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As this year's Toronto International Film Festival comes to a close, we gather one last round of notable reviews of notable films: new work by Liv Ullmann, François Ozon, Isao Takahata, Denys Arcand, Sophie Barthes, Alan Rickman, Im Kwon-taek, Anne Fontaine, Ken Jacobs, Manoel de Oliveira, Bent Hamer, Ann Hui, James Franco, Andrew Lau, Andrew Niccol, Wang Xiaoshuai, Claire Denis, Michael Winterbottom, Lone Scherfig, Peter Chan, Mario Martone, Zhang Lu, Naji Abu Nowar and more. » - David Hudson »
As a die-hard Studio Ghibli fanboy, I always feel like I'm way behind when I finally see the latest film they originally released a year ago in Japan. But I'm so glad I finally caught up with Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya, originally released in Japan in November of 2013, but just now making its way to North America thanks to the Toronto Film Festival. I'm even happier I saw the original version with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles, the way it was meant to be seen, rather than the dubbed version coming up for the Us. It's a wonderful film, incredibly charming and so much fun to watch. Of course, the animation is remarkably beautiful, unlike anything I've seen before - hand-animated to look like old watercolor scrolls. Based on the classic Japanese folk story of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, the film tells the full »
- Alex Billington
Nathaniel's adventures at Tiff. Day 1
Are documentaries about filmmakers that are at least in part documentaries about the making of particular films, just giant infomercials? Can they ever not be even when they're good? The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary about Studio Ghibli in Japan made me desperate to see Miyazaki's final picture The Wind Rises. And I've already seen it!
Kingdom purports to be about Studio Ghibli but is actually much closer to a profile of Hayao Miyazaki and his regimented and consistent working methods: he works from 11 Am to 9 Pm exactly Mondays through Saturdays; he storyboards all of his movies in chronological order while they're in production (no actual screenplays) so no one, including him, knows how they'll develop and end; his daily routine includes a walk in which he waves to the children of the animators in the in-house nursery and a trip to the »
- NATHANIEL R
★★★☆☆There's been much discussion this year of the winding down of beloved Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, with the two founding fathers, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, hanging up their pencils. Both found fitting, if unspectacular, ways to bow out; first was Miyazaki with the soaring The Wind Rises (2013) and now Takahata follows suit with the evocative fable, The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari, 2013). An appropriately melancholic swansong, it blends the director's prior occupations and provides a perfect canvas for a final visual flourish. Taking Eastern watercolours as inspiration, the aesthetic is impressionistic and painterly with a fluidity that imbues the piece with an intrinsic magic.
- CineVue UK
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
Directed by Isao Takahata.
Based on a tenth-century folk tale, an old man finds a princess in a bamboo who is only the size of a finger.
A bamboo cutter is out in the forest where he encounters a mysterious bamboo chute which contains a miniature princess; when his wife takes hold of the magical discovery it transforms into a normal size human baby. The couple soon realize that the original form of their adopted daughter is what she is meant to become; they are added in their mission by bamboo stalks appearing that when chopped unveil a vast of amount of gold nuggets and a variety of fabrics that are meant to be turned into luxurious robes. Within a blink of an eye the baby has a series of growth »
- Trevor Hogg
Magic happens here, and though Mami Sunada isn’t the first documentary filmmaker permitted to observe toon maestro Hayao Miyazaki in his creative element (the others have been for TV or homevideo bonus features), she couldn’t have picked a better time: GKids-acquired “Kingdom of Dreams and Magic” observes the making of Miya-san’s final feature, “The Wind Rises,” while elsewhere in the studio, business partner and friendly rival Isao Takahata, struggles to complete his own career capper, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya.”
Though suitable for audiences of all ages, Sunada’s “Kingdom” isn’t so different from the merchandising coming out of Ghibli these days: Yes, kids will be interested, but it’s really aimed at the adult fans. Not until the film’s last 10 minutes, and even then for no more than 40 seconds, does she insert footage from Miyazaki’s incredible oeuvre — a filmography that includes “Spirited Away, »
- Peter Debruge
We are three weeks away until Fantastic Fest. Kind of amazing to think about. This year, I am blessed to bring Mike Hassler with me. We will be seeing as many films as our eyeballs will see and writing as many reviews as our fingers will allow us. Take a look at the second wave announcement below and don’t forget to look at the first wave and my predictions of what might play at the fest (I didn’t fare well with the Second Wave). As before, I have included the trailers for all the films, if available, announced in this wave.
