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Civilization has a way of transforming the most fundamental aspects of life into frills and indecencies. Under its oppressive, distortive might, language is deformed into florid flattery, love into empty ceremony, and faces into long-suffering canvases, from which eyebrows are painfully plucked and artificial ones drawn on just because. Culture, refinement, and sophistication — all the hallmarks of an “advanced” civilization — are put on trial in Isao Takahata's “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” an exquisite, hand-drawn marvel and an alternatingly jubilant and heartrending epic pastoral. In a strong year for animation (“Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “The Book of »
- Inkoo Kang
Excuse the absence in this column for the last few weeks. I’ve been covering the Chicago International Film Festival, catching up with a few of the Foreign Language Oscar contenders while there. Now however, many of these movies are finally making their ways into theaters, providing an extra wrinkle into the race as both critics and fans weigh in on their quality.
Birdman has finally arrived, and it’s everything the critics and the public have imagined. The film had a solid opening on just four theaters in its opening weekend, earning half a million dollars, and Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis and more have all been making the talk show rounds to promote this weird, goofy film everyone loves.
Kris Tapley went right out and handed Keaton the Oscar for Best Actor, writing “The emotional spectrum of this character, Riggan Thompson — who all actors will identify with at the end of the day, »
- Brian Welk
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya Gkids Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten. Data-based on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B+ Director: Isao Takahata Screenwriter: Isao Takahata Cast: Dubbed version: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt, Dean Cain. Subtitled version: Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto, Atsuko Takahata, Tomoko Tabata, Tatekawa, Takaya Kamikawa, Hikaru Ijuin, Ryudo Uzaki, Nakamura Shichinosuke II, Isao Hashizume, Yukiji Asaoka, Tatsuya Nakadai Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 10/14/15 Opens: October 17, 2014 If your high school World History course was like mine, you spent a little time on Greece and Rome, another few weeks on medieval [ Read More ]
The post The Tale of Princess Kaguya Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
Director Isao Takahata may not have the Oscar pedigree of Studio Ghibli's is-he-or-isn't-he-retired figurehead Hayao Miyazaki. But Takahata is a revered animated filmmaker whose latest, "The Tale of Princess Kaguya," has been unassumingly picking up festival awards and buzz and critical acclaim, and could prove a stealthy contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Here's why: In his latest Toh! arthouse box office report, Tom Brueggemann writes: Enterprising GKids has managed to break into the Oscar Animated Feature race with several foreign-made films, and this Studio Ghibli production (not from master director Hayao Miyazaki) is positioned to continue that trend. This is the best-reviewed animated film of the year (by a large margin). Its opening numbers are quite strong, particularly with the modest ad buy. This isn't at the level of the also Ghibli-made "From Up on Poppy Hill" (from Miyazaki's son) which last year did $57,000 its first weekend in two. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The most popular poster I’ve posted on Tumblr in the past three months—and actually the second most “liked” poster I’ve posted in the three years I’ve been doing this—was this Italian design by the great Luigi Martinati for a lesser known Lauren Bacall vehicle, but one in which the late star was unusually front and center. (You can see more of Bacall’s posters here.)
The rest of the top twenty are a wild variety of old (three for films from the 1920s, no less) and new (two 2014 releases). I was especially pleased to see Dorothea Fischer-Nosbisch’s superb 1967 design for a Festival of Young German Film get such attention. A lot of other design greats are featured: Saul Bass, the Stenberg brothers, Macario Gomez, Karl Oskar Blase and Josef Fenneker. And »
- Adrian Curry
Christmas has come early for fans of Studio Ghibli as the first film in 14 years by co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) begins a theatrical run at the Tiff Bell Lightbox today; the subtitled and dubbed versions of The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) will be screened allowing audience members of all ages to enjoy the adaptation of the 10th-century Japanese folktale.
