Japanese filmmaker Hosoda tackles the problem of anime with girls, Entertainment News & Top Stories

CANNES (AFP) – Mamoru Hosoda has a bone to choose from with Steven Spielberg and Hayao Miyazaki, the other great Japanese animator with whom he is often compared.

Hosoda, with a bright, human Mirai (2018), who received an eye-opener at the Oscars three years ago, has had enough of the way Hollywood treats the digital world and how Miyazaki portrays women.

The dystopian troops on the Internet that run through so many films, including Spielberg’s Ready Player One (2018), do no favors to anyone, especially women, Hosoda said at the Cannes Film Festival, where his film premiered. latest feature film Belle.

Early reviews of the film were ecstatic, with The Hollywood Reporter saying that his “wild and imaginative future world takes his breath away” as the story becomes a “series of inflated emotional crescendos” that they are always rooted in real emotions.

Hosoda, who has a young daughter, said she wants to empower her generation to take control of their digital destinies instead of shrinking in fear. “They’ve grown up with the Web … yet they’re constantly being told how malevolent and dangerous it is,” he said.

Belle is his response, a spectacular dive into the roller coaster emotional life of a shy teenager named Suzu, in a 21st century interpretation of Beauty And The Beast.

To her surprise and the rest, Suzu becomes a pop star named Belle in the virtual universe of an app called U. Instead of being burned by the abuse and harassment online as she which gains millions of followers, Suzu uses his online avatar to overcome enemies and his own hangovers.

Hosoda said, “Human relationships can be complex and extremely painful for young people. I wanted to show that this virtual world, which can be hard and horrible, can also be positive.”

Suzu and her computer geek friend are far removed from the women who usually populate Japanese anime, which is where Hosoda faces Miyazaki, the Oscar-winning legend behind classics like Spirited Away (2001).

“You just have to watch Japanese animation to see how young women are underestimated and not taken seriously in Japanese society,” she said.

Hosoda, whose films are based more on social reality than Miyazaki, was raised by a single mother, a rarity at the time. His 2012 classic Wolf Children is an aspect of the fierce independence with which he raised his small herd alone.

“It really bothers me to see how young women are often seen in Japanese animation – treated as sacred – that has nothing to do with the reality of who they are,” Hosoda said, with obvious frustration.

Without naming Miyazaki, he was not concerned about the founder of Studio Ghibli. “I won’t nominate him, but there’s a great master of animation who always takes a young woman as a heroine. And to be frank, I think he does it because he doesn’t have self-confidence as a man,” Hosoda said. .

“This veneration of young women really bothers me and I don’t want to be a part of it.”

He wants to free his heroines from being comparisons of virtue and innocence and “that oppression of having to be like everyone else.”

Hosoda and Miyazaki have history. The 53-year-old was seen as Miyazaki’s natural successor after Ghibli called him from outside to direct Oscar-nominated Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). But Hosoda went halfway to set up his own studio.

He prefers stories that “show the good and the bad of people. This tension is what it is to be human.” That’s why he was also attracted to updating Beauty And The Beast.

“In the original story, the Beast is the most interesting character. He’s ugly and has that violence, but he’s also sensitive and vulnerable inside,” Hosoda said.

“Beauty is just a cipher. It’s about her appearance. I wanted to make her so complex and rich.”

This duality is also found in his fascination with the digital world that began with his first hit, Digimon: The Movie (2000). “I keep coming back to the Internet. First, with Digimon and then with Summer Wars in 2009 and now again.”

And he is more convinced than ever that people cannot continue to dismiss the Internet as the source of all evil. “Young people can never part with it. They have grown up with it. We have to accept it and learn to use it better.”



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