Studio Ghibli

BFI 59th London Film Festival – Top Picks for 2015

Next month sees the return of one of the UK’s most prolific film festival, The London Film Festival (LFF). Taking place between 7 and 18 October, the festival will show over 230 films in more than 16 venues over the capital.

Witchcraft Wednesdays: The Salving Calm of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

In a month full of horror and malevolent covens and blood-curdling scares, I offer now the soothing respite of Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful and serene Kiki’s Delivery Service. Possibly Miyazaki’s most under-appreciated film, it is surely his most modest, which I mean as a compliment. It is the epitome of Miyazaki’s quiet filmmaking, letting the soft emotion and warm aesthetics of the animation do most of the talking. The fact that Kiki is a witch is rather beside the point, because this is a coming-of-age story for a young girl committed to helping others but forgetting about herself.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya - Isao Takahata

Cannes 2014: ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ a beautiful but floundering anti-fairy-tale

Taking many of its features from Studio Ghibli mainstays, Isao Takahata’s latest film The Tale of Princess Kaguya tackles an age-old folktale from Japan, bringing the studio’s warmth and childhood imagination to a mythic scale. It’s based upon The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter with a visual style imitating children’s storybooks or perhaps the scroll of the tale itself. It’s an act of wonderment to be in the presence of fluid, beautiful hand-drawn animation in a time clamoring for more and more computers at play, but the nostalgic value only barely supersedes its rough-and-tumble approach to adapting the anti-fairy-tale to the big screen.

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