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NFT Screenings - Japanese Animation: Manga to Miyazaki

Date: 2005 July 28 17:53

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It's always nice when you mention events before the press release is sent out, as we did with the Japanese Animation: Manga to Miyazaki season at the National Film Theatre.

The films selected are all a real treat, and anime who can get to London are spoilt for choice this August, Satoshi Kon's work is great and almost everyone would have heard about Hayao Miyazaki's superb films.

The Otaku News Crew will be attending a few of the screenings too, so if you see us (and know what we look like ^_-) don't be afraid to come up to us and say hello!

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Press release as follows:

Japanese Animation: Manga to Miyazaki

Throughout August the National Film Theatre is pleased to present a season of contemporary Japanese animation films and television work. The growing interest in this area in the UK can be traced back to the late 80s,when Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira and a host of other Manga creations hit our screens. At the same time, a growing cult interest was developing in the work of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, which had just produced its signature piece My Neighbour Totoro and family favourite Kiki’s Delivery Service. In terms of genre and themes, these films couldn’t be further apart, but what they share is a focused vision and a striving for excellence – particularly in terms of narrative structure and animation quality – that remain unrivalled anywhere else in the world.

This short season aims to offer a flavour of what is available in the world of Japanese anime, with particular focus on the work of Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai (who we are delighted to welcome in person to the NFT to talk about his work to date). We are also thrilled to be screening Otomo’s groundbreaking film Steamboy which is still enjoying huge success in Japan.

Two workshops will be held at the NFT as part of the season. The first is a ‘Bluffers Guide to Japanese Animation’ where 13-18 year olds can learn about the key figures, films and styles of Japanese animation. 7-12 year olds can also attend a session where they can learn how to create Japanese-style animations.

Season arranged in association with FLP London.

Booking information
The NFT is open to all. NFT members are automatically members of the British Film Institute and entitled to a discount on all tickets.

NFT Box Office tel: 020 7928 3232. Unless otherwise stated tickets are £8.20, concs. £6.25. Members pay £1 less on any ticket.


Films screening

Makoto Shinkai in Conversation
+ Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no koe) + She and Her Cat (Kanojo to Kanojo no neko)
Fri 12 Aug 6.20 NFT2

Voices of a Distant Star is the moving tale of Mikako and Noboru, high-school sweethearts who try to keep their romance alive against all odds. Mikako is sent into space as part of a team to save mankind from an alien threat, leaving Noboru at home with texting as their only means of contact. The further he moves away from earth, the longer the texts take to come back, and soon a whole lifetime stands between them. Made solely on a Macintosh computer, using off-the-shelf software, this is an astonishing achievement, and we are delighted to welcome Makoto Shinkai to the NFT to talk about it and his other films, including the earlier She and Her Cat.
Voices of a Distant Star: Japan 2003. 25 mins. J-Cert PG. She and Her Cat: Japan 1999.

Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek)
+ Paranoia Agent Episodes 1-3
Fri 12 Aug 8.40 NFT2

Kakurenbo by Shuhei Morita explores a sinister game of hide-and-seek played a by a group of fox-masked children. Accompanying this are the first three episodes of Satoshi Kon’s surreal TV series Paranoia Agent, which has drawn comparisons with Twin Peaks for its overwhelming strangeness and a wealth of characters who become caught up in the violence surrounding ‘Lil’ Slugger’, a kid on roller-blades who knocks out his victims with a baseball bat.
Kakurenbo: Japan 2004/Dir Shuhei Morita. 25 mins.

J-Cert 15. Paranoia Agent: Japan 2004/Dir Satoshi Kon. 3x25 mins. J-Cert 15.

Perfect Blue (Yume nara samete)
Sat 13 Aug 6.30 NFT2; Sun 14 Aug 8.30 NFT2

Satoshi Kon’s feature debut is the disturbing tale of Mima Kirigoe, a young Japanese pop idol who leaves the fickle world of music for a new career as an actress, and gets a break with a role in a sexually-charged psychological thriller. Before long, her life is turned upside down as an obsessed fan begins to stalk her and posts intimate details about her life on a website; leaving Mima in a fragile psychological state, experiencing delusions and paranoia. Japan 1997/Dir Satoshi Kon. 82 mins.

