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1-20 of 113 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

Fantastic Fest ’15 Review: The Boy And The Beast

8 hours ago | Destroy the Brain | See recent Destroy the Brain news »

There are great places to start for anyone unfamiliar with Japanese animation.  You need a basis for visuals like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, for action like Ninja Scroll or Redline, but I wouldn’t know where to send someone for heart and humor.   I’m sure most people would say Hayao Miyazaki films are the way to go, right?  See, I’m not a big anime fan.  I’ve got favorite films like those above, and there are series I adore like Cowboy Bebop, but I’m not anxious or often hunting new items. Mamoru Hosoda is a director I’m not familiar with, but after seeing the trailer for The Boy and the Beast a while back and hearing nothing but raves, I was ecstatic when it was added to the Fantastic Fest roster.  It didn’t disappoint.

A nine year old boy has run away from »

- Mike Hassler

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9 Famous Japanese Anime Films That Are Basically Just Porn

2 October 2015 1:56 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

All Productions

To say that Japanese customs seem somewhat strange to those in the western world is a drastic understatement. Kids spending fortunes at the dentist getting their teeth knocked wonky (a bizarre current fashion trend) and buying underwear from vending machines (pretty handy, you must admit), to the suicide forrest, which is exactly what it sounds like – life in Japan is so far removed from life as we know it that most of us simply can’t believe what we read.

But even the existence of the aforementioned forrest seems less crazy when you consider that suicide has been engrained in Japanese culture since the days of the samurai and their hara-kiri rituals, and you have to look at the art form that is Japanese anime in much the same way. Adult themes have been slowly working their way into anime since Japanese artists started experimenting with the medium, »

- Phil Archbold

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Busan: Studio Ghibli Feted at Festival

1 October 2015 5:06 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Studio Ghibli may celebrate its 40th anniversary this year by quietly ceasing feature filmmaking. But its place in animation history is secure. On its 20th anniversary, the Busan festival is recognizing the company as its Asian Film Maker of the Year.

Founded in 1985, Studio Ghibli is the most successful company in the history of the huge Japanese animation industry, if success is measured by box office numbers and international prizes. Most of those prizes and numbers belong to studio co-founder and mainstay Hayao Miyazaki, who also gave Studio Ghibli its name from a WWII Italian aircraft, with ‘Ghibli’ being an Arabic word for the hot desert winds of North Africa.

Miyazaki and his co-founders — animator Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki — intended to blow fresh winds through an industry focused on making quick profits from cheap entertainment for kids.

From the beginning, Ghibli aimed higher, with quality feature animation that »

- Mark Schilling

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Watch: Check Out These Wonderfully Vintage Hand-Drawn Ads from Studio Ghibli

30 September 2015 6:12 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

If there's a man out there (or company) that can hawk a product to children and adults alike, it's Hayao Miyazaki and his decades-long animation house, Studio Ghibli. From Asahi beers to the famed Studio Ghibli museum, this collection of ads that ran from 1992-2015 offers a glimpse into the wonderful world of Miyazaki's bygone pencil, paper and film era. Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Confirms Retirement, Says Studio Ghibli Not Making Any More Feature Films »

- Ruben Guevara

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Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: The Boy And The Beast, Hosoda Mamoru's Best Film To Date

27 September 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

If The Boy And The Beast doesn't cast away any doubts that Hosoda Mamoru will become the new king of Japanese animation, I don't know what will. Ever since Miyazaki Hayao stopped making feature films, the world has been eagerly waiting to see who will assume the throne, and Hosoda has always been a strong contender. Since his breakout hit The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), every one of his films has achieved greater commercial success and critical acclaim than its predecessors. But with The Boy And The Beast, Hosoda has managed to reach new heights yet again and deliver his best film to date. The story (scripted by Hosoda himself) is about a young boy called Ren who accidentally enters Jutengai, a place populated by beasts. There, he adopts...

