Saturday, 24 July 2010

Japanese film: 1

(Notes on Japan through design: 5 - Film)

A couple of posts on Japanese film. Firstly: the new Studio Ghibli film, The Borrower Arrietty, is out this month. Ghibli, and particularly helmsman and director Hayao Miyazaki, are feted outside and inside Japan. Only this week, visiting European friends were going to the Studio Ghibli Museum (near my house), while Nicolas Cage was asked about Japanese films on morning TV and mentioned his love of Ghibli films. But the love of the Studio's films is not only an outside-of-Japan view. Any Ghibli release is celebrated and promoted within Japan, and Spirited Away remains (as far as I know, and despite Avatar) Japan's most successful film.

This week, the magazine Brutus magazine was Ghibli-themed, with an interview with Miyazaki, various synopses, various approaches to the subject of the films. And, something that print design still has as a raison d'etre: a pull-out, 4-page "collectable" set of character cards from all the films. Meanwhile, Tokyo Metro has an exhibition of Studio Ghibli posters.

Personally, Studio Ghibli's fantasy works sometimes for me, and sometimes not. But I loved Totoro and Ponyo, and the realistic (non-Miyazaki) Tombstone for the Fireflies. And I'm looking forward to The Borrower Arrietty as it's based on the Borrowers books I loved in childhood.

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