CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – The master animator and film legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) announced his retirement after his latest film, “The Wind Rises.” He is often called “Japan’s Walt Disney,” but there is more to him then that, a soul and a mystery that is revealed in the stages of his animated art, and his contribution to artistic culture will continue to influence for generations to come. “The Wind Rises” is nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.
CHICAGO – As “The Wind Rises” plays film festivals this month and plans for a stateside release (we truly hope) by the end of the year, it has been announced that the Studio Ghibli film will be the last directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. One of the most important creative voices in the history of cinema is closing the book on his career, although his influence will be felt for decades to come, especially as his son, who directed the recently-released on Blu-ray and DVD, “From Up on Poppy Hill” carries on his legacy.
CHICAGO – I usually avoid this kind of hyperbole but I adore the best of Studio Ghibli and know their entire catalog well and so I feel I can say it — “My Neighbor Totoro” is one of the best family films of all time. Hayao Miyazaki’s gentle variation on “Alice in Wonderland,” has everything that we identify with Ghibli, including a respect for nature, magical sense of fantasy, and importance of family.
CHICAGO – The torch is being passed at Studio Ghibli from the great Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away”) to his son Goro, who directs this week’s tender “From Up on Poppy Hill,” certainly not one of the best in the Ghibli canon but a well-made, enjoyable melodrama nonetheless. A full awareness that it’s kind of a cheap melodrama (one of the characters even says so) doesn’t change the fact that it is but the young Miyazaki’s visual palette is notably beautiful and the voice work is strong throughout.
Film News: Patrick McDonald, CFCA Present ‘Spirited Away’ at Gene Siskel Film Center on July 13, 2012Submitted by PatrickMcD on July 11, 2012 - 2:56pm
CHICAGO – The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago are teaming up to present “Castles in the Sky,” a 15-film series of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, highlighting the exquisite work of Ghibli animator Hayao Miyazaki. As part of the series, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will introduce and lead a post-film discussion of Miyazaki’s classic, “Spirited Away,” July 13th at 6pm.
CHICAGO – Fans of the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and his magnificent Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, have a cinematic treat in store this summer. The Chicago Film Critics Association has teamed up with the Gene Siskel Film Center at 164 N. State St. to present “Castles in the Sky”: a 15-part retrospective showcasing the studio’s best work to date.
CHICAGO – Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend and his company Studio Ghibli should be as revered as Disney. They have given moviegoers around the world so many incredible gifts such as “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke.” When Mr. Miyazaki only produces or writes instead of directing, such as with the new “The Secret World of Arrietty,” the results are less magical than otherwise but there’s still a lot to like in this gentle, sweet family film.
CHICAGO – Hayao Miyazaki has made some of the most magical, wonderful films in the history of animation. He is easily one of the medium’s most influential and talented filmmakers and one need look no further than this week’s special edition releases of “Castle in the Sky,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Ponyo,” the last of which comes in a Blu-ray/DVD combo. Pick them all up.