December 13, 2012 |
Think of Japanese movies, and two things readily come to mind: samurai and anime. But organizers of the L.A. EigaFest - a showcase of contemporary cinema from the Land of the Rising Sun - aim to show Angelenos that the nation's filmmakers are up to much more than that. The festival, now in its second year, runs Friday through Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and features films on such topics as an unraveling supermodel, a time-traveling Roman architect and a single mother raising two werewolf children.
February 12, 2012 |
Kids — tykes, urchins, tots, moppets, bambinos, waifs, ragamuffins, cherubs and small fry — are fascinated by smallness. Consider their films: "Antz," "A Bug's Life," "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," "Toy Story," "The Rescuers," "The Secret of NIMH," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Stuart Little" and countless others. Indeed, a nod to the diminutive seems nearly obligatory if titles of children's stories are any measure: "Little Red Riding Hood," "Little Women," "Little House on the Prairie," "The Little Prince," "The Little Engine That Could," and so on. Now comes "The Secret World of Arrietty," a tale of the tiny.
August 30, 2009 |
To be a film critic at the end of August is to be a high diver poised at the end of the board. Behind you is the overheated cacophony of the hectic summer months, ahead is the cool comfort of theaters filled with the fall's smart and sophisticated offerings. Or so it's tempting to think. But what if the fall films, for all their promise, let us down? (It's happened before.) And what if movies from those earlier months turn out to be some of the best we'll see all year? It's in that spirit that some of the best of 2009 so far have been selected for your consideration.
August 29, 2009 |
The only foreign director to win the Academy Award for best animated feature, Hayao Miyazaki, 68, is the most admired and influential filmmaker working in animation today. His latest film, "Ponyo," opened earlier this month in America in 927 theaters -- a record for a Japanese animated feature. ("Ponyo" was the No. 1 box office hit in Japan in 2008, earning more than 14.9 billion yen -- more than $155 million -- to become the eighth-highest-grossing film in Japanese history.) Miyazaki's work has attracted praise not only from critics, including The Times' Kenneth Turan, but from the artists leading the renaissance in animation: John Lasseter and the other Pixar directors, four-time Oscar winner Nick Park of "Wallace & Gromit" fame, and FrÃ©dÃ©ric Back, the Oscar-winning creator of "The Man Who Planted Trees."
August 16, 2009 |
Most artists never know what their next gig will be, but color designer Michiyo Yasuda has worked with the same two people for 40 years. Born in Tokyo in 1939, Yasuda joined the ink-and-paint section of the company Toei Doga -- now Toei Animation -- before she was 20. After honing her craft working on commercials and television series, she met animation legends Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki and joined them on the production of 1968's "Little Norse...
August 14, 2009 |
You'll be planning to see "Ponyo" twice before you've finished seeing it once. Five minutes into this magical film you'll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection, that make up the enchanted vision of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. The great genius of contemporary animation, who won the 2002 Oscar for best animated feature (for "Spirited Away," which also took the Golden Bear at Berlin)