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Film Review: ‘The Boy and the Beast’

23 September 2015 8:39 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

One lucky human will decide which of two anthropomorphic (m)animals — unruly ursine Kumatetsu or his well-behaved, half-boar rival Iozen — gets to rule an exclusive parallel realm in “The Boy and the Beast,” the latest hyper-imaginative anime marvel from “Wolf Children” director Mamoru Hosoda. While Studio Ghibli maestro Hayao Miyazaki shifts his attention to CG and short-form toons, Hosoda (who’d been attached to direct “Howl’s Moving Castle” at an early stage) nobly forges ahead with the labor-intensive art of hand-drawn animation, serving up an action-packed buddy movie that strategically combines several of Japanese fans’ favorite ingredients: conflicted teens, supernatural creatures and epic battles. Although only festival auds and genre devotees will show much interest abroad, locals have flocked to see how Hosoda has supercharged elements of “Digimon” (the series where he first gained notice) to deliver his highest-grossing domestic hit to date.

Whereas “Digimon” was rightly criticized for being an opportunistic “Pokemon” rip-off, »

- Peter Debruge

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Miyazaki Returns For "Boro" Short Film

22 September 2015 6:22 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Though he's retired from features, Japanese animation genius Hayao Miyazaki hasn't given up the pen just yet with word today that he and CG animator Yuhei Sakuragi are teaming for a short film that will be screened at Studio Ghibli's museum.

This will mark Miyazaki's first animated project since his 2013 final feature "The Wind Rises". The as-yet untitled has previously been announced before, but no details were available.

Today came word of Sakuragi's involvement along with details about the short which will deal with a hairy caterpillar named Boro that Miyazaki previously sketched in 1995. Production house Steve N' Steven is reportedly participating in the making of the film.

Whether the short will be fully CG, or hand-drawn with CG touches, is unknown at this point. It will eventually be screened at the Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo.

Source: Variety »

- Garth Franklin

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Hayao Miyazaki Teaming With Yuhei Sakuragi to Make ‘Boro’

22 September 2015 6:17 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Tokyo – Animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki is teaming with CG animator Yuhei Sakuragi to make a short film, Miyazaki’s first animation since his 2013 feature “The Wind Rises,” Japanese media reports.

A previously announced project, the as-yet untitled short is set for screenings at a museum in Tokyo dedicated to the work of Studio Ghibli, the animation house Miyazaki co-founded in 1985. Following his September 2013 retirement from feature filmmaking, Miyazaki said that the short would be made using CG and about the adventures of a hairy caterpillar named Boro that he previously sketched in 1995


Appearing on the Nico Nico video portal site on Sept. 21, Sakuragi revealed that he was working with Miyazaki on the Boro project. He will presumably help Miyazaki, who stayed with traditional 2D hand-drawn animation throughout his career, make the leap to CG. Whether the film will be fully 3D and CG or have a hand-drawn look made with the aid of CG technology, »

- Mark Schilling

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Student Academy Awards: Meet the Winners

18 September 2015 2:41 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrated the winners of the 42nd Student Academy Awards on Sept. 17 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. After a week full of industry activities, Variety caught up with each of the winners to discuss the inspiration behind their films, the directors they look up to and the lessons they’ve learned from their time in Hollywood.

Alternative winners ChiHyun Lee and Daniel Drummond, second and fourth from left, with “Big Hero 6’s” Chris Williams, Don Hall and Roy Conli. Daniel Drummond, “Chiaroscuro,” Chapman Univ. (Gold, Alternative)

How did you develop the concept for “Chiaroscuro”? I was watching a robotics competition…and I was amazed at how people could get emotionally involved in something completely inanimate. So I took upon myself the challenge of making a visually abstract film where characters were shape shifting clouds or flames, but didn’t »

- Andrea Seikaly

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Busan: Japan's Studio Ghibli Named Asian Filmmaker of the Year

17 September 2015 8:19 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The 20th Busan International Film Festival (Biff) is to present its Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award to Hayao Miyazaki’s Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Studio Ghibli was founded by My Neighbor Totoro director Miyazaki and Takahata Isao, who directed recent Oscar-nominated animation The Tale Of Princess Kaguya.

Studio Ghibli has produced 21 films including Howl’s Moving Castle and Berlinale Golden Bear winner Spirited Away, which also picked up the 2003 Oscar for best animated feature film.

Biff organizers said: “Studio Ghibli has produced numerous masterpieces with an extended production period, providing a stable production system as well as training successors for the development of animations.

“The studio has also left a significant mark through activities concerning environmental protection, peace, and the future of children.”

