Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Miyazaki Madness

The Studio Ghibli Collection 


Hayao Miyazaki is an established Japanese film director and animator.  And he is also the co-founder of Studio Ghibli whose films are being celebrated this month at the Landmark California Theatre in Berkeley!

The film festival opened last Friday, September 14th with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984).  This movie features a princess with the spirit of a warrior and the heart of a servant.  Nausicaa practically carries you along in her glider as she navigates a post-apocalyptic world filled with poisonous gases, gigantic bugs, and friends who help her triumph.  The entire theatre was clapping by the end credits of this fantastical story.

I'm personally drawn to Miyazaki's films because of the way in which he captures the emotion of the characters through both their illustration and dialogue.  From the very beginning, Nausicaa is presented as a heroic princess with a true love for her father and all living creatures.  Even the son of a competing clan becomes enamored by her deep sense of compassion and does everything he can to aide Nausicaa in bringing peace back to a ravaged land.

Nausicaa was an excellent choice for the debut of Ghibli's collection.  My husband and I, along with many other film fans, laughed, cried (a little, yes), and sat back in awe during parts of this marvelous nugget of Miyazaki artistry.

The Landmark Theatre is located on 2113 Kittredge Street in Berkeley, California.  The films are all in Japanese (with English subtitles) and upcoming Studio Ghibli titles include:

  • Today 9/19:  Only Yesterday (1991)
  • Thurs 9/20-Fri 9/21: Spirited Away (2001)
  • Sat 9/22: Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Sun 9/23-Mon 9/24: My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Tues 9/25: Pom Poko (1994) & Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • Wed 9/26: Whisper of the Heart (1995) & Ponyo (2008)
**For more details and show time information check out:

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