Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda threw shade on a certain “great master of animation” for the portrayal of young women in films.
Not a fan: While Hosoda did not name who he was referring to, it sounded like he was criticizing famed director Hayao Miyazaki during his recent interview with the AFP.
- “There is a great master of animation who always takes a young woman as his heroine,” said the Oscar-nominated director of “Mirai.” “And to be frank, I think he does it because he does not have confidence in himself as a man.”
- Hosoda would rather not have his heroines be examples of “virtue and innocence” who are forced “to be like everyone else.”
- “It really annoys me to see how young women are often seen in Japanese animation — treated as sacred — which has nothing to do with the reality of who they are,” he was quoted as saying.
- The 53-year-old director noted that he does not want to be part of such “veneration of young women,” which he finds disturbing.
- “You only have to watch Japanese animation to see how young women are underestimated and not taken seriously in Japanese society,” he pointed out.
Complicated history: Hosoda was reportedly called in by Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s animation company, to direct the 2004 Oscar-nominated film “Howl’s Moving Castle.”
- Hosoda ended up leaving within a few months of starting the project due to creative differences, according to CBR.
- As he was unable to compromise, he went on to search for projects that would enable him to incorporate his own vision.
Empowered women: Hosoda was at the Cannes film festival for the premiere of his latest feature, “Belle,” a modern take on “Beauty and the Beast.” In the film, a shy teen girl named Suzu becomes a pop diva inside the virtual world where she overcomes online abuse via her online persona, “Belle.”
- Hosoda also took shots at the dystopian tropes on the virtual online universe, including Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” for depicting the digital world as “malevolent and dangerous.”
- The filmmaker, who has a young daughter, wants empowered viewers who can “take control of their digital destinies rather than cower in fear.”
- “Human relations can be complex and extremely painful for young people,” he explained. “I wanted to show that this virtual world, which can be hard and horrible, can also be positive.”