Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind at The Little Tomorrow

The Little Theatre will show tomorrow Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 film to kick off its Science on Screen series, "which creatively pairs screenings of classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the Rochester Institute of Technology specializing in various sciences, technology, and medicine." About tomorrow's screening and discussion:
    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Nausicaä is the first of the Science on Screen films to be shown at the Little Theatre – and it will be screened on a rare 35mm print!

    The film tells the story of Nausicaä, a young princess of the Valley of the Wind who gets involved in a struggle with Tolmekia, a kingdom that tries to use an ancient weapon to eradicate a jungle of mutant giant insects. Nausicaä must stop the Tolmekians from enraging these creatures. One of the first solo directing efforts for the master, Miyazaki, Nausicaä is a classic environmental monster fantasy epic with signature Miyazaki themes. Of course, the words “typical” and “Miyazaki” are rarely used in the same sentence, and Nausicaä is a precursor for Miyazaki’s future projects. It’s the way Miyazaki composes these archtypes – the courageous martyr/heroine, the valiant humble hero, the mystifying figure, the wiser hero, and a government empire seeking to destroy the land – that define his films. The heroine Nausicaä is a young, but wise beyond her years, princess who is beloved by the people of valley. Miyazaki paints her as an admirable character with a supporting cast of older characters who are revered for their wisdom.

    The post film discussion will focus on human sustainability and biological symbioses – a discussion of what the film’s themes can teach us about the role of natural ecology in both sustaining and withstanding the pressures of humanity. The discussion features two esteemed local experts in the field from our partner organization the Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Dr. Callie Babbitt, professor at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is an engineer and sustainability scientist researching how industrial processes and products can be innovated using natural ecosystems as an inspiration.

    Dr. Gregory A. Babbitt, professor of Biology and Computational Genomics, is a molecular evolutionary biologist with a strong side interest developed since childhood in insects and the microscopic world.

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