To mark the occasion, Biff is screening My Neighbor Totoro in the Open Cinema section and Takahata’s Only Yesterday in the Wide Angle – Animation Showcase »

- (Jean Noh)

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Studio Ghibli Honored With 2015 Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award

17 September 2015 7:28 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Isao Takahata's 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' Takes Top Prize at Fantastic Fest The Busan International Film Festival has chosen Studio Ghibli as the 2015 recipient of their Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to an "Asian filmmaker that has significantly contributed to the development of the Asian film industry and culture." Studio Ghibli was founded 30 years ago by directors Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, and it has a well-established reputation for its significant animated achievements with films like "Spirited Away," which won an Academy Award, and "Grave of the Fireflies." In celebration of Studio Ghibli's award, the Busan International Film Festival will screen Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro" as part of their Open Cinema slate and Takahata's "Only Yesterday" in the animation showcase. Studio Ghibli's most recent film, "When Marnie Was There," opened earlier this »

- Aubrey Page

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Japan’s Studio Ghibli Named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at Busan

16 September 2015 9:22 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Venerable Japanese cartoon company Studio Ghibli has been named as Asian Film Maker of the Year by the Busan International Film Festival.

The festival will present its annual award at a ceremony during the upcoming festival (Oct 1-10) to be attended by chairman and producer Suzuki Toshio.

The festival plans to screen Miyazaki Hayao’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988) in the Open Cinema section and Takahata Isao’s Only Yesterday (1991) in the Wide Angle – Animation Showcase section. Before the festival proper gets under way the Busan Cinema Center will play a further 18 Ghibli titles in a special ‘Spotlight on Studio Ghibli’ section, Sept. 21-27.

Most previous recipients of the prize have been individuals, including Andy Lau, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Yash Chopra, though an award to a company has one precedent. In 2005 the festival gave the award to Japanese public broadcaster Nhk.

Ghibli was founded 30 years ago by directors Takahata Isao »

- Patrick Frater

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25 Best Directors In The World Right Now

11 September 2015 11:36 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Miramax Films

The world is full of talented filmmakers: creative, innovative, and inspiring. And then there are the talented filmmakers, those who seem to launch these attributes into the stratosphere with everything that they produce, constantly pushing the boundaries of cinema as we know it. If that sounds like hyperbole, then maybe that’s okay; cinema is all about being bold, and the best and bravest filmmakers deserve to be feverishly recognised.

So for every unnecessary remake, sequel and “re-imagining” (ugh: the worst) that finds its way into the world via some hack, there’s another person out there waiting with an antidote – a film that actually means something, that dares to tell a proper story, and doesn’t resort to explosions and wacky cameos and scenes where lots of cars crash into each other.

And it’s the following 25 directors – the best in the business – who are consistently offering »

- Sam Hill

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Daily | Initiatives | Poitras, DuVernay, Scott

10 September 2015 12:19 PM, PDT | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

"Citizenfour director-producer Laura Poitras is teaming with Aj Schnack and Charlotte Cook to launch Field of Vision, a documentary unit that will commission and create 40 to 50 episodic and short-form nonfiction films each year," reports Variety's Dave McNary. Meantime, Selma director Ava DuVernay has launched a distribution company, Ridley Scott's launching a genre label, Hayao Miyazaki is building build a children's nature retreat on a remote island in southern Japan and Takeshi Kitano's overseeing a new online magazine. » - David Hudson »

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Today in Movie Culture: Michael Jackson in 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' Hayao Miyazaki's Theme Park and More

8 September 2015 11:00 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:   Movie Takedown of the Day: In honor of a new M. Night Shyamalan movie coming out, Honest Trailers happens to The Happening:   Alternate Dimension Movie of the Day: What if Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol starred in Guardians of the Galaxy in the 1980s? Peter Stults designs alternate dimension movie posters imagining other era castings for everything from Fantastic Four to Bridesmaids. See the lot at Live for Films.    Movie Character Lesson of the Day: Learn how to be James Bond with these seven simple steps:   Alternate Dimension Theme Park of the Day: In a perfect world, Hayao Miyazaki really would have his own Disneyland-like theme park, as...

