A Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki
In anticipation of director Hayao Miyazaki's in-person appearance at Berkeley, the Pacific Film Archive will host a retrospective, which will showcase four special screenings of his films. Even if you already treasure Miyazaki's films on DVD, you won't want to miss this chance to appreciate their beauty as it was meant to be seen: on the big screen. All films will be shown in the original Japanese 35mm prints with English subtitles.
For tickets to these four screenings at the PFA Theater, visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/miyazaki_2009.
For information, call 510-642-1412; to charge-by-phone, call 510-642-5249.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
My Neighbor Totoro / Tonari no Totoro
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1988)
Drawing on elements of Miyazaki's own childhood, Totoro is set in the country outskirts of Tokyo in the 1950s. It was a time when, as the director puts it, "television was yet to have been brought into the home," and two girls, Satsuki and Mei, discover wonder in the secret spirits of the forest that only they can see. The first Miyazaki film to receive significant theater and video release in the United States, Totoro, even considering the youth of its intended audience and its ties to particular Japanese beliefs, is a film abundantly open and charming to people around the world, of whatever age. —Carl Horn
Written by Hayao Miyazaki. (87 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, Courtesy Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Tuesday July 14, 2009
Porco Rosso / Kurenai no buta
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1992)
With resonances in the wartime stories of Dahl and Hemingway, Porco Rosso is an often whimsical adventure where the light heart of Miyazaki's previous films is nevertheless entering the shadow that would, five years later, cover his dark anime Princess Mononoke. Based on a comic the director drew for a model-building magazine about Marco, a (literally) pig-headed aviator who hunts pirates over the Depression-era Adriatic, Porco Rosso is touched with glimpses of rising Fascism, and ironic postcard views of the same Croatian coastal towns that would come under destruction during the making of the film. —Carl Horn
Written by Hayao Miyazaki, based on his manga The Age of the Flying Boat. (93 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, Courtesy Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Sunday July 19, 2009
Castle in the Sky / Tenku no shiro Laputa
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1986)
Perhaps the best pure adventure story ever made in Japanese animation, Castle in the Sky is a tale worthy of Jules Verne. In an imaginary Europe of a century ago, Pazu is a boy inventor who dreams of following the path of his explorer father who once sighted Laputa, a floating island built by a vanished advanced civilization. When Sheeta, a mysterious girl bearing a pendant connected to Laputa, literally falls into Pazu's mining town, the children become caught up in a race against both good-natured aerial pirates and ruthless government agents to claim the secrets of the castle in the sky. —Carl Horn
Written by Hayao Miyazaki, based on the writings of Jonathan Swift. (123 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, Courtesy Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Tuesday July 21, 2009
Princess Mononoke / Mononoke Hime
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1997)
Princess Mononoke combines animist myths, Japanese folklore, a matriarchal heroine, and a "green planet" ethos for an epic cinematic experience. It achieves one of animation's — and cinema's — most wonderful effects: to fabricate a world, immaculately realized, that is at once unbelievable and believable. In a long-ago Japan, a war is raging for the future of the earth, one that sets the animal kingdom against humanity, nature against pollution, and harmony against chaos. Two humans stand between the worlds, and amidst the bloodshed: San, a feral child raised by wolves, who considers herself animal and humans her enemies; and Ashitaka, a man whose peacefulness hides a great power, and an even greater curse. Inspired by Asian folklore and medieval Japanese legends (as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh), Princess Mononoke may have its roots in tales past, but Miyazaki invests it with a refreshingly modern (and progressive) agenda. —Jason Sanders
Written by Hayao Miyazaki. (133 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, Courtesy Buena Vista Home Entertainment)