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Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray)
Although it premiered 60 years ago this week at the Museum of Modern Art, Satyajit Ray‘s Pather Panchali remains among both the most accomplished of debuts and cinema’s most universally relatable experiences. Accentuating the basics of human emotions to result in the most complex of reactions, Ray’s subsequent trilogy of films follows the hardships of a Bengali boy as he passes into adulthood, a delicately powerful tale of transition that’s now been gloriously restored. »
- TFS Staff
What makes a movie character relatable? What makes them fully realized and human? In this new video from Channel Criswell, Lewis Bond offers that some of the most three-dimensional characters actually appear in animated films, specifically those of master craftsman Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl's Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”). As Bond argues early on in the nearly 17-minute video essay, Miyazaki was not content with making “shallow” films, which animated features were often given leeway to be, especially early on in the medium. Miyazaki himself stated that, “one consistent theme in my work, is watching good animation, and surpassing it.” To achieve that lofty goal, the filmmaker embraced depth, focusing on emotionally layered, realistically conceived characters. “His aim wasn’t to make films that spoke down to children. His aim was to make films that would help us all understand the human condition,” Bond states. His narration continues, “Miyazaki’s animations. »
- Zach Hollwedel
Madrid – Mexico City-based Fotosintesis Media, a joint initiative of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group and writer-director Miguel Uriegas, is producing “The Angel in the Clock,” a 2D animation film which is launching cause-driven entertainment in Mexico.
Written by Rosanna Curiel from an original idea by Uriegas, who provided concept art on Mantarraya’s first toon pic production, pre-school “The Incredible Story of the Stone Boy,” taking a co-director credit, “Angel” turns on an eight-year-old girl, Emilia, whop has leukemia, and wants to stop time. She meets Malachi, an angel who lives inside her cuckoo clock, who takes her to a magical realm, the fields of time, where hundreds of clock-castles soar to the sky, protecting human time on earth. There she learns the importance of living in the here and now, what the present can give us allowing us to fight for what we want the most.
The real world is kept pretty realistic, »
- John Hopewell
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 »
Studio Ghibli may celebrate its 40th anniversary this year by quietly ceasing feature filmmaking. But its place in animation history is secure. On its 20th anniversary, the Busan festival is recognizing the company as its Asian Film Maker of the Year.
Founded in 1985, Studio Ghibli is the most successful company in the history of the huge Japanese animation industry, if success is measured by box office numbers and international prizes. Most of those prizes and numbers belong to studio co-founder and mainstay Hayao Miyazaki, who also gave Studio Ghibli its name from a WWII Italian aircraft, with ‘Ghibli’ being an Arabic word for the hot desert winds of North Africa.
From the beginning, Ghibli aimed higher, with quality feature animation that »
- Mark Schilling
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Studio Ghibli was founded by My Neighbor Totoro director Miyazaki and Takahata Isao, who directed recent Oscar-nominated animation The Tale Of Princess Kaguya.
Biff organizers said: “Studio Ghibli has produced numerous masterpieces with an extended production period, providing a stable production system as well as training successors for the development of animations.
“The studio has also left a significant mark through activities concerning environmental protection, peace, and the future of children.”
- email@example.com (Jean Noh)
Read More: Isao Takahata's 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' Takes Top Prize at Fantastic Fest The Busan International Film Festival has chosen Studio Ghibli as the 2015 recipient of their Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to an "Asian filmmaker that has significantly contributed to the development of the Asian film industry and culture." Studio Ghibli was founded 30 years ago by directors Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, and it has a well-established reputation for its significant animated achievements with films like "Spirited Away," which won an Academy Award, and "Grave of the Fireflies." In celebration of Studio Ghibli's award, the Busan International Film Festival will screen Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro" as part of their Open Cinema slate and Takahata's "Only Yesterday" in the animation showcase. Studio Ghibli's most recent film, "When Marnie Was There," opened earlier this »
- Aubrey Page
Venerable Japanese cartoon company Studio Ghibli has been named as Asian Film Maker of the Year by the Busan International Film Festival.
The festival will present its annual award at a ceremony during the upcoming festival (Oct 1-10) to be attended by chairman and producer Suzuki Toshio.
The festival plans to screen Miyazaki Hayao’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988) in the Open Cinema section and Takahata Isao’s Only Yesterday (1991) in the Wide Angle – Animation Showcase section. Before the festival proper gets under way the Busan Cinema Center will play a further 18 Ghibli titles in a special ‘Spotlight on Studio Ghibli’ section, Sept. 21-27.
