Justin’s Japan: Studio Ghibli Festival Mounts Monthlong, 15-Film Retrospective

Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award-winning 'Spirited Away' screens as part of the Studio Ghibli Festival, running Dec. 16 to Jan. 12 at New York's IFC Center. (GKIDS)

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his page here for related stories.

The holidays have come early for Studio Ghibli fans.

From Dec. 16 to Jan. 12, GKIDS will host a massive four-week film retrospective from Japan’s internationally acclaimed animation studio at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.

Founded in 1985 and led by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Ghibli (based on the Arabic name for the sirocco, or Mediterranean wind) is home of some of the greatest anime films of all time, including the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away (also the highest grossing film in Japanese history), My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and more. The studio even has its own museum in Tokyo, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and showcased two of its short films at Carnegie Hall in March in a rare a one-time-only exception to its screening policy.

For this first-ever Studio Ghibli Festival, all films will be shown on sparkling new 35mm prints, including the North American premieres of Takahata’s Only Yesterday and Tomomi Mochizuki’s The Ocean Waves.

The retrospective should also whet fans’ appetites for the next Ghibli film to be released in North America, The Secret World of Arrietty. Co-written by Miyazaki and based on Mary Norton’s award-winning novel series The Borrowers, Arrietty arrives in theaters Feb. 17.

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