1-20 of 92 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Of Myth and Men: Moore Dons Skin of the Irish Selkies To Craft Stunning Children’s Tale of Family Heritage
You can probably count the number of independent animation studios still making successful culturally specific feature films on a pair of hands, and Studio Ghibli, Aardman Animations, and the Irish production company Cartoon Saloon can be tallied among them. Melding Irish myth with a wash of cinematic reference points that pay homage and inspire in equal measure, director Tomm Moore and his army of inventive artists and animators at Cartoon Saloon have crafted a wonderously imaginative film in Song of the Sea, which lifts from folk stories of the legendary ‘selkies’ that live as humans on land and seals at sea to form a sensorially stunning commentary on the importance of storytelling and unified kinship.
Much like the devastating prologue of Up or the moment of heartbreaking truth in Bambi, »
- Jordan M. Smith
Like mecca for animation buffs, the Ghibli Museum is reason enough to visit Japan.
As Variety’s resident toon aficionado, my pilgrimage began with an invitation to attend the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival (this year’s theme: animation). John Lasseter, who produced opening night film “Big Hero 6,” used his own trip to Japan as an excuse to check in with Hayao Miyazaki, master Japanese animator and head of the Studio Ghibli toon studio.
For those of us without a direct line to Miyazaki, however, the Ghibli Museum provides the next best thing.
Despite its solemn-sounding name, the Ghibli Museum is neither a stuffy, hands-off exhibition space nor a full-blown amusement park, but an enchanting cross between the two. Conceived by Miyazaki as a place where fans of his films (which include “The Wind Rises” and Oscar winner “Spirited Away”) could discover the craft that goes into making them, the »
- Peter Debruge
When you think of the films produced by Studio Ghibli, certain images inevitably spring to mind. A cat bus bounding across the fields in My Neighbour Totoro. A warrior leaping from rooftop to rooftop in Princess Mononoke. A little girl soaring high above the clouds on the back of a dragon in Spirited Away. These are moments of pure cinema, full of imagination and wonder. How appropriate, then, the title of this new documentary, that offers an unprecedented look into Studio Ghibli’s inner workings. If you’re a fan of the Ghibli canon or of Japanese animation in general, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is a must. Beautiful classical music accompanies the doc’s opening shots, as the camera floats gently through the company corridors and gardens, passing over pin-boards covered in hard-drawn sketches and storyboards. It’s a serenade to an animation house whose body of work easily measures up to the likes of »
- Tom Clift
As the Hayao Miyazaki Complete Collection arrives on Blu-ray, we look at the legendary animator's rise to international success...
When Hayao Miyazaki stepped into a Tokyo conference room and announced his retirement from feature filmmaking on the 6th September 2013, it marked the end of a career which stretched back to the early 1960s. Through such films as My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki entertained and beguiled a global audience with his lighter-than-air storytelling and captivating characters. Somehow, his films managed to be both universal and deeply personal.
Miyazaki's work is brought together for the first time in The Hayao Miyazaki Collection, which serves as lasting and handsomely-presented tribute to the 11 films he made between 1979 and 2013. But how did Miyazaki, born to a well-to-do family on the 5th January 1941, become one of the most respected animators in Japan?
Miyazaki grew up in the post-war comics boom led by the father of manga, »
Rumors of the closure of Studio Ghibli are not true, but it seems that Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki may be done with feature filmmaking for good. In a career that spanned over thirty years directing features, Miyazaki refined his own storytelling and helped change the world’s idea of what stories […]
- Russ Fischer
It Happened One Night (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray It's a busy week for new releases of 2014 movies, but I have to start with the one new release this week I hope all of you at least give a brief moment of your time. I've watched Criterion's new Blu-ray release of It Happened One Night and gone through half of the special features and it's a great release, well worth your money and with Barnes & Noble having their half-price event right now you can save $8 compared to the Amazon price, just click here.
22 Jump Street For whatever reason I thought this had already been released, but I guess not. Nevertheless, here's the sequel to 21 Jump Street, a movie that's filled with jokes about how it's a sequel to 21 Jump Street. Go ahead, buy it, I'm sure those jokes will never get old.
