How did you become interested in writing about Hayao Miyazaki?
MARGARET TALBOT: My kids watched several of his movies, especially “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), on video a lot, and I started to realize that I could abide repeat viewings of them more than almost any other children’s movies, with the possible exception of “The Wizard of Oz.” Naturally, I started wondering about the filmmaker who was doing me such a favor. Last summer, when I went to Japan on a United States-Japan Foundation Media Fellowship and began reporting on him, I found out that he hates the idea that children watch his films repeatedly. He’s very worried about kids consuming too much media, and thinks that they should watch a movie like “Totoro” no more than once a year. Miyazaki famously doesn’t grant interviews, but he spoke with you. Why doesn’t he like to do interviews, and how did you manage that? It’s true that Miyazaki does not like to give interviews, even in Japan, where he is really famous and beloved. I think one reason is that, while he certainly feels that he makes