When Studio Ghibli comes up in conversation, it is inevitably co-founder Hayao Miyazaki who dominates the talk. For good reason: he’s made more movies than any other director at the studio, and his films have helped change the face of animation.
That said, while another Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata, is less prolific, his films are no less effective. Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies, which officially launched Ghibli along with Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, is a testament to the power of animation as a straight narrative form, free of genre-based embellishments. Films like Only Yesterday, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and Pom Poko (a personal favorite) tell stories of modern Japan that are unlike any other animation director’s work.
For his latest film, however, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Takahata has gone back to ancient Japanese folklore. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is the inpiration for this film, and in keeping with that starting point, Takahata’s animation is inspired by charcoal, watercolor, and sumi-e ink illustration techniques. If you think of Studio Ghibli as having a house style, footage from The Tale of Princess Kaguya will shatter that notion.
It’s gorgeous to see in motion; have a look at a trailer below.
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Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013 by Angie Han
Is there a better time than Halloween season to unveil a trailer for a horror film? The studios apparently don’t think so, as we’ve seen several hit this week alone. Devil’s Due released its first promo yesterday, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones revealed a spot earlier today, and now comes Here Comes the Devil to try and make its own creepy mark.
Directed by Adrián García Bogliano, the thriller follows two kids (Michele Garcia and Alan Martinez) who go missing during a family trip to the caves of Tijuana. Though they eventually find their way back to their parents (Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro), it quickly becomes clear that something terrible has happened to them. Hit the jump to watch the NSFW red-band trailer.
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Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 by Angie Han
Walter White completed his two-year, five-season journey last weekend, but for Walter Blanco, the fun is just beginning. Univision has just offered a first look at Metastasis, its upcoming Spanish-language remake of Breaking Bad.
Diego Trujillo leads as the chemistry teacher-turned-meth cook, while Roberto Urbina, Sandra Reyes, and Julian Arango play the Colombian versions of Jesse, Skyler, and Hank. Check out images of the cast and the first teaser trailer after the jump.
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While we’re lucky to live in a time where so many legendary filmmakers make their work and process accessible, there will always be a mystery behind some of the masters. Filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, John Ford, Frank Capra and many others passed away long before the age of video blogs, Twitter and behind the scenes DVD featurettes, leaving film fans with a precious few chances to study them in action.
Another man who makes that list is Akira Kurosawa, director of such iconic films as Seven Samurai, Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo. Kurosawa passed away in 1998, which means some of his process was documented on his later films. That includes 1985′s Ran, a Japanese epic inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear. Now, a huge wealth of footage has come online – five hours of it – featuring the master filmmaker working behind the scenes on Ran. Check it out below. Read More »
Briefly: The flirtation between Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli and a smaller distributor didn’t last long. For many years, Disney had the US distribution rights to all of Studio Ghibli’s movies. A couple years back that deal ended, however, and in 2011 rights to the Ghibli catalog went to the small company Gkids. The outfit mounted revival screenings of most of the studio’s animation slate last year, and distributed From Up on Poppy Hill, from Goro Miyazaki. (That film hits DVD next week.)
But Ghibli has gone back to Disney for US distribution of Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest film, The Wind Rises. The movie tells a dramatized version of the biography of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Zero fighter plane that became the iconic image of Japanese air power in WWII.
The film has already opened in Japan (to some controversy) but we don’t have US release info yet. Borys Kit of THR tweeted the info that Disney will distribute. The film will have its North American premiere at TIFF in a couple weeks.
Posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 by Angie Han
Broadway is about to get a dose of French whimsy. Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s 2001 romantic comedy Amélie is coming to the stage, as revealed by composer Dan Messé (of the Brooklyn-based folk group Hem). Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) and co-lyricist Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys) are also working on the project.
While the film featured a memorable score by Yann Tiersen, Messé says the play will feature new music with a different sound. “I don’t think I’m even going to use accordion in my score,” he explained. Hit the jump for more details on the show.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is the Warmest Color drew raves upon raves at Cannes this year, for its tender, intimate portrayal of two young women (Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux) falling in love. But it also raised some eyebrows thanks to its graphic sex scenes.
It’s no surprise, then, that the MPAA has stamped the drama with an NC-17 for its U.S. release. But rather than trim the movie for an R or release it without a rating at all, American distributor Sundance Selects will put Blue Is the Warmest Color in theaters with the restrictive rating intact. Hit the jump to find out why, and to get a peek at the first international trailer.
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Posted on Monday, August 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
Michel Gondry‘s Mood Indigo has hit a few locations around the globe already, including its native France and the New Zealand and Karlovy Vary film festivals. But it’s undergoing some major changes before making its way to our shores.
Australian distributor Vendetta Films has sent out a memo notifying press that Mood Indigo has been trimmed by over half an hour, and that from now on only the new, shorter version of the movie will play outside of France. Hit the jump to get more details on the shorter Mood Indigo.
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