The Dark Half I already reviewed this Blu-ray (read that »
- Brad Brevet
Back in August we speculated on whether Studio Ghibli, the legendary animation studio behind films like Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro, might be closing its doors due to financial difficulties. Now in an interview with the La Times, the studio’s most vaulted director Hayao Miyazaki has announced that Ghibli is in fact shuttering.
“At this point, we’re not making a new film. I think we will not be making any feature films to be shown in theaters. That was not my intention, though. All I did was announce that I would be retiring and not making any more features.” Miyazaki said, deepening the blow by reiterating that he would be retiring as well.
With that news, that officially makes The Wind Rises, released wide at the start of 2014 in the Us, is indeed Miyazaki’s last movie, and that Studio Ghibli’s When »
- Brian Welk
He may have retired from feature filmmaking, but Hayao Miyazaki's pledged to carry on making animated shorts for the foreseeable future...
When Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from feature filmmaking last year, it signalled the end of a remarkable career, stretching from his debut, The Castle Of Cagliostro, to his swansong, The Wind Rises.
That body of work, which includes the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, was celebrated at a private ceremony last week, in which Miyazaki was awarded an honorary Oscar for his filmmaking achievements. The ceremony also handed awards to writers Jean-Claude Carriere, Jean Hersholt, actress Maureen O'Hara and singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte.
Happily, Miyazaki's retirement from feature animation isn't quite the end of his filmmaking career - something many suspected, given his tireless dedication to his work in the past.
At a press conference in Los Angeles, Miyazaki said that he will concentrate his energies on making short films, »
The 6th Annual Governors Awards took place on Saturday, November 8, 2014 in The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, CA.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte, Honorary Award recipient Hayao Miyazaki, Honorary Award recipient Jean-Claude Carrière and Honorary Award recipient Maureen O’Hara were honored by their peers during the evening.
The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
Pictured (left to right): Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte, Honorary Award recipient Hayao Miyazaki, Honorary Award recipient Jean-Claude Carrière and Honorary Award recipient Maureen O’Hara
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs introduces the 2014 Governors Awards
- Michelle McCue
On Saturday evening, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will bestow three Honorary Oscars, and one Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The reception will be held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland. In just a few years, the ceremony has transformed from an interesting experiment to one of the highlights of awards season.
The four recipients also represent the Academy’s push to better represent global filmmaking: Of the four, only Harry Belafonte was born in the U.S.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte has been an activist for his six-decade career, working with Martin Luther King Jr., advocating Ethiopian famine relief, fighting South Africa apartheid and recently speaking out on behalf of Trayvon Martin and demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo. He’s faced heavy blowback for a number of his positions, yet Belafonte says the costs of speaking out were far less onerous »
- Variety Staff
Anime legend Hayoa Miyazaki is set to be recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an honorary Academy Award this weekend at the Governors Awards. The 73-year-old co-founder of Studio Ghibli and director of films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises […]
The post Hayao Miyazaki will continue to make short films appeared first on Flickering Myth. »
- Gary Collinson
In "The Honoraries" we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients including Hayao Miyazaki. Here's Manuel on an animated gem...
Spirited Away, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro all wowed me on first viewing. In that sense, I agree with Tim, to choose just one Miyazaki is close to impossible. I know it will date me (more on that in a minute), but while I love what 3D animation can (and has!) done, to me, there’s nothing more exhilarating than traditional, hand-drawn animation. This may be because I come from a household where animation is the family business (little do people know that my mother owns the longest-running animation studio in Colombia) so I pretty much grew up around animators, scanners, and spent many a weekend waiting for a certain scene or episode to finish ‘rendering’ before we could head home, while perusing »
- Manuel Betancourt
Welcome to "The Honoraries" a daily miniseries honoring the careers of the three Honorary Oscar recipients of 2014 (Maureen O'Hara, Hayao Miyazaki, Claude Carriere) and the Jean Hersholt winner (Harry Belafonte). Here's Tim...
