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Lucca – Thousands of geeks from Italy and abroad poured into the medieval Tuscan town of Lucca over the weekend for the Lucca Comics & Games fest/convention which served as a platform to promote several hot upcoming U.S. titles, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Peanuts Movie,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” and “The Hateful Eight.”
This unique event dedicated to fandom, cosplay, role-playing games and the entire cross-media universe of comics is increasingly becoming an integral part of the Hollywood studios’ promotional push in Europe, ever since its “Area Cinema” section started five years ago. Ticket sales totalled at least 180,000 for the four day meet, though figures are not final.
Disney disappointed legions of “Star Wars” fans who had been promised a “big unexpected surprise.” They waited in line for hours at dusk Saturday merely to be shown Kylo Ren’s new crossguard lightsaber, more-than-sixteen feet tall, »
- Nick Vivarelli
When Marnie Was There will be Studio Ghibli's last feature. We look at Ghibli's final films and what they mean for the future of animation.
If there’s one abiding message behind Studio Ghibli’s animated output, it’s that nothing is permanent. Happiness is delicate; summers pass; memories fade. But the brilliance of the Japanese animation house’s movies is that they find joy in the fleeting, not just melancholy. The encounter between two children and adorably rotund woodland spirits in My Neighbour Totoro is all the more special because it’s presented very definitely as a one-off: a chance meeting that can never happen again.
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1984 following the success of Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful, dazzlingly detailed sci-fi fantasy. From that point on, Miyazaki was established as the sharpest prong on Ghibli’s creative trident, the others »
It’s 1940, and the Nazi invasion of France is fully under way. A mother, father, a five-year-old girl and her tiny dog are among a throng of refugees fleeing Paris and jamming roads across the French countryside while German planes drop bombs and strafe their path with a relentless rain of machine gun fire. Soon the girl will be completely alone, her parents and that beloved dog all cut down in front of her eyes. But before she even has the chance to process what has happened (if she even can—on the most immediate level, she believes they’re only asleep), she’s given a ride by an older couple, one of whom cruelly flings the animal’s corpse, the only thing the girl has been able to save of her now-devastated familiar world, into a creek. The girl, Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), jumps off their wagon, retrieves the dog »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Founded in Tokyo in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli turns 30 this year, and while its fate in terms of future movie-making remains to be seen, the studio already has many masterpieces under its shingle. The American Cinematheque celebrates Ghibli's 35th birthday this week with a new retrospective at the Egyptian and the Aero The series features the two most recent films from Ghibli’s founders: Hayao Miyazaki’s look at a WWII aircraft designer, "The Wind Rises" and Isao Takahata’s coming-of-age folk tale "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya." The Cinematheque also revisits old favorites, from "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Princess Mononoke" to "Grave of the Fireflies" and "My Neighbors the Yamadas." Read More: Hiromasa Yonebayashi on Making Studio Ghibli Gothic 'When Marnie Was There' Here's our ranking of Studio Ghibli's best: 10. "Ponyo" (2009) was a lovely »
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
Don’t you even dare call it a “kid’s movie.”
Animation has been around for a while now, starting with silent experiments such as Gertie the Dinosaur, followed by the more traditional Disney fare such as Snow White or Cinderella, and becoming more modern with another round of Disney hits like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast but also with a touch of the outside thanks to Japanese imports like My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away.
But time and time again, the medium is relegated to kids duty. Like being sent to the smaller table at Thanksgiving dinner.
Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, said it best when he referred to animation as a medium rather than a genre. Let’s define genre real quickly: “a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form.”
So that doesn’t confine animation; instead, »
- Zach Dennis
We finish our double feature with the 1988 Studio Ghibli film “My Neighbor Totoro” by Hayao Miyazaki, the fun contrast to last week’s film “Grave of the Fireflies.” The recognizable “Totoro” serves as Studio Ghibli’s mascot, akin to Mickey Mouse and Disney. So, even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ve likely seen this character pop up in something. And now he’s popping up in our podcast. Enjoy!
Listen on iTunes!
The post Sketchy Episode 173 – ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ appeared first on Sound On Sight.
- Ryan Clagg
This week it’s the first part of a double feature. It’s the 1988 Studio Ghibli film “Grave of the Fireflies,” directed by Isao Takahata, which many describe as one of the saddest films of all time. So, it’s appropriate that Sketchy, the saddest podcast of all time (sad as in pathetic), discuss this heartwrenching film.
Listen on iTunes!
The post Sketchy Episode 172 – ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ appeared first on Sound On Sight.
- Ryan Clagg
The Tale of Princess Kaguya, 2014.
Directed by Isao Takahata.
A girl is born of the bamboo trees, and she is brought up to be a Princess …
During the Studio Ghibli season at the BFI last year, for the first time, I watched Grave of the Fireflies. Powerful, profound and deeply moving, I was in awe that this was from the same studio that brought us Ponyo and My Neighbour Totoro. Lest we forget, there are two key artists behind Studio Ghibli: the surrealist, playful and obsessed-with-blustery-winds-and-planes Miyazaki, and the sombre, heartfelt vision of Isao Takahata. It is the latter who directs The Tale of Princess Kaguya – and it is one of the finest films of 2014, balancing profound truth with dreamlike fantasy.
