That Ain't Plot: On Hayao Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away'

Episode 140 · February 15th, 2023 · 1 hr 20 mins

About this Episode

Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away is one of those rare films that is both super popular and super weird. Rife with cinematic non sequiturs, unforgettable imagery, and moments of horror, it is an outstanding example of a story form that goes all the way back to the myth of Psyche and Eros from Apuleius's Golden Ass, if not earlier. In this type of story, a girl on the cusp of maturity steps into a magical realm where people and things from waking life reappear, draped in the gossamer of dream and nightmare. Musicologist and WS assistant Meredith Michael joins JF and Phil to discuss a strange jewel of Japanese animated cinema.

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Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away
Kyle Gann, Robert Ashley
Robert Ashely, Perfect Lives
Apuleius, “Psyche and Eros” from The Golden Ass
Henri Bergson, Time and Free Will
Kentucky Route Zero, video game
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, video game
Jean Sibelius, 5th Symphony
Quentin Tarantino, film maker
Mark Rothko, American painter
Giles Deleuze, “What is the Creative Act?”
GK Chesterton, Orthdoxy
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
Andrew Osmond, BFI Guide to Spirited Away