Hayao Miyazaki and the Art of Ambivalence | Big Joel


Comments • 687

  • D3ATH91203
    D3ATH91203  1 days back

    When i was younger my favourite scene was the train because of how relaxing it was after the tense chase

    • Kat
      Kat  2 days back

      I think the scene is re-capturing the beginning of the movie. We first see Chihiro sitting around and overthinking her new life in this new town. She's anxious and angry, a feeling she carries through the first part of adapting in the spirit world; however, as the story goes on, she becomes more calm and collected. She stops questioning everything and realizes all she can do is move forward. This is a lesson she takes with her back to the human world.

      • Nivedita Singh
        Nivedita Singh  6 days back

        I loved the video and it was another opportunity for me to feel the beauty of Ghibli movies. Thank you

        • Danny James
          Danny James  6 days back

          The characters generally have reactions leading to actions. I believe ‘ambiguity’ might be closer to what you’re positing. But maybe I’m splitting hairs.. I don’t know, I’m ambivalent about it ;)

          • Brian McKee
            Brian McKee  6 days back

            Surprised the ending to Porco Rosso wasn't mentioned. Embodies this idea wholly and is beautiful.

            • Ni Ha
              Ni Ha  1 weeks back

              Spirited away was my favourite as a kid.

              • chase
                chase  1 weeks back

                “She doesn’t even blink.”


                • James Staniszewsi
                  James Staniszewsi  1 weeks back

                  I find we simply get lost in those films. Sometimes we get lost in life. If something lost is not later found, it will be replaced. The self is replaced when it is lost. The self is an illusion (a perception), the state of being lost is the answer and the truth of who we are. Nothing. We are all actors playing out a perceived role in a society of individuals with the same fundamental struggle; finding out who or what we and everything else is and what that means we, and all other things are supposed to do. It's all nonsense, but we find sense. That's what we do. And then we just exist within our little realities, until we are lost once more and need to find sense and an identity once again. It's the fundamental struggle of existence as we know it, and it will keep going unless we stop, and that means letting go and letting things be as they are as we simply have no control over anything... which also means we are bound to succumb to the struggle of meaning after having understood it and in doing so you forget. If we lived forever we wouldn't, because we would lose ourselves over and over again as we consciously exist and develop perceptions. I'm just begining to ramble at this point so...
                  I find this video puts some of the ambivalence you described about spirited away into perspective:

                  • john s
                    john s  1 weeks back

                    Thanks for the crappy review. But I highly doubt that you possess the capacity to fully understand Hayao Miyazaki movies. Nice try anyways I will give you a thumbs down and an unsubscribe. But thank you for wasting 12 minutes of my valuable time

                    • Nina Sepulveda
                      Nina Sepulveda  1 weeks back

                      im two years late, but this was such a beautiful video, i hope to see more of this in the future !!

                      • Clarissa Lim
                        Clarissa Lim  2 weeks back

                        Ambivalent: having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

                        For the record I think the characters themselves aren’t ambivalent. It’s the audience that feels ambivalent about the characters because they can’t put those characters into clear boxes.

                        The characters themselves are not ambivalent — they have their own sets of beliefs and views and when faced with different situations act accordingly to those beliefs. The thing is we as the audience are not acquainted with their beliefs and hence rarely expect them to do what they do or be the way they are — hence we feel like we can’t ‘pin’ them down, are undecided about which camp those characters fall into in our minds — this leads to us feeling ambivalent about the characters.

                        Miyazaki portrays his characters very realistically — which is to say his characters are complex and multifaceted, some wise some shortsighted and many of them in various stages of maturity and growth, and we get to follow their journeys of making mistakes and growing. There’s no rush to pin judgment on these characters because they are still changing and growing and being fleshed out as the movie goes on.

                        That’s very true to what we tend to see in real life — people rarely act in a way reminiscent of a true hero or villain or fit neatly into little boxes; it’s only in movies that we tend to see that.

                        That’s why Miyazaki’s movies are so poetic — his characters behave in a way that reminds you of the people interact with in daily life; yourself even (the pacing of the movie also helps with that). The characters on screen are not caricatures, they are you and me.

                        • Adara Relgnel
                          Adara Relgnel  2 weeks back

                          No yeah, that scene THOROUGHLY creeped me out as a kid

                          • Haylee Rodriguez
                            Haylee Rodriguez  2 weeks back

                            I feel like this is what made chihiro such a special character to me as a child, and more importantly the movie. Because I didn’t see her reaction to anything, I felt as if I took on that role for her and was even more involved in the story. Like it was me experiencing that world

                            • Dean Davis
                              Dean Davis  2 weeks back

                              Sorry I missed this video when it came out.

                              Miyazaki was deeply affected by the war. It rings throughout his works, and you cannot truly address the ambivalence you speak of in his works without this understanding.

                              In a lot of ways, the cost of war being greater than it’s rewards is a near constant in his works. He shows this through characters on both sides of conflicts each having redeeming qualities while the conflict both tears them and what they hope to win from said conflict to shreds.

