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6 items from 2016

Studio Ghibli’s Isao Takahata on His Films, the Animation Industry and Long Friendship With Hayao Miyazaki

4 February 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Though you’d be hard-pressed to get him to admit it, Japanese animator Isao Takahata is one of the most influential artists in the medium, alongside his longtime collaborator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. His career reached a pinnacle last year when his film “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” was nominated for an animated feature Oscar. Takahata, 80, will be honored at the Annie Awards on Saturday, Feb. 6, with the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement alongside Phil Roman and the late Joe Ranft.

In your long career, what have been your biggest joys and biggest challenges?

Both my biggest joys and biggest challenges relate to the first feature-length theatrical film I directed: “Little Norse Prince Valiant” (1968). This project was extremely challenging in terms of the content to be expressed and the imagery in order to represent the story. And, for me as a novice director as well as »

- Terry Flores

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When Marnie Was There movie review: girls have adolescent angst too

3 February 2016 9:00 AM, PST | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

Enchanting, startling; a rare story about a girl at a precarious age. Full of that exquisite Studio Ghibli sorcery that captures the beauty of the ordinary. I’m “biast” (pro): love Studio Ghibli’s films

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It’s another enchanting animated film from Studio Ghibli, but this one is really special. Less overtly fantastical than some of Ghibli’s other projects — though it’s still primarily a ghost story — When Marnie Was There is grounded in an adolescent reality that we almost never see onscreen: that girls have a rough time, too, in the transition from childhood to adulthood, and in finding a path through conflicting and confusing emotions to our own true identities.

The details of her pain are doled out slowly, over the course of her story, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Ghibli’s Isao Takahata declines invitation from the Oscar Academy

3 February 2016 8:59 AM, PST | AsianMoviePulse | See recent AsianMoviePulse news »


The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences extended an invitation towards the director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli last summer, after his nomination for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, for “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”. However, the 81-year-old filmmaker declined, citing that he is “being too busy at work”

In that aspect, the Academy’s recent effort to promote diversity seems to have started quite some time before the recent ruckus.

Hayao Miyazaki has received an invitation at least four times, and the third co-founder of Studio GhibliToshio Suzuki, received one in 2014. However, Miyzaki and Kunio Kato are the only Japanese directors to win an Oscar, the first for “Spirited Away” and the second for the animation short “The House of Small Cubes”.

This year, the Academy has nominated Hiromasa Yonebashi’s “When Marnie Was There”, the latest production from Studio Ghibli.




- Panos Kotzathanasis

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The 100 Best Films of the 21st Century (So Far) - Part 4: #25-1

26 January 2016 11:17 PM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Our countdown of the top 100 films of the 21st Century (so far) concludes here with the top 25.

Click here for Part 1! (#100-76)

Click here for Part 2! (#75-51)

Click here for Part 3! (#50-26)

The first decade and a half of the 21st century has brought a lot of changes to the landscape of film. The advancement and sophistication of computers has made realistic computer generated effects a mainstay in both big-budget and small-budget films. The internet and streaming technologies have given big Hollywood new competition in films produced independently and by non-traditional means. We went from purchasing films on yards of tape to plastic disks, and now we can simply upload them to the cloud. Advertisements for films have reached a higher, more ruthless level where generating hype through trailers and teasers is crucial for a film’s commercial success. Movie attendance has fluctuated along with the economy, but that hasn »

- (G.S. Perno)

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7 Unforgettable Creations From the Mind of Hayao Miyazaki

5 January 2016 9:30 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Lines Up First Official Project in Retirement The Ohmu, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" (1984)Any list devoted to the creations of Hayao Miyazaki is bound to be shortsighted, since just one of his features could produce a list with over a dozen entries. Take his dazzling second feature, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind," which features no shortage of memorable creations, most charmingly the fox-squirrel sidekick Teto. But there's always been something about the menacing design of the Ohmu that has given the movie its impressive visual wonder. These gigantic, insect-like creatures are at the center of the film's conflict, as Nausicaä tries to find a way to protect them from being extinct by the humans. Despite their terrifying design, the Ohmu are relatively peaceful and compassionate, only becoming enraged and dangerous when scared or in need of survival. In »

- Zack Sharf

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Have Your Say: What Would You Like Miyazaki Hayao To Adapt?

5 January 2016 7:00 AM, PST | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

Today, January 5th 2016, marks the 75th birthday of Miyazaki Hayao. Without a doubt he is one of the finest filmmakers currently alive, in animation or otherwise, and he is also one of the founding fathers of the rightfully legendary Studio Ghibli. As this is the first "Have Your Say" this year, I was tempted to make it about 2016, but Miyazaki-San crossing into the fourth quarter of a century easily trumps a mere year of course, so this is going to be about him. And while we're at it, let's also congratulate the venerable genius, and wish him many more years! Of course I wanted to ask everyone what their favorite film by him is. But that would have been a tad too close...

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