Based on a Japanese folk tale, »
- Simon Columb
With The Wind Rises proving a swansong for Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli’s 79-year-old co-founder Isao Takahata keeps the animation studio’s stock high, amid reports of closure, with what has been rumoured to be his own final film. This adaptation of the 10th-century Japanese folk tale Taketori Monogatari (which has previously inspired such cinematic adventures as Kon Ichikawa’s live-action Princess from the Moon) boasts a sketchier, more impressionistic palette than the bold strokes of Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, which made Ghibli a global brand.
It’s a world of charcoal lines and watercoloured hues; you can almost feel the brushstrokes upon fibrous paper as the proudly hand-drawn action unfolds, skittish motion drawing our attention to the old-fashioned artistry of key collaborators Osamu Tanabe and Kazuo Oga. »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Now that lead animator Hayao Miyazaki has apparently retired, his co-founder of the Studio Ghibli animation house, Isao Takahata, might begin to get the international recognition he deserves. The animations Takahata has directed, which include the Second World War drama Grave of the Fireflies and the wistful contemporary urban tale Only Yesterday, have tended to be less fantastical than Miyazaki's – but The Tale of the Princess Kaguya takes the viewer on some wonderful flights of fancy. »
The latest from Studio Ghibli and it's legendary co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya already delivered one breathtaking clip of it's beautiful hand drawn animation, and now we have another one which shows just how visually stunning this Oscar nominated animation is. Based on the classic Japanese folk tale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and featuring the vocal talents of Chloe Grace Moretz and Lucy Liu, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya opens in U.k. cinemas tomorrow, Marhc 20th, and in Irish cinemas on March 27th. »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the latest release from Japan’s best-loved animation studio, Studio Ghibli, has already won critical acclaim on the film festival circuit and was nominated for an Academy Award this year. It’s unlikely to excite kids, however, and I seriously doubt the matinee screenings will be populated by fidgety throngs of birthday-party groups. This is because Studio Ghibli is an odd quantity for much of its audience outside of Japan, where it has a niche but devoted following of mainly adult foreign-film enthusiasts. The film previewed this week at the only independent cinema in London’s West End, the Prince Charles, that caters primarily for obsessive film lovers. Quentin Tarantino loves the place, once saying: “The Prince Charles »
- Josh Strauss
To celebrate the cinema release of Studio Ghibli’s Academy Award nominated new film, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya on 20th March, we are giving you the chance to win exclusive Studio Ghibli merchandise and DVDs!
From Oscar-winning animation house Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, The Wind Rises) and directed by Ghibli co-founder the legendary Isao Takahata (Grave of The Fireflies), comes the spellbinding and visionary tour de force The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature), this exquisitely drawn and spellbinding story is based on the classic folk tale ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’. Studiocanal are releasing both English language and Japanese versions, the dubbed release features an all-star cast with Darren Criss, Lucy Liu and Chloë Grace Moretz (as Princess Kaguya).
For your chance to win, just answer the question below:
Who voices Princess Kaguya in The Tale of Princess Kaguya? »
- Dan Bullock
Isao Takahata makes his directorial comeback with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, his first film for Studio Ghibli since 1999's My Neighbours the Yamadas. The man behind the brilliant, emotionally-devastating Grave of the Fireflies may be in his late 70s, but on this evidence he's still able to conjure up a memorable yarn.
Based on an old Japanese folktale, it centres on a kindly wood cutter who stumbles across a tiny girl living in a bamboo shoot. Taken in by the man and his wife, she's named Princess but earns the moniker Little Bamboo from other children in the village due to her ability to magically grow at speed.
When her adopted father finds gold the family uproot to a mansion in the city and a life »
Hitting screen on this side of the pond in just ten short days, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is the latest from the legendary Studio Ghibli, directed by its equally legendary co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). Nominated for Best Animated Feature in this year's Oscars, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a retelling of the classic Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter with an all star voice cast, including Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, and Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role. As you can tell from the above clip, this hand drawn animation looks absolutely breathtaking, reminiscent of Japanese watercolours, and no doubt continues the proud Ghibli tradition of matching beautiful with a deep and meaningful story. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is released in the U.K. on March 20th, and Ireland on March 27th. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
To celebrate the cinema release of Studio Ghibl’s Academy Award nominated new film, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya on 20th March, we are giving you the chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to a back-to-back preview screening of Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Grave of the Fireflies! Both films were directed by Ghibli co-founder, the legendary Isao Takahata.
This celebration of all things Studio Ghibli will feature Japanese snacks for attendees, and additional prizes for those who bring along their most prized Ghibli possession or dress up as their favourite Ghibli character! This event will be taking place on the evening Monday 16th March starting at 6.15pm at a London West End location.
- Gary Collinson
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