                              Even his peaceful works ring with this. Take Kiki’s Delivery Service for example, where the culture and mixed technical levels give a subtle but poignant look at what Europe could have been without the wars.

                              • Swanky Pants
                                Swanky Pants  2 weeks back

                                *mr.mathews*: *heavy breathing*

                                • Paul Willhoft
                                  Paul Willhoft  2 weeks back

                                  In the introduction you mention "business men" getting off the train and going somewhere we do not know. These are not business men. They are shadows of blue collar workers, specifically, African Americans. This scene is Miyazaki's tribute to the Great Migration of early 20th century America. During and after the Great Depression African Americans left the south in huge numbers. They were hoping for a better life in the big cities in the north - Chicago, New York, St Louis, Detroit and so on. They were fleeing poverty, racism, and injustice in hopes of finding work by supporting the war effort. A chance to change their unfortunate circumstances by building a better life for their families.

                                  This is also one of my favorite scenes in Miyzaki's work. It is a calm meditative reflection on the sadness and suffering caused by racism in the world. Consistent with eastern ideas of good and evil, it does not beat us over the head with a moral or indignant message. Instead, Miyazaki chooses to simply paint a picture (and a beautiful one at that) of a quiet train ride, a brief and quiet ghost-like moment. A sad yet somehow hopeful moment in our history. He truly is a master of this art form.

                                  Thanks for the video.

                                  • Connieditz
                                    Connieditz  2 weeks back

                                    I found out by looking this video, that the animators of Neon Genesis Evangelion loved Spirited Away and used the same train in their scene where Shinji talks with himself.

                                    • billy lion
                                      billy lion  2 weeks back

                                      now do ''place promised in our early days"

                                      • Danny
                                        Danny  3 weeks back

                                        Hold up I haven’t seen it yet

                                        • Morgan Lowe
                                          Morgan Lowe  3 weeks back

                                          Hayao has made me less judgmental. I love seeing all perspectives. Minnie Driver played such a great Lady Eboshi.

                                          • ericthereid
                                            ericthereid  3 weeks back

                                            Every good novelist embraces ambiguity and ambivalence to shade their characters. It's what makes a story great. Disney films bludgeon audiences with completely unrealistic characterizations and good-bad binaries. It's (part of) what makes Ghibli films works of art, whereas Disney's films can only be called entertainment.

                                            • Boat
                                              Boat  3 weeks back

                                              Please make your video as long as you'd like, I enjoy them very much, express all you can, its priceless :)

                                              • Levo GAMES
                                                Levo GAMES  3 weeks back

                                                "Okay so this video is getting kinda long..." he says, before the 8 minute mark.
                                                I've seen all Lord of the Rings movies back to back. I've sat through 1-hour video essays or documentaries.
                                                I have binged series, 20 minutes long, 12 episodes, back to back.
                                                How should I feel about your statement? I don't know, but I feel a bit insulted. I have not lost my attention span.

                                                • BaraBrandurHenriksen
                                                  BaraBrandurHenriksen  3 weeks back

                                                  1:52 "She dosen't even blink!"
                                                  Literally blinks 1 second later

                                                  • Amy Jones
                                                    Amy Jones  3 weeks back

                                                    You made me love Spirited Away even more, and it's one of my favorite movies.

                                                    • Lauren Waring
                                                      Lauren Waring  3 weeks back

                                                      Could you talk about the balance Ghibli films have between stunning beauty, and reality? I feel like Ghibli films are so much more beautiful than real life, but it never seems supernatural (unless it is of course) but rather innate and almost unremarkable.

                                                      • rtdfyug lolcracker404
                                                        rtdfyug lolcracker404  3 weeks back


                                                        • 빵!구름구름
                                                          빵!구름구름  3 weeks back

                                                          I felt such Western point of view from this vid. so interesting

                                                          • Thicc Smoke
                                                            Thicc Smoke  3 weeks back

                                                            Honestly a lot of Japanese movies and books does that. It is kinda weird in a beginning but after a time you get used to it

                                                            • Nora Shinya
                                                              Nora Shinya  3 weeks back

                                                              I am late to the game on this vid but personal opinion if anyone cares: I never saw any of Miyazaki’s characters as lacking strong opinions or personalities or reactions. Rather Miyazaki’s storytelling style relies on cues from cinematography and the environment of his stories. His characters aren’t neutral ciphers for the audience. They’re just very Japanese in their presentation. Not everything is explained through dialogue including the characters inner thoughts. For example: Ashitaka isn’t unbiased. He strongly empathizes with the spirits and gods and the townspeople. He’s not neutral. He has a stance and that is peace. But he listens and takes in everything. But his verdict still stands: they all need to live in peace or the world will continue to be cursed by hatred. And he doesn’t always says this outright. His inner state of mind tends to be in congruence to the environment around him whether it’s the weather or how the pacing is structured. It’s almost as if we’re in his mind as we’re watching him and his story play out.
                                                              This is not to say Ghibli films lack ambiguity they most certainly are ambiguous. But the characters do have a life of their own. It’s just that Japanese attitudes towards life and others tends to emphasize strong awareness of the world around you and other people. Individuals aren’t separate even if they conflict with others and the world. The liminality is in identity and the need to compromise with the world rather than conquer it.