From the Press Release
Austin, TX – Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the second wave of events, special guests and film programming. Fantastic Fest 2014 takes place September 18-25th in Austin, Texas at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball. »
- Andy Triefenbach
Fantastic Fest 2014 kicks off September 18, and the second wave of films has been announced. Purgatory, Redeemer, Whispers Behind the Wall, Necrophobia 3D, Over Your Dead Body, and more are on the menu!
From the Press Release:
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the second wave of events, special guests, and film programming. Fantastic Fest 2014 takes place September 18-25th in Austin, Texas, at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball.
Get ready to be blown away by Lionsgate's latest action-packed thriller, John Wick starring Keanu Reeves, with a red carpet gala screening with Reeves and directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski in attendance. John Wick is the story of a former ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the "assassin genre. »
- Steve Barton
The lineup for the second wave of films at 2014′s 10th Annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas has arrived, and with it a potential Oscar contender, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. The film, a pulpy crime film about an embedded journalist (Jake Gyllenhaal), will make its U.S. premiere at the festival with Director and Writer Gilroy in attendance.
Fantastic Fest has also released a lineup that includes John Wick, an action/thriller starring Keanu Reeves (Reeves will be in attendance), Takashi Miike’s latest Over Your Dead Body and the Studio Ghibli film The Tale of Princess Kaguya. This announcement comes on the heels of the first wave of films, including Sundance horror film The Babadook.
Fantastic Fest takes place September 18-25 in Austin. View the first lineup of films here. And view the full lineup of films and descriptions from this second wave below via a press release.
The Absent One
- Brian Welk
Open Road’s Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Nightcrawler will close the 10th annual Fantastic Fest in its U.S. premiere and Keanu Reeves will drop by for a gala screening of Lionsgate’s John Wick, organizers announced today. The rising genre film fest held September 18-25 in Austin, TX will open with the previously announced Tusk from Kevin Smith.
Also unveiled today along with a second wave of programming is a centerpiece bout in the Fantastic Debates, in which filmmakers, critics, and celebs engage in discourse at a podium before taking it to the boxing ring to determine the ultimate winner. This year, BitTorrent’s Chief Content Officer Matt Mason will take on a challenger to duke it out over whether the file sharing platform is a valuable tool or an enabler of piracy.
This year’s festival marks the grand »
- Jen Yamato
The 62nd San Sebastian Festival has unveiled the titles for its Zabaltegi section, a non-competitive strand featuring a variety of films, documentaries, shorts and television.
This year’s line-up will include world premieres of four features made in Spain: Virginia García del Pino’s Basilio Martín Patino. The Tenth Letter; Borja Cobeaga’s Negotiator; Francisco Sánchez Varela’s Paco De Lucía: La Búsqueda; and Pedro González Bermúdez’s documentary When Bette Davis Bids Farewell.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
This upcoming first half of September, the Toronto International Film Festival 2014 will happen again. And one of the many treats there will be The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, the Studio Ghibli film by founder Takahata Isao. As Cameron Bailey describes in his write-up on the Tiff webpage: Isao Takahata is a co-founder of Japan's legendary Studio Ghibli, maker of timeless animation classics. Although he is not as widely known in the West as Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, and Pom Poko represent the best of what animated features can do: invite us into a world where anything is possible. His new film, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, revisits a familiar Studio Ghibli theme, telling the story of a...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Tim here, with a peek at the new trailer for one of the year's biggest remaining animated releases. "Big" in the sense of "very, very small, but of peerless interest to animation buffs". Namely, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the latest film by Studio Ghibli, and the second-to-last before their indefinite leave of absence. It's just a teaser, but with less than two months before Gkids releases the film, it's probably the best we're going to get.
Director Isao Takahata's films aren't as widely known in the States as his colleague Hayao Miyazaki's, but they might honestly be better on a title-by-title basis. He favors simple, human-driven scenarios, which he then depicts using innovative, unconventional visual styles. Like this visual style, for example:
Whatever else it is, the colored-pencil look is going to make it the most unique animated film of 2014. So dramatic! The ominous music, the non-stop momentum, »
- Tim Brayton
The future of Japan's premier animation house Studio Ghibli seems to be uncertain of late, at least if recent rumours are anything to go by. But there are still a couple of films for us to look out for in the west: last month saw the Japanese release of When Marnie Was There - Hiromasa Yonebayashi's supernatural drama - a feature which probably won't reach us until next year.