Most previous recipients of the prize have been individuals, including Andy Lau, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Yash Chopra, though an award to a company has one precedent. In 2005 the festival gave the award to Japanese public broadcaster Nhk.
Ghibli was founded 30 years ago by directors Takahata Isao »
- Patrick Frater
Forget English soap operas about upstairs and downstairs upheavals, Yoji Yamada's chronicle of a life in the little Tokyo house with the little red roof is an emotional grabber. It's the war years of patriotic acquiescence and home-front selfishness -- and a secret, forbidden romance. The Little House (Chiisai ouchi) Twilight Time Savant Blu-ray Review Limited Edition 2014 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 136 min. / Chiisai ouchi / Ship Date August 11, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Takaku Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Takataro Kataoka, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chieko Baisho Cinematography Masashi Chikamori Art Direction Mitsuo Degawa, Daisuke Sue Film Editor Iwao Ishii Original Music Joe Hisashi Written by Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, Kyoko Nakajima Produced by Tadashi Ohsumi Directed by Yoji Yamada
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
“Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can’t remember.“
Hiyao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away screens this Friday and Saturday nights (September 4th and 5th) at midnight at the Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at the Tivoli’ Midnight series.
People call Hiyao Miyazaki the Japanese Disney and Spirited Away is considered one of his very best, if not his masterpiece. The film starts like a fairly typical take on Alice in Wonderland or Narnia. A girl is bought into a fantasy world and has to find her way back. But Miyazaki takes it even further. His heroine, ten year old Chihiro is a typically modern girl, upset about moving into a new home and afraid of new changes in her life. But after her parents take a detour into a strange tunnel she finds herself trapped and worst of all, her parents have been turned into pigs. »
- Tom Stockman
The English-language version is voiced by Daisy Ridley (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), Dev Patel, Ashley Eckstein (“Star Wars Rebels”) and Alison Fernandez (“Orange Is the New Black”). The movie will be released early next year to coincide with the film’s 25th anniversary.
“With this 25th anniversary release, a broad new audience will now be able to discover what passionate supporters have known for years,” said David Jesteadt of GKids. “‘Only Yesterday’ is a groundbreaking classic and further demonstration of Isao Takahata’s incredible legacy as a filmmaker.”
GKids and Studio Ghibli previously partnered on “When Marnie Was There,” “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” and “From Up on Poppy Hill.” It also handles North American theatrical distribution for Studio Ghibli’s library of films, including “Spirited Away, »
- Dave McNary
“Choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade screens Midnights This Weekend at The Tivoli as part of the Reel Late at The Tivoli Midnight series.
In case Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade somehow passed you by in 1989, the film opens with a scene showing a young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) demonstrating his tenacity when uncovering grave robbers taking precious artifacts in Utah. The film begins properly when Dr Jones (Harrison Ford of course) is invited by wealthy Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) to help locate and recover the Holy Grail, said to grant eternal life to those who drink from it. But as Dr Jones soon realizes, he must rescue his Grail-expert father (Sean Connery) from the Nazis who also covet the Grail for their own evil purposes.
From the start, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade »
- Tom Stockman
“I tought I taw – I did! I did! I did tee Michael Jordan!”
Space Jam screens midnights this Friday and Saturday (August 21st and 22nd) at The Tivoli Theater as part of the Reel at The Tivoli Midnight Show.
There’s a great scene into Space Jam (1996) when Bill Murray makes an unbilled appearance at a basketball game with Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes. An alien creature (voiced by Danny DeVito) says, “Hey! I didn’t know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture!” Bill Murray helps out the Looney Tunes team and then leaves the scene. But he comes back later again at the end when Larry Byrd takes a seat next to Bill, who, watching Michael Jordan dribbling the ball on court, says, “That coulda been me.”
You probably remember the clever mix of live action and cartoon animation in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) which we screened last »
- Tom Stockman
“You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!”
The Wizard Of Oz screens midnights this weekend (August 14th and 15th) and at Noon on Saturday (the 15th) at The Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ Midnight Series.
