CASTLES IN THE SKY: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli Meetups

From: user 1.
Sent on: Monday, May 7, 2012 10:15 AM

The Belcourt has an amazing retrospective of films from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli animation house from June 1st-13th.  These imaginative and beautiful films are really something special.  (More information on the Belcourt site)  Here are the scheduled meetups for the films, with detailed synopses after listed dates:

Sunday June 3 4:30PM: Spirited Away (Dubbed, 2003)

Sunday June 3 8:45PM: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Subtitled, 1984)

Wednesday June 6 8:45PM: Kiki's Delivery Service (Subtitled, 1989)

Sunday June 10 12:40PM: Howl's Moving Castle (Dubbed, 2005)

Sunday June 10 8:30PM: Pom Poko (Subtitled, 1994)

Monday June 11 7:00PM: Spirited Away (Subtitled, 2002)


Spirited Away on Sunday, June 3 at 4:30 PM (Dubbed, 2003)

Wandering through an abandoned carnival site, ten-year-old Chichiro is separated from her parents and stumbles into a dream-like spirit world where she is put to work in a bathhouse for the gods, a place where all kinds of nonhuman beings come to refresh, relax and recharge. Here she encounters a vast menagerie of impossibly inventive characters — shape-shifting phantoms and spirits, some friendly, some less so — and must find the inner strength to outsmart her captors and return to her family. Combining Japanese mythology with Through the Looking Glass-type whimsy, SPIRITED AWAY cemented Miyazaki’s reputation as an icon of inspired animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling.  (There will also be a meetup for the subtitled version on Monday, June 11 at 7 PM.)

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind on Sunday, June 3 at 8:45 PM (Subtitled, 1984)

The debut film from Hayao Miyazaki, NAUSICAÄ is considered by many to be his masterwork — and there are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur. Set in a devastated future world decimated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects, NAUSICAÄ is the story of a young princess, both brave and innocent, whose love for all living things and passionate determination to understand the processes of nature lead her into terrible danger, sacrifice, and eventual triumph.

Kiki's Delivery Service on Wednesday, June 6 at 8:45 PM (Subtitled, 1989)

The beloved story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and set out into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her life journey with her chatty black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a sea-side village, where a bakery owner hires her to make deliveries. Rarely has the animator’s art been so brilliantly rendered as in this delightfully imaginative film – a beautiful and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world.

Howl's Moving Castle on Sunday, June 10 at 12:40 pm (Dubbed, 2005)

Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. But after this chance meeting, the young girl is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.


Sunday June 10 8:30PM: Pom Poko (Subtitled, 1994)

In this brilliant and often overlooked Studio Ghibli masterpiece, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object. The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food – until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and other magical creatures descending on the city — in an abundance of fantastical characters that would not be matched on screen by Studio Ghibli until Spirited Away.

Spirited Away on Monday, June 11 at 7 PM (Subtitled, 2002)

(See synopsis under meetup for dubbed version above)

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