor.
No character seems superflu-
ous. As Roger Ebert once wrote
of a hopping one-footed lamp
in "Spirited Away": "It is a gift
from Miyazaki."
Miyazaki's observations are

quiet, even generous. Each of
these scenes fill naturally with
their own sorts of rhythms and
images - slowly, with delight
and understanding, free of
action-driven plots. Discovery
should be its own pursuit.
We continuously return to
Horikoshi's dreams. We enter
rooms of working engineers.
The ceiling fades, and overhead
passes a plane they all envi-
sion at once, passes so close you
could run your fingers over the
length of its body. It is Horiko-
shi's dream, but they all see it
as clearly as he can, if only for
a moment, and now his plane
belongs to all of them.
In one of the first of these
dreams, a spirited Italian engi-
neer named Giovanni Caproni
(based on a real historical fig-
ure) demands to know how
"Japanese Boy" wandered into
his dreams. Then he invites him
to stroll along the wing of his
plane while it soars. It's a friend-
ship that will last his entire life
- between Italian and Japa-
nese - and they never even meet
in real life. Throughout "The
Wind Rises" aeroengineers fight
against the warhawk nationalist
energies that drive (and finance)
their projects. They want only
to create "beautiful dreams," as
Caproni says. "Engineers turn
dreams into reality." Miyazaki
illustrates the necessity of oth-
er-worldly thinkers like Horiko-
shi, and the collaborative nature
of invention in these shared
spaces of imagination, wherein
all minds unite toward one goal.
Here is a celebration fitting to
tie off Miyazaki's body of work
- bittersweet as a farewell, com-
forting as an ode to the future. A
monument to Japan's innovating
spirits, and the minds the world
over. Miyazaki may retire after
the many years he's sacrificed
in order to delight his audiences
and we will miss him. But what
a beautiful dream it truly has



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