Same as I did with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (and continue to do to Mad Men) only this time about Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The standard caveat applies.
The formal elements of the opening five minutes of Nausicaä conspire to disorient the audience. For example, the film opens with a medium close-up, i.e. one that captures the upper torso of a character in a manner that allows the audience to clearly read a character's face without making it seem, as close-ups often do, as if the camera (and with it, the audience) are violating that character's personal space. In short, a medium close-up is designed to create a sense of comfortable intimacy between character and audience, e.g.
That's obviously a terrible example, because Miyazaki's deliberately flouting film convention in order to make Lord Yupa seem inscrutable. The audience is disoriented because its members know how medium close-ups are conventionally employed (even though they might not know they do) and the violation of those conventions creates a little anxiety. If Yupa were to remove that mask, the audience would experience a slight sense of relief because the shot now conforms to their expectations. But if a director continues to confound them, the cumulative effect will create an uncomfortable audience, which is what Miyazaki wants:
First: in conventional terms, this shot sequence is backwards. Establishing shots like the one above are intended to introduce the principle elements of a location and their spatial relation to each other. They are typically framed as extreme long shots in deep focus (as it makes little sense to introduce an audience to a collection of unfocused blobs), and they typically appear before medium close-ups of the characters contained within it. Reversing the typical shot sequence, as Miyazaki does here, results in the audience being surprised by the surroundings.
This formal trick works even when those surroundings are less alien than they are here. For example, imagine a medium close-up of a couple of men standing around outside:
Because the naturalistic lighting flatters their faces in the customary manner and the costume is conventional, the audience is taken aback when the director cuts to an establishing shot and sees this:
The Syfy show Caprica, from which these frames were taken, relies on the disconnect created by this reversal to discomfit an audience who already knows who (aliens) and where (another planet in the distant past) these folks are. That the technique remains effective despite this knowledge demonstrates just how deeply intuitive audience understanding of filmic convention becomes over time.
In sum: the formal elements of the film (the off-putting shot sequence) works in tandem with its content to produce a narrative moment that is more disturbing than it would be if either of these elements were doing all of the heavy lifting. In rhetorical terms, that means an argument about Miyazaki wanting to unsettle his audience is more convincing because there are multiple bits of evidence (form and content) supporting it. Moving on. The next shot is a long shot:
Because a long shot almost shows the entire human body, it functions somewhat like an establishing shot because it provides information both about the character and his or her surroundings. But notice what Miyazaki does here: by showing Lord Yupa approach the windmill from a distance in the establishing shot, the audience assumes but can not be positive that the door he stands before leads into it.
To the already accumulating effects of the discomfort produced by the formal arrangement and foreign content Miyazaki adds a more basic uncertainty: should the audience trust their conventional interpretations of a film that seems committed to violating them? Put differently: are the members of the audience competent enough viewers of film to accurately assess what is going on?
The next panel tries to convince them they aren't:
This seems to be a point-of-view shot from Lord Yupa's perspective before the open door to the windmill. Such, at least, would be the conventional interpretation. Miyazaki has two choices now: he can completely flummox the audience and undermine its confidence completely by continuing in this vein or he can reassure them a bit because he knows he can easily confound them in the future. He seems to do the latter:
This is also a point-of-view shot and also from Lord Yupa's perspective, but it's also an extreme close-up. The general effect of an extreme close-up is that the object zoomed in on is of great significance to the director. The effect of an extreme close-up that is also a point-of-view shot is slightly different: because the audience is in the character's head, the object is important to the character. It might be of little consequence in the overall scheme of the film, but it is important to the character who made it important by paying closer attention to it than anything else in the mise-en-scene.
The next shot is equally odd:
If the skull were a face instead of a skull, this would be a shot/reverse shot because the frames show one head (or skull) looking to the left, then another head looking to the right in a familiar conversational sequence. The left-right dynamic is so typical of continuity editing that there even appears to be an eyeline match between Lord Yupa and something that no longer has eyes. The creepiness is partly the result of the editing: when eye contact is established between things with eyes and things without, our in-the-narrative-moment-brain sees a skull but our trained-by-convention-brain sees an eyeline match. Our discomfort is not simply because the skull represents death but because half of our brain is attempting to reanimate the dead.
After a few more moments in what is most likely the windmill, Miyazaki cuts to this close-up of a bug:
Because that's a close-up, right? It can't be a medium or medium long shot, because if it were ... and here is where I'll stop transcribing for online consumption, as I want to work through the following sequence with my students in class tomorrow and don't want to cheat them out of the experience of figuring it out for themselves. But feel to discuss how he plays with angles and perspectives in the comments if you so desire. Have at it: