Kiki’s Black Dress and Daily Life


Interviewer: Compared to your previous films, is the depiction of daily life more significant in “Kiki’s Delivery Service”?

Miyazaki: “Yes, it couldn’t be helped. That’s why the animation is also screaming. I’m screaming too, haha.”

Interviewer: In portraying everyday life in this film, what is the most important thing?

Miyazaki: “The most important thing is for the viewers to perceive that the town and the room where Kiki lives exist as tangible entities. Kiki breathes, thinks, and experiences hopes and disappointments there. And because Kiki must believe she can live in this town, how the town is depicted becomes a crucial focal point, even more important than imagined. The power of art and the abilities of all the staff members must be concentrated there.”


Interviewer: So, depicting the town is the foundation of portraying daily life, right?

Miyazaki: Yes, it is inevitable. That’s why even the animation staff is overwhelmed. I myself am overwhelmed too laughs.

Interviewer: In this film, what is the most important thing when portraying everyday life?

Miyazaki: The most important thing is for the viewers to perceive the town and the room where Kiki lives as existing entities. Because Kiki breathes, thinks, experiences hope and disappointment there. And she must believe that she can live in that town, so how the town is depicted becomes a crucial key point, more so than one can imagine. The power of art and the skills of the entire staff need to be focused on that.

Interviewer: Speaking of daily life, it involves depicting clothing, food, and housing. For example, regarding Kiki’s black dress, do you have your own thoughts as the director?

Miyazaki: Why does Kiki wear a black dress? The conclusion I reached after my own considerations is that her black dress reflects the traditional perception. However, it’s not just about following an old tradition. I think a black dress signifies the simplest attire. By wearing the simplest dress and being true to herself, she embarks on a journey to find her own world. I believe that is the essence of a witch’s training. Furthermore, I want to add something about the portrayal of daily life. It’s not about depicting eating or getting into bed. When depicting life, it means making efforts to create a continuous flow of time and space within the visuals. Without doing that, the presence of the person living that life won’t emerge. Even if there are scenes of household chores and daily tasks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that life is being portrayed.

Interviewer: Could you explain a bit more about the continuous flow of time and space?

Miyazaki: I can’t hold a film lecture here, so I’ll explain briefly. It means the interaction between the individual, including their desires and the continuous emotions they possess when taking action, and the external world, including other people. It encompasses the kindness, unkindness, presence or absence of money, weather, and so on. Finding the place where these two forces of interaction achieve balance, like the boundary of a magnet, and portraying that is what it means.


Interviewer: I’m even more confused now.

Miyazaki: What I’ve been saying is just a bunch of nonsense. In essence, it’s about creating captivating characters. If it’s not interesting, our films won’t succeed. Logic is necessary. Logic supports imagination. However, making a film based solely on logic is the worst. How to create a town, how to depict it, whether to turn daily life into a series of actions, whether to make cuts abruptly or use cutbacks, it’s all just components of the filmmaking process, mere parts of the stylistic approach.



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