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“Kari-Gurashi No Arietti” or “Arrietty The Borrower” is Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s latest masterpiece. A breathtaking look at what might be hidden beneath your floorboards. And if you’ve followed over the years the excellent line-up of anime titles offered by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli then rest assured: you will not be disappointed.
“Arrietty” is in fact the name of the main character. She’s a young teenager living at home with her parents, Homily and Pod. The kicker? Arrietty, Homily and Pod are the size of a human finger. That’s right! Finger-sized people living beneath your feet, hiding in your house’s every nook and cranny.
These people are called “Borrowers” and have one simple rule: never let yourself be seen by a human. Every once in a while, they venture out in the “real” world to collect some much needed supplies. A cube of sugar here, »
There is one popular conception of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki as the Japanese Walt Disney, a man who makes the ultimate family films. And, yes Miyazaki has made some particularly family-friendly movies like Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro. But all of Miyazaki's films have a strong point of view behind them, several have a sort of genuine activist bent. (Think films like Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke, for starters.) So I can't say I'm surprised to hear that Miyazaki's next film might be directly inspired by the reliance upon nuclear power in Japan, which has become a big issue in the wake of this year's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Anime News Network  points to an interview with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki who said that Miyazaki's next film is ""not the sort of work that everyone in the audience can relax and watch." He went on to »
- Russ Fischer
Anime fans and cinephiles rejoice! Gkids is presenting the complete Studio Ghibli catalog in a month long retrospective at the IFC Center from Dec 16th to Jan 12th. There will be 15 films in total spanning in release dates from 1984 to 2008 including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. The films will be presented in subtitled and English dubbed, personally, I’m going with the English dubbed. I know, I know. Gkids is presenting Studio Ghibli films in North America theatrically, not only in New York City but the retrospective »
- Rudie Obias
Gkids, a distributor of award winning animation for both adults and family audiences, is bringing a complete retrospective of films from Japan’s renowned Studio Ghibli to the IFC Center in New York from Friday, December 16 to Thursday, January 12. The run will include Us premiere theatrical engagements for several titles. All fifteen Studio Ghibli feature films produced between 1984 and 2008 will be presented, including Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award® winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Films will be shown in both the subtitled and English dubbed versions. Gkids recently entered into agreement with Studio Ghibli to handle North American theatrical »
- Pietro Filipponi
To celebrate the release of The Lion King 3D in theatres and on Blu-Ray, Thn talked to the film’s legendary producer, Don Hahn. A veteran at Disney, his other work incudes Beauty & The Beast, The Emporer’S New Groove and The Little Mermaid.
Q – If you were doing The Lion King right now in 2011, instead of 17 years ago, do you think it might be different? Would the technology now be useful to do something else you planned many years ago and couldn’t have done?
A – Don Hahn: There have been huge technical advances in animation since we made The Lion King back in 1994, so no doubt we would have approached the movie in many different ways. I doubt that it would have affected the story, but the execution of the film would have been different. I’m not even sure that we’d make it a CG film. »
- John Sharp
Robert here w/ Distant Relatives, exploring the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.
Heroes, Real and Imagined
"The Lord of the Rings" was originally published in 1954, eight years before the release of the film Lawrence of Arabia. Technically it came first. Then again T.E. Lawrence rode through Arabia in 1916 besting J.R.R. Tolkien's adventure by 38 years. Really, if you wanted to continue down this path you'd have to go back invention of the epic hero tale itself. This is why these films make for a fascinating fit. They are, arguably, the greatest cinematic epic based in realty and the greatest cinematic epic based in fantasy. They have similarities as a direct reflection of their status as epic hero storytelling, and similarities so specific they transcend that label. Then there are the differences. You won't see me use the term "reluctant hero" here because Lawrence, though he may get there eventually, »
If you ask your average man on the street what the greatest animation studio in the world is, chances are that just about every one of them will tell you it's Pixar, the people responsible for "Toy Story," "Wall-e" and a raft of other crowd pleasing favorites.
Ask hardcore animation buffs, though, and you may be surprised to hear another name altogether -- the name of Studio Ghibli.