I certainly can’t remember the first time I saw The Wizard Of Oz. I just seem to have always known what it was, how the songs go, and each and every character. It rightfully ranks on the list of most folks’ most beloved (if not best) of all time. I grew up with it on annual re-runs that were a big deal every Easter. The Wizard Of Oz is full of ironies. It was released in August 1939 to a somewhat indifferent audience and was not a success. Producer Mervyn LeRoy was so financially damaged he swore never to put another cent »
- Tom Stockman
“You have penetrated me. There is no escape. You are within me. Come into my center. Come into the center of the crystal!”
Zardoz (1974) screens midnights this weekend (August 7th and 8th) at The Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ Midnight Series.
In the distant future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements. Sean Connery took the role of Zed in Zardoz (1974) as a way to break out of his his James Bond image, and boy, what a crazy movie he chose! Zardoz is without a doubt one of the best bad movies that you’ll ever see – a masterpiece as far as cheesiness goes. All throughout the movie, Connery’s wearing nothing more than a red thong so basically, you’ll be seeing him as you really never wanted to see him, »
- Tom Stockman
Hayao Miyazaki fans rejoice! Nerdist announced yesterday that a collective Blu-ray boxset is being released in November of the beloved filmmaker’s work. Big news for anyone who’s been waiting to own all of Miyazaki’s films in great quality, especially his lesser known ones.
Amazon will be releasing The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on November 17 and it will contain all 11 of the director’s feature films: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises. If the films didn’t excite you enough, then these bonus features surely will, like Yuki no Taiyo (Yuki’s Sun), a 1972 pilot based on a manga by Tetsuya Chiba that Miyazaki storyboarded, animated, and directed. The set also includes the »
- Sarah Pearce Lord
Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Returning from Retirement for Computer-Animated ShortStudio Ghibli fans, rejoice! Nerdist has just announced that you can soon be the proud owner of all 11 of Miyazaki's beloved feature films, as well as bonus items like "Yuki's Sun," a 1972 television pilot animated by Miyaaki, storyboards of anime series "Little Samurai," an uncut version of Miyazaki's retirement press conference and the book "The Great Dichotomy: Looking at the Works of Hayao Miyazaki" that explores the themes of Miyazaki's work, as well as the creative proposals for each of his films. The collection will include: "Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro," "Nausicaa of the Valley on the Wind," "Castle in the Sky," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Porco Rosso," "Princess Mononoke," "Spirited Away," "Howl's Moving Castle," "Ponyo" »
- Sarah Choi
Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki may be retired (though he is working on a short film to be shown at his Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo), but the influence of his magical films still remains. French animator Dono has created a heartfelt tribute to Miyazaki's films, from the pre-Ghibli Castle Of Cagliostro to his swansong, The Wind Rises.
Blending original 2D elements from Miyazaki's films with his own Ghibli-inspired 3D environments, it's a celebration of the characters and landscapes the Japanese master created. What's particularly noteworthy is just how well all these disparate characters and worlds - the light fable Spirited Away, the harder-edged fantasy of Princess Mononoke - all blend together into one coherent sequence.
Topped off with Joe Hisaishi's music, it's a beguiling celebration of one of Japan's greatest storytellers. »
Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement following his film, The Wind Rises, and it is tough to see a master like that go, but it seems like his fans are staying together to tribute the Japanese animator.
Vimeo user dono created a tribute to Miyazaki, which combines all of his films in a insanely cool 3D world that makes you feel like you’re flying between them. Set to the score by Joe Hisaishi for Spirited Away, the video takes a look at Miyazaki’s films such as Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, and Castle in the Sky.
As a giant fan of Miyazaki’s work, it was almost emotional seeing this tribute that seemed to re-imagine the characters in a connected world and allowed you to be reminded of all the great work that he did (plus how amazing Hisaishi’s score is).
Miyazaki recentlty announced »
- Zach Dennis
Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Returning from Retirement for Computer-Animated Short Beloved animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") saddened many fans worldwide when he announced his retirement in 2013. Although he is currently working on an animated short, fans still have heavy hearts about his decision to walk away from making feature-length films. To honor the very long, successful career of Miyazaki, one savvy Vimeo user has created a tribute including characters from his acclaimed films. Using 3D settings, the tribute includes the 2D characters from films like "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "My Neighbor Tortoro." Some of Miyazaki's characters from his shorts and TV series are also featured alongside his more well-known characters. Take a ride through Miyazaki's world, courtesy of Vimeo user dono, in the tribute below. Read More: From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki »
- Kaeli Van Cott
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