Millennium Actress (Sennen Joyu)
Sat 13 Aug 8.30 NFT2; Mon 15 Aug 6.20 NFT2

Kon’s masterly tale reveals how an aged, reclusive actress finally breaks her silence, telling her fascinating life story, which includes the secret of why she fell out of the limelight at the height of her career. A compelling combination of fantasy and reality produces a visually stunning and mature work that is particularly notable for its rich characterisation and narrative strength.
Japan 2001/Dir Satoshi Kon. 87 mins. J-Cert PG.

Tokyo Godfathers
Sun 14 Aug 6.30 NFT2; Mon 15 Aug 8.40 NFT2
As humorous as it is moving, Tokyo Godfathers is the story of three homeless people, each with a secret to hide, who are drawn together when they find an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve and decide to work together to return it home. During their journey, they learn far more about themselves and their own situations than they could have ever hoped to. Once again, it is the Kon hallmarks of quality animation and a humane, absorbing storyline that make the film such a success.
Japan 2003/Dir Satoshi Kon. 92 mins. J-Cert 12.

Sat 13 Aug 3.40 NFT2; Sun 14 Aug 3.50 NFT2;
Tue 16 Aug 8.30 NFT2

Japan’s most expensive anime picture to date uses every digital trick in the book to present its lavish 2D and 3D feel. Set in Victorian England, its story centres around a young inventor and the mysterious arrival of a steam ball, which offers an alternative source of power and could be employed to save London if used in the right way. The attention to detail in the film is meticulous: it was created using 180,000 drawings.
Japan 2004/Dir Katsuhiro Otomo. 126 mins.
J-Cert PG.

Japanese Animation: Films for Younger Audiences
Movie Magic Extended Runs

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime)

Fri 5 Aug 2.30, 6.10 NFT2; Sat 6 Aug 3.50 NFT3;
Sun 7 Aug 3.30 NFT3; Mon 8 Aug 2.30, 6.00 NFT3; Tue 9 Aug 2.30 NFT3; Wed 10 Aug 3.00 NFT3; Thu 11 Aug 2.30, 6.00 NFT3

When the prince of a small township in medieval Japan is cursed by a Boar God, he sets out in search of the Deer Spirit, who he believes can help him. His journey leads him to a mining village where a battle between the villagers and the forest animals and their spirits has reached a crucial point. A girl raised by wolves, called Princess Mononoke, leads the animals. Along with Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and the upcoming Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke is the first in a trio of masterpieces from Studio Ghibli in terms of the epic sensibilities, animation and characterisation they offer. The vivid action sequences make the film unsuitable for very young children, but as an alternative to other big-budget summer releases, this has plenty to offer.
Japan 1997/Dir Hayao Miyazaki. 133 mins. J-Cert PG. Suitable for children aged 8+. English version.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no takkyubin)

Fri 12 Aug 4.00 NFT2; Sat 13 Aug 3.50 NFT3; Sun 14 Aug 4.00 NFT3; Mon 15 Aug 2.30, 6.10 NFT3; Tue 16 Aug 2.30 NFT3; Wed 17 Aug 3.00, 6.10 NFT3; Thu 18 Aug 2.30 NFT3
Ghibli’s charming classic features Kiki, a 13-year-old witch who has to spend a year away from her family in order to learn about life and establish her independence. Armed with her trusty broom, and accompanied by her cat Jiji, she flies off to the seaside and offers a delivery service to her neighbours. However, not everything goes as planned, and as she finds her magic failing her, she must set about looking into alternative means to fulfil her tasks.
Japan 1989/Dir Hayao Miyazaki. 103 mins. J-Cert U. Suitable for all ages. English version.

Courtesy of Optimum Releasing.


A Bluffers Guide to Japanese Animation

Wed 10 Aug 1.30 NFT Study Room

Learn about the key figures, films and styles of Japanese animation.

For ages 13-16. £1.00.


Drawn Animation

Wed 17 Aug 1.30 NFT Study Room

Learn how to create Japanese-style animations.

For ages 7-12. £1.00.

Workshops: Participants are supervised throughout workshop sessions, but must be accompanied by an adult to and from our meeting place in the NFT foyer.

Source: National Film Theatre
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