Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Five animated films from Japan's Studio Ghibli coming to the Cinematheque

[Press release from the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

Last fall the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque showed eight animated features directed by Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the co-founder and foremost ambassador of Studio Ghibli, a revered Japanese animation (or “anime”) company founded in 1985.
However, Studio Ghibli also produces films not made by Miyazaki, and in the upcoming series “More than Miyazaki: Studio Ghibli’s Other Anime Masters” (January 26 – February 24), the Cinematheque will show five such works over five successive Saturday and Sunday nights. Three of the five features to be screened are directed by the studio’s other co-founder, Isao Takahata, and two are by other talents. And although Miyazaki’s work is echoed in a few of the movies (e.g., the young heroine of Whisper of the Heart, which Miyazaki co-wrote, and the ecology theme of Pom Poko), these five films are generally more rooted in the real world than in Miyazaki’s fantasy realms. They also boast some striking stylistic departures. All will be shown in new, English-subtitled 35mm prints.
All five films will show in the Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Admission to each film is $9; Cinematheque members and CIA students & staff $7; age 25 & under $6. Free parking for filmgoers in available in the adjacent CIA lot, located north of the building off of East Boulevard. For further information, call John Ewing or Tim Harry at (216) 421-7450.

More than Miyazaki: Studio Ghibli’s Other Anime Masters
January 26 – February 24, 2013
Saturday, January 26, at 9:20 pm &
Sunday, January 27, at 6:30 pm
Japan, 1991, Isao Takahata
In this subtle and lyrical animated feature by the co-founder (with Hayao Miyazaki) of Studio Ghibli, Taeko, a 27-year-old Tokyo office worker poised for a change in her life, takes a trip to her sister’s farm. As she travels and experiences the unfamiliar countryside, Taeko reminisces about the joys and sorrows of her childhood, and wonders: has she been true to the dreams of her youth? Subtitles. 35mm. 119 min.
Saturday, February 2, at 9:40 pm &
Sunday, February 3, at 6:30 pm
Japan, 1994, Isao Takahata
This animated feature by Studio Ghibli’s co-founder focuses on a group of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of changing their shapes. When a new development threatens their forest, the tanuki transform into humans and start playing tricks on the workers—in order to make them think the construction site is haunted! Subtitles. 35mm. 119 min.
Saturday, February 9, at 9:15 pm &
Sunday, February 10, at 6:30 pm
Japan, 1995, Yoshifumi KondĂ´
Co-written by Hayao Miyazaki (who also directed some of the fantasy scenes), the only feature by a promising Studio Ghibli animator who died at age 47 tells of a well-read teenage girl who discovers that all the books she checks out from the library have previously been borrowed by another individual. She sets out to find this person, thus setting off on a singular journey that will determine her future life and career. “An ineffably lovely animated ode to young love, creativity and the struggles of self-determination.” –Time Out Film Guide. Subtitles. 35mm. 111 min.
Saturday, February 16, at 9:10 pm &
Sunday, February 17, at 6:30 pm
Japan, 1999, Isao Takahata
In this charming animated feature, Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata breaks from his company’s tradition of mythic, larger-than-life stories to recount the everyday activities of an ordinary Japanese family—husband, wife, son, daughter, mother-in-law, and dog. He also departs from the studio’s detailed, saturated cel animation for a faster, more fluid, minimalist style inspired by comic strip sketches and pastel-colored watercolors. (It was the first Studio Ghibli feature created entirely on computers.) “If there’s an American analogy [to this film], it’s The Simpsons.–Time Out Film Guide. Cleveland theatrical premiere. 35mm. Subtitles. 104 min.
Saturday, February 23, at 9:05 pm &
Sunday, February 24, at 3:00 pm
Japan/USA, 2002, Hiroyuki Morita
In this spin-off from Whisper of the Heart (see 2/9-10), a young schoolgirl who rescues a cat in danger soon finds herself transported to a fantastic feline world, where the grateful King of Cats wants her to marry the animal she saved, his son. “Good-hearted, energetic, and full of Ghibli's characteristically beautiful hand-rendered animation.” –The Onion A.V. Club. Cleveland theatrical premiere. Subtitles. 35mm. 75 min.

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