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A Summer of Studio Ghibli Films: The Classics

Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises

The critically acclaimed works of Studio Ghibli has won numerous awards and recognition all over the world. This summer at the Morikami, journey into the fantastic and imaginative world of six Studio Ghibli classics with stories that touch the heart, inspire, and make us smile.

Cost: $5 (with paid museum admission) (children ages 3 and under free)
Special Summer Pass: $20 for 6 films of your choice
Location: Morikami Theater

Buy Individual Tickets $5 each$20 Summer Pass


FEATURED FILMS

© 2008 Studio Ghibli – NDHDMT

Ponyo – A film by Hayao Miyazaki
(101 min., Rated G)

Saturday, May 5, 2018 (11:00am & 2:00pm)
(Dubbed in English)

Perfect for audiences of all ages, Ponyo centers on the friendship between five-year-old Sosuke and a magical goldfish named Ponyo, the young daughter of a sorcerer father and a sea-goddess mother. After a chance encounter, Ponyo yearns to become a human so she can be with Sosuke. As to be expected with Miyazaki, the film is awash in pure unbridled imagination and visual wonder — but it is the tender love, humor, and devotion exhibited by Ponyo and Sosuke that form the emotional heart of the film. 

 


© 1988 Studio Ghibli

My Neighbor Totoro – A film by Hayao Miyazaki
(86 min., Rated G)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (11:00 am)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, June 16, 2018 (2:00pm)
(Dubbed in English)

One of the most endearing and internationally renowned films of all time, a film that Roger Ebert called “one of the five best movies” ever made for children, My Neighbor Totoro is a deceptively simple tale of two girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move with their father to a new house in the countryside. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Based on Miyazaki’s own childhood imaginings, Totoros look like oversized pandas with bunny ears and they take the girls on spinning-top rides through the tree tops and introduce them to a furry, multi-pawed Catbus — a nod to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.

But beneath the film’s playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom. As with much of Miyazaki’s work, at its core My Neighbor Totoro is about human-kind’s relationship to the Earth. The film is infused with an almost spiritual reverence for the power of nature (a philosophy tied to the ancient Shinto belief that every object in nature has a soul). Everything that surrounds us, from light-dappled tree groves, to the marvelous clouds, echoes the density and lusciousness of life. Protected by the Totoros, we know no harm will come to our two heroines in the forest’s sunlit glades and mysterious shadows. The girls may be awed by the power and majesty around them but they understand instinctively that nature has no malice. The viewer is left with a sense of wonder at the beauty, mystery and preciousness of the world all around us.


© 1984 Studio Ghibli – H

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – A film by Hayao Miyazaki
(116 min., Rated PG)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (2;00pm)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, June 16, 2018 (11:00am)
(Dubbed in English)

The debut film from Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is considered by many to be his masterwork — and there are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur. Set in a devastated future world decimated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects, Nausicaä is the story of a young princess, both brave and innocent, whose love for all living things and passionate determination to understand the processes of nature lead her into terrible danger, sacrifice, and eventual triumph.Like most Studio Ghibli films, there is neither good nor evil, but conflicting viewpoints, weaknesses, and power struggles. Throughout the film, Miyazaki’s animation is awe-inspiring; the depiction of the poisoned forest in particular is a thing of transcendent beauty. Once the hallucinogenic strangeness of shape and color has been accepted, there is light, growth and life everywhere. Huge dragonfly-like creatures are accompanied by wonderful, evocative sounds of flight and movement. The lethal fungus plants glow, shimmer and shed spores like silent gleaming snowfalls. This is a film not to be missed.


© 1989 Eiko Kadono – Studio Ghibli – N

Kiki’s Delivery Service – A Film by Hayao Miyazaki
(102 min., Rated G)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 (11:00am)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, July 21, 2018 (2:00pm)
(Dubbed in English)

From the legendary Hayao Miyazaki comes the beloved story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and set out into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her life journey with her chatty black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a sea-side village, where a bakery owner hires her to make deliveries. Rarely has the animator’s art been so brilliantly rendered as in this delightfully imaginative film – a beautiful and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world.


© 1986 Studio Ghibli

Castle in the Sky – A Film by Hayao Miyazaki
(124 min., Rated PG)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 (2:00pm)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, July 21, 2018 (11:00am)
(Dubbed in English)

A young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island in the sky, site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets. Castle in the Sky is an early masterpiece of storytelling and filmmaking whose imaginative and ornately detailed vision presaged later films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food – until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and other magical creatures descending on the city — in an abundance of fantastical characters that would not be matched on screen by Studio Ghibli until Spirited Away.


© 1994 Hatake Jimusho – Studio Ghibli – NH

Pom Poko – A Film by Isao Takahata
(119 min., Rated PG)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (11:00am)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, August 18, 2018 (2:00pm)
(Dubbed in English)

In this brilliant and often overlooked Studio Ghibli masterpiece from Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Isao Takahata, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object.


© 1995 Aoi Hiiragi / Shueisha – Studio Ghibli – NH

Whisper of the Heart – A film by Yoshifumi Kondo
(111 min., Rated G)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (2:00pm)
(In Japanese, subtitled in English)

Saturday, August 18, 2018 (11:00am)
(Dubbed in English)

Shizuku is spending her last summer vacation before high school reading and translating foreign music into Japanese. Perusing the eclectic selection of books she has checked out from the library, her curiousity is piqued when she notices that the name Seiji appears before hers on the checkout card of each one. Through a series of curious and magical incidents, she comes to meet and establishes a connection to Seiji – who has dreams of becoming a famous violinmaker in Italy, while she has aspirations of becoming a writer. As their life goals pull them in different directions, Shizuku and Seiji are determined to remain true to their feelings for one another. A masterpiece about the awakening of creative talent, Whisper of the Heart was the first and only full-length feature by Hayao Miyazaki’s protégé Yoshifumi Kondo before his sudden death at the young age of 47. It remains one of the classics of Japanese animation.


 Buy Individual Tickets $5 each$20 Summer Pass

Film Screening – American Pastime Documentary

Underwritten by the JM Foundation. Discussion led by Producer Kerry Yo Nakagawa.


DATE  
Friday, March 23, 2018
TIME   7:00pm, museum doors reopen at 6:00pm
LOCATION   Morikami Theater
PRICE   $10 (members $7)
*Advance ticket purchase required

Purchase Ticket(s) Here  

Please note: temperatures within our theater tend to drop. We recommend arriving with a jacket or sweater.


ABOUT THE FILM

American Pastime is a powerful, inspiring drama set in the 1940’s U.S. concentration camps, about a Japanese American family, whose love of country, jazz music and baseball help them find strength to survive indignity and injustice.

Audience favorite winner of the Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco with themes of redemption, tolerance, patriotism and especially humanity.

“American Pastime is a crowd-pleaser…”  Dennis Harvey, Daily Variety

“The movie culminates in a game, as it must and it’s obvious, too, who wins. The Americans.” Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times


Kerry Yo Nakagawa is an author, filmmaker and historian. Nakagawa is the author of Through a Diamond, 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball and A History of Japanese American Baseball in California. He is the project director of the non-profit Nisei Baseball Research Project, (NBRP), curator of ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ exhibit and produced curriculums with SPICE at Stanford University. He also produced multiple documentaries and the award winning dramatic narrative film American Pastime.

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