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Author Topic: In Memoriam - Isao Takahata, and Studio Ghiblifest 2018  (Read 107 times)

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Offline blingdenston

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高畑 勲 Takahata Isao, October 29, 1935 April 5, 2018

Just got in after a miserable day to find out that Isao Takahata has passed on. Takahata was one of the founders of Studio Ghibli, director of the devastating and beautiful Grave of the Fireflies and the incredibly charming My Neighbors the Yamadas as well as a personal favorite of mine, Pom Poko.

While his long-time collaborator and co-founder of Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, specializes in fantasy tours-de-force, Takahata flitted from subject to subject and style to style...adaptations of European classics, family comedies, surrealist environmental pieces, meditations on war and loss, Japanese myth...he did it all. He was also laser-focused on the struggles of the oppressed and dispossessed, leading the unionization of the animators at Toei Studios in the 50s and focusing his storytelling efforts on victims, underdogs, revolutionaries and children.

This year and the year before, Fathom Events here in the States has been holding a 'Studio Ghiblifest', playing a Ghibli film a month in three showings (two dubbed, one subbed). I was lucky enough to finally get to see Castle in the Sky for the first time last year, as well as a blockbuster showing of Kiki's Delivery Service and (as kind of a side-benefit) a big-screen showing of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (directed by Miyazaki). This year, they're continuing the 'fest with a 2018 version, starting last month with the 10th anniversary celebration of Ponyo (which I quite liked!) This year, they're also doing some Takahata films, Pom Poko and Grave of the Fireflies.

I'm going to update this thread each month with info on the films before I go and see them, and I'll encourage folks to go see the ones I like (which is most of them).

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