THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA
KAGUYAHIME NO MONOGATARI
2013, GKIDS, 137 min, Japan, Dir: Isao Takahata

What may be the final film from Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata is one of the Japanese animation studio’s very best. A bamboo cutter discovers a tiny girl in a bamboo shoot and adopts her as his daughter, but the old man’s attempts to raise her as a princess are at odds with the girl’s homespun nature. This beautiful fantasy, based on a Japanese folktale, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. “Exquisitely drawn with both watercolor delicacy and a brisk sense of line.” - Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times.


WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE
OMOIDE NO MÂNÎ
2015, GKIDS, 103 min, Japan, Dir: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

In the latest animated marvel from Studio Ghibli, 12-year-old Anna (Sara Takatsuki) spends the summer in a small seaside town, where she discovers an abandoned mansion. She later meets one of the house’s previous inhabitants, a blond girl named Marnie (Kasumi Arimura) - whose connection to Anna is deeper than it first appears. Ghibli’s usual visual splendor and a fine score by Takatsugu Muramatsu add a touch of mystery to this reflective drama about family and memory.


THE ILLUSIONIST
2010, Sony Pictures Classics, 80 min, France/UK, Dir: Sylvain Chomet

Director Sylvain Chomet (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE) adapted an unproduced script by French comedy legend Jacques Tati to create this animated delight. In 1959, magician Tatischeff (Jean-Claude Donda) follows his dwindling fortunes from Paris to a remote Scottish island, where he meets young Alice (Eilidh Rankin), who is so amazed by his illusions that she follows him to Edinburgh. “The magically melancholy final act of Jacques Tati's career.” – Roger Ebert. In French, English and Gaelic with English subtitles.


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