                                                              • IL
                                                                IL  4 weeks back

                                                                One way train symbolizes controversy between City and Village. Previously people live and travel in both ways, but today only old people finish their lives in villages, and all young people chose living in the city’s (one way direction), all who stayed will disappear (they almost disappeared already). It’s one of the biggest problem of our community this days.

                                                                Sorry for my bad English.

                                                                • Galaxy Mew
                                                                  Galaxy Mew  4 weeks back

                                                                  Ambivalence is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

                                                                  • koucya3
                                                                    koucya3  4 weeks back

                                                                    "Beautiful. A masterful design." This sentence explains your video. Its perfectly cut, perfectly explained. I really enjoyed watching this, and I'm sure i'll check out your other videos! Thank you for this!

                                                                    • Sy Edd Site
                                                                      Sy Edd Site  4 weeks back

                                                                      Talking about passive and malleable protagonist, I felt like Undertale can be adapted as an Studio Ghibli-esque anime movie

                                                                      • Jonathan Stern
                                                                        Jonathan Stern  4 weeks back

                                                                        The train ride reminded me of the song Eleanor Rigby.

                                                                        • Kenabi San
                                                                          Kenabi San  4 weeks back

                                                                          Pls make a review for „perfume“ my favorite movie and sooo underrated

                                                                          • Lonely Spirit
                                                                            Lonely Spirit  4 weeks back

                                                                            my favorite is spirit awayed

                                                                            • Nadia Sparkling
                                                                              Nadia Sparkling  1 months back

                                                                              Woowww i want to hear more!!! Watching fruits basket remake now so much depth there check it out! I also just finished binge watching inuyasha and ranma 1/2
                                                                              Sudden anime craze
                                                                              But to me inuyasha has alot of growth and relationship lessons

                                                                              And ranma 1/2 has some of relationship lessons and spirit nudge between the ridiculousness too 🤣

                                                                              Ambivelance ❤ i love that term

                                                                              • Thomas White
                                                                                Thomas White  1 months back

                                                                                The key flaw in Christianity is that there is good and bad in everyone. Too often, people try to portray themselves as good Christians. By doing so, they lose their humility and humanity.
                                                                                This study on ambivalence is refreshing in accepting that there is even a state of being between good and bad, where you just exist.
                                                                                These ideas threaten the comfortable mindset of many people. A person commits a terrible act and they must be labeled as evil and destroyed. But, doesn't everyone have good and bad thoughts.

                                                                                • Ethan Rummel
                                                                                  Ethan Rummel  1 months back

                                                                                  Great video, but I am so amazed this hasn't been taken down due to its use of Ghibli animation and music. Those guys are savage.

                                                                                  • dinnerandashow
                                                                                    dinnerandashow  1 months back

                                                                                    Poor girl has no nose.

                                                                                    • A C
                                                                                      A C  1 months back

                                                                                      *howl moving castle is not a Miyazaki original story, it's from an english writer

                                                                                      • Combustible Lemons
                                                                                        Combustible Lemons  1 months back

                                                                                        The wind rises does have a few moments where they bring up the point of how the planes will be used in the war. They are all the dream sequences, but it brings up how Jiro might dream of making a beautiful plane to fly in the sky, but it is assured that in time, his creation will be used to kill, and that is something all inventors come to realize.

                                                                                        • A Winged Albatross
                                                                                          A Winged Albatross  1 months back

                                                                                          I think the feeling of ambivalence with a little unease has to do with a very colourful, inviting, fun style and animating, with very deep, real, dark undertones in what's actually happening. It's certainly an art of subtlety as well in my opinion.

                                                                                          • Jenny Nicole
                                                                                            Jenny Nicole  1 months back

                                                                                            That was a beautiful video about beautiful movies. Thank you.

                                                                                            • Lulla By
                                                                                              Lulla By  1 months back

                                                                                              In eastern, and especially Japanese culture, many things are not said or explained verbally. Yet there are quite some cues to know what cihiro is feeling in that train. I don't think that it is that passive or blank gaze. That is a point far on the movie, we know she feels determined to seek the truth, do the right thing.

                                                                                              • Lulla By
                                                                                                Lulla By  1 months back

                                                                                                That's my favourite scene and music too!!!!! <3 incredible that you picked that out of so many!

                                                                                                • ManiacsWorld
                                                                                                  ManiacsWorld  1 months back

                                                                                                  Personally I always took Chihiro's expression in the train scene as one of determination. It's her growing as a character. Where she was flaky, hesitant, and unable to do anything on her own in the beginning, she's grown, taken the lead, and is now helping someone she cares about. She stares straight forward without tiring because she's determined to go to Yubaba's sister and right the wrongs of the past. I guess it could be ambivalent in that she does not care about the beauty around her through her determination, but I personally feel that there is a specific emotion and purpose to this scene. Interesting analysis though.