For those of you who don't know your otaku from your elbow, here's a quick refresher course: Responsible for such classics as "Princess Mononoke," "Ponyo," "Howl's Moving Castle" and Oscar winner "Spirited Away," Studio Ghibli is headed by legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, who has been compared by »
- Scott Harris
Edgar Wright's latest epic project  has him partnering with Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Joss Whedon, Bill Hader, Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante, Greg Mottola, Harry Knowles, Rian Johnson and, probably, several of you. Like all of us, Wright has a bunch of classic and cult films he's never seen. Unlike all of us, he has the means to see them for the first time on the big screen and will do just that in December  at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles during Films Edgar Has Never Seen. The director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World asked both his famous friends (some of which are listed above) and fans to send in their personal must see lists and, from those titles, Wright came up with one mega list from which he'll pick a few movies to watch December 9-16. After the jump check »
- Germain Lussier
Being a Christian in the 21st century is difficult at the best of times. Even without Mel Gibson constantly putting his foot in it, or Westboro Baptist Church spitting venom at the very people they are supposed to be helping, we have to contend with a media backlash whenever a seemingly ‘Christian’ film is released.
The problem seems to be that people don’t mind Christianity per se: if people are Bible-bashing in the streets, they can ignore them or talk back. What they resent, or appear to resent, are films with Christian undertones – allegories or parables which introduce Christian beliefs or ideas in a supposedly secular context. When The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe came out in 2005, The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee accused it of “invad[ing] children’s minds with Christian iconography… heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.” Ouch. »
- Daniel Mumby
Fans of Criterion’s Eclipse line of DVDs have no doubt already taken notice that a new box set was just added to the catalog last week – Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara. With its vivid orange and pink packaging, it practically leaps off the shelf into your hands, like a plump juicy grapefruit just begging to be squeezed. And though I’m an unabashed promoter of the series, finding something to like in every set and film I’ve seen so far, I have to say that I’m particularly enthusiastic about this collection. Though the films were all shot in the 1960s, the variety of topics, the liveliness of the action and the vitality of their cinematic techniques makes this one of Eclipse’s most exciting and attractive sets to date for contemporary audiences that like their entertainment to veer recklessly on the wild side. »
- David Blakeslee
It’s hard to fathom that Brave, Pixar’s next feature film, is still almost a year away. To date, fans have seen the exciting, yet deliberately non-revealing, teaser trailer , a few concept images , and that’s about it. The D23 Expo changed that, though, as attendees got a much better idea of what June 22, 2012 holds. Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian presented footage on Saturday while production designer Steve Pilcher and art director Tia Kratter explained the visuals on Sunday. Combining the two panels, we learned a ton of new information. Is the Pizza Planet truck in the movie? When does the film take place? What visuals changed with the new director? After the jump, read 10 brand new Brave facts. 1. Brave takes place in the 10th Century It was more or less common knowledge that Brave takes place in ancient Scotland but there wasn't confirmation of specifically when. »
- Germain Lussier
The seventh cinema review in our series takes us to a boho picturehouse in Tours, where you can pair Korean gems and auteur classics with the town's best chocolate eclairs
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On location: In the historic part of Tours, a Brighton-sized historic French city in the heart of the Loire Valley, an hour south of Paris by train. Streets away from the magnificent Catholic cathedral of Saint Gatien, built between 1170 and 1547, the grandiose museum of fine arts, and the most lovely adjacent park, conveniently surrounded by traditional bakeries if one fancies a croissant or a mille-feuille.
Crowd scene: Although it is known locally as a boho cinema frequented by teachers, academics, serious artists and other not-so-fun types, don't be misled: plenty of students are also thrown in the mix, and parents often take their children to kid-friendly sessions. »
- Jessica Reed
Having caught Spirited Away as a teenager, complete with pig parents and a rather spiritless American voice-over, I was clearly ill-equipped to take it in – distracted as I was by Pixar and their at that time peerless pixels. All that changed, however, when I discovered Howl and his absolutely enchanting moving castle.
For those of you who, like a younger me, haven’t discovered Studio Ghibli yet (there’s always one), Howl’s Moving Castle follows the various misadventures of Sophie (Chieko Baishō/Emily Mortimer), a beautiful 18 year-old hat-maker with confidence issues. Unintentionally attracting the attention of Howl (Takuya Kimura/Christian Bale), Sophie invokes the jealous wrath of the Witch of the Waste (Akihiro Miwa/Lauren Bacall), who curses the young haberdasher with »
- Steven Neish
To celebrate the release of Studio Ghibli’s latest film, Arrietty, in UK cinemas we’re taking a look back at some of the studio’s classic with a Video Vault series.
Grave of the Fireflies appears as somewhat of an anomaly when rummaging through the Ghibli back catalogue. Whilst the franchise’s other serious features such as Princess Mononoke and Nausicca have tackled adult themes, they have done so through subtle symbolism, softened against a fantasy backdrop. Grave of the Fireflies, however, is so emotionally charged that its raw and unflinching approach in its portrayal of warfare demands it be taken seriously.