One day in the forest, the simple bamboo cutter Okina finds a baby in the folds of a bamboo shoot, and brings the infant home to his wife Ona. Naming the child Kaguya and raising her as their own, the couple soon discovers that their daughter is truly not of this world: she grows at an unnaturally quick rate, and has soon matured into a beautiful young woman. Discovering a cache of gold and lavish silks in the forest that he takes as a sign of Kaguya’s royal heritage, »
- Trevor Hogg
[This is a re-post of my The Tale of Princess Kaguya review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film opens today in limited release. Please note that this review is for the original Japanese-language version, so there is no critique of the English-language dubbing or the voice acting.] Studio Ghibli’s films have always embraced the connection between nature and magic, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya continues this tradition in fine form. Writer-director Isao Takahata, who also co-founded Studio Ghibli, breaks from the company’s familiar animation style to venture into a sumi-e look that perfectly suits the story’s celebration of nature’s simplicity and magnificence. Although Kaguya does become slightly redundant in highlighting its heroine’s values before the film indulges in an abrupt revelation, Takahata and Ghibli have still found fresh life in their classic themes. A bamboo cutter is working in the forest one day when a tree begins to glow. As he approaches it, a plant blooms to reveal a tiny girl dressed in fine robes. He picks her up in the palm of his hand and takes her home to his wife whereupon the girl transforms into a normal, healthy, crying baby. »
- Matt Goldberg
Magical and melancholy, The Tale of Princess Kaguya comes from the other mad genius of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata, who co-founded the beloved Japanese animation company alongside the great Hayao Miyazaki back in 1985. Somewhat more idiosyncratic than Miyazaki — and with a darker streak — Takahata was responsible for 1988’s war drama Grave of the Fireflies, still probably the most scarring animated film I’ve ever seen, but also possibly the most beautiful. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a gentler work, and at first, it feels slighter, too. Based on an old, popular Japanese legend, it starts off like an odd little fable, but then its expansive sadness sneaks up on you.Hand-drawn, in a style that looks to my untrained eye at times like lightly colored charcoal sketches, Kaguya begins with a bamboo cutter discovering a mysterious, teeny-tiny, elegantly dressed girl inside a glowing bamboo stalk. He takes her »
- Bilge Ebiri
In the Competition at this year's Festival de Cannes, Jean-Luc Godard bid goodbye to language, while down the boulevard in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight), the master Ghibli animator Isao Takahata bid goodbye to cinema. Godard might assert it's one and the same. Certainly The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Takahata's final film and one adapted from the classic 10th century Japanese folktale "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter," leaves the earth behind; at its end, the princess who appears to a humble peasant returns to her place of birth, the moon. Yet the story is not just one of death but one of birth and maturation—and perhaps therefore rebirth.
A great, grounded realist with a firm eye but a light touch, Takahata's leisurely swan song has a rare serenity and grace. Its hand-drawn images look watercolored, loose and free, humble but full of beauty. The first act, »
- Daniel Kasman
Princess from the Moon: Takahata Bows with Feminist Spin on Fable
Following the news of Hayao Miyazaki’s possible retirement after the release of 2013’s The Wind Rises, Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata unleashes his own swansong with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Sadly, it was announced that its December release last year was not able to recoup its production budget, leading the famed studio to hint at closing its doors after other recent titles similarly underperformed. The news lends an even stronger taint of melancholy to Takahata’s gently emotional fable that subtly examines class and gender issues with all the painterly finesse of the classic tale it’s based upon.
An old bamboo cutter finds a small princess within a stalk of shining bamboo. Bringing the nymph sized creature home to his wife, it turns into an infant child that displays a rather rapid growth rate. »
- Nicholas Bell
Welcome back to ComingSoon.net's weekly movie preview and predictions column now entering its 14th year of existence. It would be nice if there was a more exciting way to kick things off then this week's offerings, but if nothing else, we have a new WWII movie starring Brad Pitt for the guys, a new Nicholas Sparks movie for the ladies and a new animated film for the kids. Oh, and we also have lots of movie for those audiences already in theaters, so who knows what anyone is going to want to see this weekend? Oh, wait, that's what I'm here for, so read on!
This week's "Chosen One" is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight), starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and more, with an Honorable Mention to Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli's animated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya »
All Japanese animation is anime, but not all anime is what we tend to think of as Anime, bright and colorful with big-eyed characters. A case in point is Isao Takahata's beautiful The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which is rendered in a muted, hand-drawn storybook style, befitting its origins as a 10th-century Japanese folktale. (There are echoes of Maurice Sendak throughout as well.)
One day, an elderly bamboo cutter (James Caan) discovers a tiny infant girl inside a glowing bamboo stalk, and brings her home to his wife (Mary Steenburgen). The infant grows at a substantially accelerated rate, eventually becoming the pretty tomboy Kaguya (Chloë Grace Moretz), who wants nothing more than to play in the woods with the local children.