Before that, there's The Tale Of Princess Kaguya. Directed by Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko), it's an adaptation of an ancient Japanese folk tale, rendered in a shimmering style akin to a living watercolour. Originally intended to be released as a double-bill with Hayao Miyazaki's swansong, The Wind Rises - just as Grave Of The Fireflies »
With the Toronto International Film Festival just two weeks away starting on September 4 and running through September 14, Tiff has finalized their full slate of films along with the film schedule.
According to a press release, additions to this latest slate include World Premieres of concert-doc Roger Waters The Wall, Theodore Melfi’s Bill Murray vehicle St. Vincent, Kryzstof Zanussi’s Foreign Body and Raoul Peck’s Murder in Pacot. Also announced are the North American premieres of James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury, Isao Takahata’s Studio Ghibli film The Tale of Princess Kaguya and the Palme D’Or winning film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Winter Sleep.
This last slate of announcement brings the total film count to a whopping 285 features and 108 shorts, including 143 World Premieres and 73 North American Premieres.
Tiff also disclosed their list of Mavericks Conversations, intimate talks with filmmakers and actors following screenings of their films. »
- Brian Welk
It seems as if the 2014 Toronto Film Festival lineup is more or less set. I'm not expecting any major additions after today's announcement and have taken another look at my current list of most likely films I'll be screening while in town, though this is largely based on title and director alone as I have yet to really dig into the titles unfamiliar to me so it's possible a few may find their way into the mix once all is said and done. That said, if you think there are some I'm missing please let me know... don't want to overlook anything. Note, I will be in Toronto from September 3-10 and expect I'll see about 18 movies maximum while I'm there. Right now the full list below is 48 movies not including the four I've already seen (but have yet to review) and the one I don't think I'll even have a chance to see. »
- Brad Brevet
The lineups for the Mavericks, Discovery, and Tiff Kids parts of the Toronto Film Festival were announced, wrapping up a series of lineup announcements for the Toronto International Film Festival.
With the added films, the festival’s entire slate is now a whopping 393 movies. Two hundred eighty-five of those movies are feature films, of which 143 are world premieres.
The Mavericks portion of the festival includes onstage discussions following the screening of each film. Do I Sound Gay? will be followed by a talk between director David Thorpe and sex-advice guru Dan Savage. Also premiering in that space is The 50 Year Argument, »
- Jacob Shamsian
Bill Murray is coming to Toronto folks. Actually, the film he stars in (Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent) is having its official World Premiere launch at the jaw-dropping 285 feature film 2014 Tiff line-up. In the final batch of items we finally get the confirmation that 2014′s Palme d’Or Winner Winter Sleep (which gets added along with a trio of others to the Masters Programme) will show, and Tomm Moore’s highly anticipated Song of the Sea (among the four item line-up for Tiff Kids) also lands. Worth mentioning are the sprinkling of add-ons to the various other sections (Marjane Satrapi’s Sundance preemed The Voices, Matt Shakman’s Cut Bank and the world preem of Danis Tanovic’s Tigers) with a Studio Ghibli docu item being fitted into the Tiff Docs, but it is the Discovery Programme that finally takes shape.
The “up-and-comers” include Berlin Film Fest (and future Nyff »
- Eric Lavallee
The 2014 Toronto Film Festival lineup got a lot stronger this morning by adding several new titles to the Special Presentations, Masters, Documentaries, Vanguard and Contemporary World Cinema selection as well as announcing the Mavericks and Discovery Programme picks. Most notable selections begin with Special Presentations additions of The Weinstein's St. Vincent starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarty and James Franco's The Sound and the Fury. The St. Vincent screening will be a world premiere and suggest Murray will be walking the Tiff red carpet... now that's a get for the fest I'm sure brings a smile to their face. In the Masters selection we have Studio Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya as well as the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Winter Sleep. The Vanguard selection has added The Voice, the lastest film from Persepolis helmer Marjane Satrapi and in the Mavericks selection »
- Brad Brevet
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