The Wind Rises and Kill Your Darlings

Two quick hits from today -- The Wind Rises and Kill Your Darlings.


I'm not a fan of Hayao Miyazaki's animated features (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) even though I admire the intricacy of his storylines and the richness of his color palette. However, my admiration has difficulty turning into affection for some reason. His latest film, The Wind Rises, may be his most ambitious work so far as it recounts the life of Japanese aeronautic engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Zeroes that bombed China and Hawaii in World War II. Far from a jingoistic defense of Japanese nationalism, The Wind Rises, which pulls in history and politics and science, is absolutely beautiful, occasionally poignant and a tribute to traditional painted-cel animation. Horikoshi is expertly voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; James Krasinski plays his friend and fellow airplane designer Honjo; and Emily Blunt is the voice of Horikoshi's tubercular sweetheart and later wife, Nahoko. Warning: Though this is an animated feature it is glacially paced and fairly grim so leave the young ones home.



John Krokidas's Kill Your Darlings is an intriguing though oddly coy film about Allen Ginsberg's infatuation with a conflicted fellow Columbia University student, Lucien Carr, who fancies himself a muse but is actually a stifling narcissist. Carr (Dane DeHaan) seduces Daniel Radcliffe's closeted Ginsberg so that Carr can pull away from an older, clinging lover, David Kammerer (a terrific Michael C. Hall), a former professor who, pathetically, writes Carr's papers and supplies him with drugs and alcohol. In re-telling the story of Ginsberg's toxic friendship with Carr, Krokidas describes the origins of the Beats and rounds out his cast of principal players with Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac and the redoubtable Ben Foster as William Burroughs. Though Burroughs describes this quintet as libertines, the film is surprisingly lacking in sexual heat.

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