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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
Hayao Miyazaki is a master of animation who has brought us so many incredibly anime films from his Studio Ghibli production company. Some of those films include Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. Today we have a wonderful clip for you to watch from a documentary called The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, and the clip features the master at work. It shows Miyazaki animating the last shot of his final feature length film, The Wind Rises. As a huge fan of animation and the work of Miyazaki, seeing this was a really nice treat. Thanks to /Film for the video. Here's a description of the doc:
Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli – the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential »
- Joey Paur
In November 2014 Japanese Cinema lost two of its greatest: Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara. Since both legendary actors have had a great impact on the world of Japanese film and have starred in countless classic productions, I felt the need to write a short article about the matter and salute these two great actors.
On the 10th of November 2014, Ken Takakura passed away at the age of 83. He was known as the “Japanese Clint Eastwood”. Starting his career in 1955, Takakura became mostly known for his portrayal of tough but disciplined gangsters in the 1960s and 1970s. Most famous of these films is his performance as gangster Shinichi Tachibana in the Abashiri Prison series (1965-1972). This lead to him eventually working together with Sydney Pollack for the film The Yakuza (1974), his first international production.
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
Tokyo – Bunta Sugawara, who rose to fame in the 1970s playing wild-at-heart gangsters on the mean streets of post-war Japan, died on Friday at age 81 of liver cancer in a Tokyo hospital, the Toei studio announced Monday.
Born in Sendai, in northern Japan, in 1933, Sugawara entered the Shintoho studio in 1958 after leading a scuffling existence on the fringes of Tokyo’s underworld that furnished material for his later roles. When the studio went bust in 1961, he left for rival Shochiku, but his career was treading water until former-gang-boss-turned actor Noboru Ando helped him join the Toei studio in 1967.
After that he rose to stardom in Toei’s signature yakuza films, culminating with the lead role in Kinji Fukasaku’s 1973 “Battles Without Honor and Humanity.” Based on a yakuza’s memoirs of a gang war in Hiroshima and the nearby port of Kure, this film and its four sequels marked a »
- Mark Schilling
Childhood Memories: ‘Sneak Previews’
When renowned film critic, Roger Ebert, died last year, there was a huge outpouring of appreciation from film lovers around the world. He was an ambassador for cinema who introduced audiences to countless films they might have otherwise missed. Ebert and his long-time partner, Gene Siskel, started reviewing movies on their Chicago PBS affiliate back in 1975. The program was called Sneak Previews, and it laid the foundation for their hugely successful syndicated show, Siskel & Ebert, that was to follow a decade later… read the full article.
Monstervision: The Saturday Drive-In
I Got 88 Seconds and a Wookiee Ain’t One: Cinephilic Musings on the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Teaser
I had a plan, I swear. In the days leading up to November 28th, a friend and I had negotiated the logistics of seeing a movie at one of the theatres listed on J.J.’s »
Almost every winter my family and I travel up to a cabin in Wisconsin Dells, and it serves as a great middle ground for our cousins who live in Iowa. The task predictably falls to me to bring some movies for the weekend. One of the films I wanted to introduce to my extended family was Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
Within about 15 minutes of the movie beginning, my uncle was out. “That movie’s just a bit too weird for me.”
As a newly minted teenager, it’s safe to say I probably didn’t even understand the concept. Too weird? If a movie told a story and was interesting, could it also be weird? Nerdy kids at school were weird. Bugs and vegetables looked weird. And anything weird was not typically a good thing.
In fact, I had already seen many classically weird movies. The bitingly sarcastic Wicked »
- Brian Welk
★★★★★There is a scene part of the way through Hayao Miyazaki's exceptional Spirited Away (2001) in which the young girl, Chihiro (voiced by Rumi Hiiragi) helps to bathe an odorous spirit that frequents the bathhouse in which she is forced to work. Her tenacity in serving a customer that everyone else has shunned is rewarded when the spirit is revealed to have been a polluted river spirit in need of cleaning. The sequence echoes the entire film's perfect blend of Miyazaki's recurrent themes in a beautifully realised world of traditional Japanese myth. This is a magical, joyous, complex and heartstring-tugging masterpiece of cinema.
- CineVue UK
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
Oh no! Say it ain't so! Beloved filmmaker/animator Hayao Miyazaki made a rare trip to the United States this past weekend to receive his honorary Oscar during the Governors Awards. While Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's films have been nominated for Oscars in the past, including winning one for Spirited Away in 2003, this Oscar comes after Miyazaki announced his retirement so it seems The Academy wanted to honor the man and his cinematic legacy one last time. There were also a few reports earlier this year about Studio Ghibli "shutting down" feature films for good, though details were rather sketchy and it was clarified they were re-working the business rather than closing the doors forever. Now we have real quotes from Miyazaki. In general, Studio Ghibli doesn't like talking about Miyazaki's retirement or the "shutting down" rumor and requests that no one asks those kind of questions during interviews. However, »
- Alex Billington
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
The reverence people have for Studio Ghibli is astounding. This mainly has to do with people worshiping at the altar of Hayao Miyazaki, but with his (supposed) retirement from feature filmmaking, I wonder how reverent those Ghibli fans will remain. For me, I have always admired what the studio does more than actually liked their films. Sure, they have some truly great pieces of work, like Spirited Away, but most of their stuff I find very pretty, without actually connecting with them. However, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is directed by Isao Takahata, the man who made me weep like an infant with Grave of the Fireflies. I wish I could say the same about his latest outing, which is overlong and treads surprisingly familiar territory in not a very interesting way, though beautifully animated. One day a bamboo cutter while, you guessed it, cutting bamboo comes across a »
- Mike Shutt
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
Maureen O’Hara, now 94, took time to fondly remember the Hollywood greats from her past such as John Wayne and John Ford. Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki said he was just happy to be in the same room as Maureen O’Hara. Masterful screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere gave a moving tribute to Hollywood’s “forgotten” writers. And Harry Belafonte, winner of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, galvanized the industry crowd by asking them to aim higher.
Yes, it was quite a night for the four honorees of the Sixth Annual Governors Awards of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Quite a night. And the Academy got this awards season off to a roaring start with this blessedly non-televised celebration of the greats in this business who may not have always been given their due. It has also become a night for major schmoozing and networking among Academy voters and the huge numbers of Oscar hopefuls. »
- Pete Hammond
Hollywood — The 6th annual Governors Awards were held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom in the middle of Hollywood Saturday night. Previously announced honorees Maureen O'Hara, Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carrière and Harry Belafonte were of course on hand as the room teemed with familiar faces from this year's Oscar race. Jessica Chastain, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Linklater, Logan Lerman, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Arquette, Jean-Marc Vallée, Tilda Swinton, Oscar Isaac and Eddie Redmayne were just a few of the circuit's fixtures working the room, as the show has become a perennial stop on the Oscar campaign trail. "A Most Violent Year" director J.C. Chandor could be spotted talking over his upcoming Deepwater Horizon project with "The Gambler" star Mark Wahlberg. Clint Eastwood made his first appearance of the season with "American Sniper" around the corner (and was of course besieged upon arrival, ever the popular one). "Selma" director Ava DuVernay and »
- Kristopher Tapley
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
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