Sunday, August 27th, 2006
A couple of weeks ago we watched Kiki's Delivery Service, which Belle Waring had recommended a while back -- and this weekend we watched Spirited Away. Wow -- two great films. I think on balance I like Kiki a little better, though Spirited Away is far more ambitious and more intense of an experience, and utterly gorgeous. Kiki is more a story with characters, Spirited Away a parable with archetypes. Both are masterful examples of their respective genres -- Spirited Away however has some niggling plot holes and characters playing against type, that stuck in my craw a little.
Saturday, October 21st, 2006
We watched Porco Rosso tonight -- I liked it way better than any other Miyazaki movie I've seen to date, and I have loved every one of them. For one thing the ending is really haunting, where all of the others have finished up pretty tidily. And I just love that sort of inter-war jazz aesthetic, which wasn't in the others -- it had a similar feel to Casablanca, which worked in a really surreal way with the anime/little girl nature of Miyazaki's work.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
Two pleasant things to know about: Pixar's new movie WALL-E sounds (despite its silly title) like it's going to be really good, if A.O. Scott's opinion (and that of critics in general) is anything to go by. And, Studio Ghibli is releasing a new movie next month: Ponyo on the Cliff, directed by Miyazaki. Presumably it will take a while longer for the translation and US release to happen; but this is really exciting! I've loved the Ghibli movies I've watched so far (in the past two years, since we first found out about Kiki's Delivery Service), and it will be great to get to see one in the theater.
Pandora Brewer posted a nice, incomplete guide to Miyazaki's films over on The Great Whatsit yesterday, which inspired me to do some research. Looks like I need to watch Panda! Go, Panda!, Miyazaki's first writing credit for a feature film, which Adriana says is trippy, and Castle of Cagliostro, Miyazaki's first directing credit for a feature film, and Princess Mononoke. I was a little surprised to see that many of the Ghibli films which I think of as "Miyazaki films" are not written or directed by him, such as Kiki and The Cat Returns.
Sunday, January 4th, 2009
Saw a report today that Studio Ghibli is moving towards a North American release of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea later this year, on the big screen. Nice, something to look forward to!
(While we wait, you can watch some footage of the Japanese-language film at DailyMotion.)
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Last week, it was Photoshop Phriday at Something Awful, with the proprietors trying to assemble their favorite fictional animals out of real photographs. Results are mixed but some of them are just great -- check out this take on Miyazaki's Catbus:
I want to take a ride with Totoro! (And speaking of Studio Ghibli, I am on pins and needles waiting for Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea to hit the theaters...)
On another page, we see in quick succession Charmander, Road Runner and Wile E., and Cat Dog.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
Last night, Sylvia and I watched Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea -- very nice. You can see threads from earlier Ghibli movies in it -- Fujimoto is a lot like Howl, and the fish that he uses to retrieve Ponyo are like the gelatinous creatures who serve the Witch of the Waste -- and as Sylvia pointed out, the grumpy old lady at the retirement home is more than a little reminiscent of Sophie. Sosuke's mom made me think of Kiki grown up. (Also, maybe oddly, Ponyo's mother reminded me of the floating dream-giantess from Waltz with Bashir.) The movie is a visual tour de force in a class with Spirited Away, though I did not think the script was quite on that level of greatness; also there were some audio bits that will stick with me. HAM!
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