It’s annoying when people who already won competitive Oscars get tapped to receive an a Honorary award, as in the case of Hayao Miyazaki (his win was in 2002’s Best Animated Feature category, for Spirited Away, and it was hugely deserved). But, on the other hand, it’s Hayao Miyazaki. His body of work is among the strongest of any working director, and his recent retirement has caused a fundamental shift in the landscape of international animation. I can’t imagine anybody who has seen more than a couple of his films (or even just one, if it’s the right one), could possibly deny that his talent is of a magnitude that even two Oscars is… »
- Tim Brayton
Now there is a Totoro worm. Maybe you have a dog or a cat named Totoro but did you find and name a species of worm after Hayao Miyazaki’s fan-favorite character? I didn’t think so. Researchers have detailed the discovery and naming of a new species of velvet worm, found in Vietnam. Thanks to some […]
The post Wtf: ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ Provides Name for Rare Worm Species appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Tokyo — Invited to speak in Tokyo as part of the ‘Cool Japan’ cultural promotion drive, animator John Lasseter delivered a heart-felt and deeply personal tribute to Japan, Japanese film culture, and fellow animation icon Hayao Miyazaki.
“Thank you, Japan for making me who I am,” he said by way of conclusion in front of a packed theatre at the Tokyo International Film Festival on Friday.
The speech was carefully written and enthusiastically presented by a Lasseter who clearly intended to educate as much as he was there to promote. Lasseter is chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studio, and DisneyToon Studios.
He included early photographs of himself and fellow student animators at California Institute of the Arts, showed a clip of Miyazaki’s “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro,” which he described as “clever and economical” animation, but with depth. And then described how »
- Patrick Frater
The Hollywood Reporter: "Funny and heartwarming story" "Like Frozen, Big Hero 6, co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, handily defies convention in regard to presumably skewing more to one gender demo over the other. Sure, it’s got robotics and superheroes, but it also has plenty of emotional resonance and, of course, merchandising gold in the form of an oversized, huggable vinyl balloon of a Personal Healthcare Companion that bears more than a passing physical resemblance to the star of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. The appealing result should cast a very wide net for Disney, with a strong potential for future heroics." - Michael Rechtshaffen The Playlist: "Truly glorious to look at " "Whatever flaws it has are ones of over-enthusiasm and over-ambition and are therefore easy to forgive, especially because when it works, it really works [read: there were tears]. It’s a film that clearly has had lots of care »
The Wind Rises (Japan: Kaze tachinu), 2013.
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
A profile of Jiro Horikoshi (Anno/Gordon-Levitt), a Japanese engineer who designed fighter planes during World War II.
The swan song of Hayao Miyazaki…say it ain’t so!! Still, Clint Eastwood made a similar remark about retiring after Gran Torino (2008) and has still carried on. So maybe we haven’t seen the last of Miyazaki; it wouldn’t certainly be a huge loss to cinema and animation if it happens to be true. If Miyazaki has finally taken leave on his Ghibli efforts, what a way to go out. The Wind Rises is not the best the studio has produced – just because the man is leaving the business there is no need to get hyperbolic – though it is a spectacular film, »
- Gary Collinson
GeekTyrant has featured art by Joshua Budich before, but today we’re coveting this beautiful piece on display at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. His debut solo art show is called Otaku Obscura, and it pays tribute to six of the greatest animes of all time: Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke, and Cowboy Bebop. This particular work is called “To See with Eyes Unclouded by Hate” and features Princess Mononoke. The artist gave an interview to the gallery and talked a little bit about what drew him to anime.
"The hyper-stylized, frenetic animation was like a bolt of inspirational lightning to a young artist. Once I got a taste, my eyes were open to whole new world of characters and themes. No longer was I tethered to a bland, pseudo-realistic, Disney-esque approach to the drawing. Anime has had a huge influence in my work. »
- Mily Dunbar
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
Knowing a film is to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last is something you don’t really want to hear, but The Wind Rises shows why he is such a master of his art. Studio Ghibli is a company that I regard as being the best at what they do, and that is no small thing when you think of their competition. If this truly is his last film, then Miyazaki leaves us with a masterpiece.
Loosely based on the life story of Jiro Horikoshi the Japanese plane designer who created the Zero fighter plane used in World War 2 it is the story of hardship, and the effects of earthquakes, tuberculosis epidemics and economic depression on Japan that pushes them into the industrial age of war. Horikoshi’s dream was to build planes at a time when something new was needed and he had the skill to do it. Though his »
- Paul Metcalf
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