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September 20, 2007

Ukraine’s Floating Castle

Posted in: Art/Design,Film

Found object: floating castle. Photos of a mysterious levitated structure that looks straight out of a fantasy film showed up recently, and much speculation followed. Where was it? Was it a sculpture? Had the photoshop corps been at work again?

Some judicious automated translator banging (most of the conversation is in Russian, Spanish, and Ukranian) yielded a few tidbits. The photographer, for example, says it was dismantled in May of this year. And it was in Ukraine. Archinect says it’s the remains of “bunker for the overload of mineral fertilizers.”

But what I find most interesting are the connections people made between the structure and film worlds created by Terry Gilliam, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and, most often, Hayao Miyazaki — particularly Howl’s Moving Castle. I never quite understood what went on in that film. (A couple friends from Japan didn’t either, so I’m guessing it’s not a cultural thing.) Still, the characters and the world were so strong that it nearly didn’t matter.

And the fact that so many want to see Miyazaki’s world in the real one says something about the places his films create. Lots of animated films let us escape into wonderful imaginary places. But there’s something special about Miyazaki’s movies that makes the real world seem more wonderful, too.

Find alternate angles and multilingual conversation at panoramio. Thanks to ffffound.

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