Upon discovering that o »
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Directors' Fortnight. Studio Ghibli is at a real crossroads in its history. The legendary Japanese animation studio has become a respected name even in the West, thanks to a string of classics that trump even Pixar, but last year, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki debuted "The Wind Rises," the film he claims will be his final one (and certainly feels like it's putting a period at the end of a career). The better news is that Miyazaki's Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, the sort of George Harrison to Miyazaki's Lennon & McCartney, and director of the astonishing "Grave Of The Fireflies," has returned with "The Tale Of Princess Kaguya," his first film since "My Neighbors The Yamadas" in 1999. Given that he's 78, and not hugely prolific, it's possible that this turns out to be Takahata's final film too, and if that's the case, it's »
- Oliver Lyttelton
In the Us the $50 million movie from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, written and directed by (David Dobkin (The Change-Up, Wedding Crashers), took an estimated $US13.2 million, less than half Gone Girl.s second weekend.
Downey plays a glib, smart-ass lawyer who returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral only to discover that his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder.
The end of school vacation resulted in »
- Don Groves
Tim here. The Tale of Princess Kaguya , which could well compete for the animated Oscar this year, opens next week. But at that point I will be deep down in the pits of film festival madness (the Chicago International Film Festival starts today). So I want to talk about this now, lest I forget.
And that is the last thing I’d ever want to do, since Kaguya’s director, Isao Takahata, is (was?), along with Hayao Miyazaki, one of the twin gods of Studio Ghibli, though a director whose work was never as widely-known in the English-speaking world as his colleague’s. They're smaller in scale and less fantastic; one of his absolute best Ghibli-era works has never been released in the States, because the rights lie with Disney and one scene involves a discussion of menstruation, and we can’t have filthiness like that in our animation here, »
- Tim Brayton
Turning an ageless 37, the Mill Valley Film Festival, which open tomorrow (runs until October. 14th), continues to beat to a tune of its own. With the four members of Metallica serving as the Artists in Residence, thematically this year is “heavy” on award season content. While Telluride, Tiff, Nyff serve as major fall season tastemakers, Mvff is the most important one in the Bay Area in terms of visibility and campaigning due to the number of Academy members living in Northern California. And while Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman starring Hillary Swank paired with Jones and Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children are receiving spotlight showings, it’s titles such as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Jean Marc Vallee’s Wild, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, Theodore Melfi’s St.Vincent, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler and Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash that are receiving further traction. »
- Yama Rahimi
My favorite Fantastic Fest 2014 selection easily won the audience award for best film. Studio Ghibli's latest, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, is also my pick for the best feature from the Japanese animation studio. Directed by Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, it is at the surface a straightforward retelling of the 10th-century folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, perhaps the oldest Japanese story. That simple description, however belies a work of enormous artistic depth evoking powerful emotions.
A bamboo cutter working in the forest finds a glowing stalk of bamboo with a blossom that opens to reveal a tiny princess. He takes her home to raise her with his wife, and she grows with amazing swiftness from an infant into a girl of exceptional beauty and limitless talents. Believing her sent by the gods along with the gold he finds in the bamboo, the old man's vision of Kaguya's »
- Mike Saulters
In his continually eccentric series of extracurricular activities, Steven Soderbergh has posted a black and white version of Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Here's what he has to say about why:
"So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? Sounds like fun, right? It actually is. To me. Oh, and I’ve removed all sound and color from the film, apart from a score designed to aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect. Wait, What? How Could You Do This? Well, I »
"It was all very difficult..." It's not surprising that it is as wonderful to sit down and talk with the people from Studio Ghibli as it is to watch the wonderful movies they make. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Hayao Miyazaki prior to his retirement during a trip over to the Us to promote Ponyo. While up in Toronto at Tiff 2014 this year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet up with and interview Isao Takahata, the director of the beautiful film The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which was released in Japan last year and arrives in Us theaters this fall. He was wonderful to speak with, making my entire trip worth it. As with Miyazaki, the interviewed was conducted with a translator, so it's shorter than usual because it takes extra time to have both questions and answers translated. Takahata-san is an iconic animator »
- Alex Billington
From October 8 to 19, the 43rd edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma will run. This year’s lineup of 380 films (152 features and 228 shorts from 55 countries) includes 40 world premieres, 51 North American premieres and 41 Canadian premieres. The festival opens with the English language debut of Philippe Falardeau, The Good Lie and closes with the feature documentary The Salt of the Earth co-directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
Always balancing the best of local and world cinema, this year’s line-up features favourites of the festival circuit including a number of key world premieres. Some key releases include, Félix and Meira (winner of best Canadian feature at Tiff), Adieu au langage (Jean- Luc Godard), Horse Money (Pedro Costa), Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German), Jauja (Lisandro Alonso), Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg), P’tit Quinquin (Bruno Dumont), Wild (Jean-Marc Vallee), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour »
- Justine Smith
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