Re-visiting this beguiling tragedy for the Video Vault has brought back memories of just how heart-breaking »
The latest offering from Japan's Studio Ghibli is a gentle, entrancing version of The Borrowers
Compared to flashier 3D animated kids' movies, this hand-drawn tale might seem antiquated, but if you'd rather your child left the cinema with a sense of wonder than an ambition to become a monster-truck driver, this is for you. It's produced by Japan's eminent Studio Ghibli, and although it doesn't match previous hits such as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke in terms of epic scale or adult appeal, it bears many of their hallmarks: bright, detailed animation, earnest escapism and a plucky young heroine. The scale is the opposite of epic, in fact: the film is based on Mary Norton's 1950s Borrowers novels, in which miniature people live like mice under the floorboards. Here, the simple acquisition of a sugar cube takes on the suspense of a bank heist. Arrietty herself is a mini-teen »
- Steve Rose
It’s the latest animated feature from Studio Ghibli, and it’s rather lovely. Here’s our review of the gentle, charming Arrietty…
Based on The Borrowers by British author Mary Norton, Arrietty is the latest box of delights from the Japanese masters of animation, Studio Ghibli. It’s a slight tale of tiny people struggling for survival in a world dominated by the towering hulk of humans. Arrietty is a young girl of such diminutive stature that she can barely reach above a cat’s paw, and could conceivably be eaten by a rat. She lives with her equally tiny father, Pod, and her mother, Homily, in a makeshift hovel located deep beneath the floorboards of a sprawling period house.
The microscopic world of improbably small folk is something that filmmakers have struggled to bring to the screen in the past, whether it’s in previous adaptations of The Borrowers, »
Think of the last Hollywood family animation you saw that had a female character in the lead role. Now try to think of one that wasn't about a Disney princess. See the problem? We're supposed to have just lived through a new golden age of animation, but clearly it has been one where boys are better than girls. You can't chuck a pair of 3D glasses across a multiplex without hitting a male hero: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Rango, Ice Age, Despicable Me, the list goes on. Even with Pixar, the undisputed kings of computer animation, it's pretty much a guy's world: Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Up, Ratatouille, Wall-e – if anything, »
- Steve Rose
0:00 - Intro 9:10 - Headlines: Spike Lee to Direct Oldboy Remake, Neil Burger to Direct Uncharted, The King of Kong Remake Will Be a Mockumentary? 23:18 - Review: Horrible Bosses 48:50 - Review: Bad Teacher 1:09:30 - Trailer Trash: Jack and Jill 1:18:35 - Other Stuff We Watched: Cedar Rapids, Unknown, The Stunt Man, Princess Mononoke, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Just Go With It, Gulliver's Travels, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Hot Coffee, Transcendent Man, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story 1:50:10 - Junk Mail: Mystery Melody and Character Themes, Medical Story, Time Travel Movies, Criterion Recommendations, It's Garry Shandling's Show, TV Shows that Grow On You, Canadian TV, Might as Well Junk 2:31:10 - This Week's DVD Releases 2:33:00 - Outro » Download the MP3 (72 Mb)  » View the show notes  » Vote for us on Podcast Alley!  » Rate us on iTunes! »
Despite the patronage of Disney and John Lasseter, the work of Hayao Miyazaki has never quite made the impression abroad that it has in its native Japan, where his films number among the all-time biggest grossers: in the U.S. 2009's "Ponyo" is his most successful film, despite the raves given to "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away." At the same time, it has at least been demonstrated now that there is an audience for both his films and those of his professional home, Studio Ghibli, and it's now common for those films to get a U.S. release, even if Miyazaki himself… »
Studio Ghibli, London
If you've never stepped into the universes of Hayao Miyazaki and co, it's time you discovered what you're missing. These aren't just some of the best animated children's movies ever made; they'e some of the best movies full stop. The vibrant fantasy worlds, airborne adventures and noble junior heroes of Studio Ghibli's movies fascinate kids, but they're richer, more challenging and more psychedelically epic than most of what passes for grown-up fantasy. Avatar looks like Mr Men compared to, say, Princess Mononoke – which deals with similar themes with considerably more nuance. Having first championed them 10 years ago, the Barbican brings back Ghibli classics, from Laputa: Castle In The Sky and My Neighbour Totoro (the best one for young viewers), right up to previews of their latest, Arrietty, a version of The Borrowers.
Barbican Screen EC2, Wed to 31 Jul
Liverpool Arabic Fim Festival
Partly as a result of the Arab Spring, »
- Steve Rose
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