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- Christopher Campbell

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Hayao Miyazaki Lines Up First Official Project in Retirement

3 September 2015 7:07 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Returning from Retirement for Computer-Animated Short Hayao Miyazaki broke the hearts of millions last year when he announced his retirement from filmmaking, but news has slowly been indicating that the Studio Ghibli co-founder isn't completely done with the spotlight yet. After reports surfaced that Miyazaki was allegedly working on his first CGI animated short film, Japan's Kyodo news service has confirmed that the director has lined up his official first project in retirement: A nature sanctuary for children on a remote Japanese island. Miyazaki's films have long had a spiritual connection to the natural world, and now he's set to explore that theme quite literally by building a children's nature retreat on Kumejima Island, which is located about 55 miles west of Okinawa. A majority of the details are being kept under wraps, though the plan is for a two-story building to accommodate about 30 people. Miyazaki is spending $2.5 million. »

- Zack Sharf

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Oscars: David Hill & Reginald Hudlin to produce Academy Awards

1 September 2015 1:54 PM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

The motion picture academy announced Tuesday that TV exec David Hill and film producer Reginald Hudlin will produce the 88th annual edition of the Academy Awards that will air live on ABC on Feb. 28. While Hudlin oversaw last year's non-televised Governors Awards, which honored Harry Belafonte, Jean-Claude CarrièreHayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, it is the first time for either to be involved with the main event. Job one for this newly formed producing team will be to find a host.  -Break- Related: Ricky Gervais is your #1 choice to host the Oscars (and they need him) Hudlin was a producer of 2012 Best Picture nominee "Django Unchained." He also wrote and directed the hit 1990 comedy "House Party." On television, he executive produced "The Boondocks" and directed episodes of “Modern Family,” “Murder in The First,” “New Girl” and &l...' »

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Iconic director Spike Lee, Hollywood legends Debbie Reynolds and Gena Rowlands are getting Honorary Oscars

27 August 2015 12:50 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Do the Right Thing director Spike Lee and Hollywood screen legends Debbie Reynolds and Gena Rowlands are finally receiving Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will pay tribute to these three influential cinema icons by giving them Academy Honorary Awards later this year.

A ceremony will be held in their honour at Hollywood's Grand Ballroom as part of the seventh annual Governors Awards on November 14.

Filmmaker Lee has received two Oscar nominations in the past, for Best Original Screenplay in 1990 for Do the Right Thing and Best Documentary in 1998 for 4 Little Girls.

Lee made a name for himself with gripping stories of African-American life early in his career in She's Gotta Have It and Jungle Fever, among other hits.

In more recent years, he also turned his lens to the horror genre with Oldboy and big-budget thriller Inside Man.

Reynolds became one of the enduring stars of »

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Gena Rowlands, Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds to Receive Governors Awards Oscars

27 August 2015 9:36 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds and Gena Rowlands will be honored Nov. 14 at the seventh annual Governors Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted the awards at their Aug. 25 meeting. Following tradition, AMPAS reps withheld the announcement until they could notify the recipients.

This is the second time the Academy opted for only three nominees. The org can salute up to six people each year: four honorary Oscars, and one apiece for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Thalberg Award, which goes to a producer for their body of work. It’s generally been four honorees, except for 2011, when there were three.

Despite the Acad’s recent attempts to increase international membership, it’s an all-American lineup. And while Rowlands and Lee have worked for major studios, they made their name in the indie world. In reflecting the Academy’s diversity push, the trio consists of two women »

- Tim Gray

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Check Out This Artist's Nifty Concept for a Studio Ghibli Theme Park

26 August 2015 1:08 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

What would the magical world of Hayao Miyazaki look like if it actually came to life? That's what Miyazaki superfan and Japanese artist/animator Takumi asked before he conjured the idea for a Studio Ghibli theme park, simply titled "Ghibli Land," as an ode to the director know as the Walt Disney of Japan. While Spain recently announced plans to unveil a theme park dedicated entirely to The Smurfs in their tiny village of Juzcar, it's hard to imagine Japan wouldn't also jump at the chance to assemble a monument to one of the greatest animators who has ever lived. Tokyo's Ghibli Museum, however, is already partly a theme park known for its interactive Cat Bus for kids. (Takumi wants to make that concept into a monorail.) While the acclaimed Ghibli figurehead may be too humble to conceive of an entire theme park built around his work, Takumi spoke with »

- Ruben Guevara

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003 | 2001 | 1999

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