1) Pick one of your favorite movies: what is the title?
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
2) When and where and with whom did you first see it?
Probably at home, on DVD. But the most memorable viewing was in Rome, at the Cinema dei Piccoli in the Villa Borghese park. We got tickets in advance for the 22:00 showing, and the confused person selling us the tickets told us the movie would be dubbed in Italian — but of course we’ve seen it so many times that that didn’t really matter. The previous showing ran a little late when we arrived, and since the cinema is essentially a wooden shack, we could hear the end of the movie before going in.
3) What about the movie makes it one of your favorites?
It is a grand adventure that starts out in a mining town but then ends up in this mythical place, with lots of steampunk in between. Miyazaki’s love for airships is very apparent here. And the movie is also a technical masterpiece: the approach for the raid on the fortress where Sheeta is held with the pirate ornithopters is so exciting visually!
4) If you’ve watched this movie since the pandemic quarantine started, how did it make you feel?
I have not.
5) If this movie was remade, who would you cast for the five main characters and why?
A live-action remake would… not be good. It would probably amount to some human players standing in CGI decors, and that would give the movie a static look which doesn’t fit with such a dynamic story! And animating it again might make it look prettier, but would take away the ‘soul’ of the original.
But a remake with puppetry could be really fun! You can add in some CGI effects if you want to, but the decors would have to be physical. And while you can see that it’s puppets doing the action, the whole thing has a pleasing… physicality… to it that you can’t produce otherwise. The Jim Henson studio would be an obvious choice (their Dark Crystal prequel was fantastic), but the studio that does the wuxia puppetry series Thunderbolt Fantasy is also very much capable of showing lots of action.