I just about yelled when I saw this flyer at Buffalo* yesterday. Studio Ghibli films (notably those of Hayao Miyazako) are some of the best animated films ever made. Not only are they immaculately drawn, they are full of unforgettable characters, vivid imagination, and timeless themes. Many of the peaceful natural settings trigger a kind of nostalgia for life's simple pleasures. It's hard for me to explain how much some of these films have so deeply touched me when I watched them as a teenager.. and how.. The couple of SG films I have seen feature young girls with strong wills and good hearts who go off on wildly imaginative adventures, meeting magical friends, mysterious young men, and surprisingly relatable villains along the way. Actually, much of the stories are open-ended and not fully explained, but are intricately woven, which lends to the wonder of it all. The ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary, and hope is ever-present. One could call it a childhood innocence, but they are by no means naive. And they are by no means only for children either. Studio Ghibli serves as a golden example that storytelling is truly an art.
I plan to have my kids grow up watching these, instead of Disney or whatever animated films will dominate the American film industry at that time. And, I am so, so psyched that APL has the good taste to put this on. Good to know that Austin doesn't have a narrow taste for only weird, hip, art, or local filmmaking. These free screenings are highly recommended! (I'll be there starting March 14, for Castle in the Sky)
*Buffalo Exchange- I really don't prefer going there. Second hand shops always have such a mysterious old smell about them, and their stuff isn't really that cheap anyway. And their so snooty about which clothes of yours they will take, when they've got ugly/trite pieces in their racks. I've known many people to unearth some gems there, but I do not have that drive in me. I sold a bagful of clothes (mostly from Hong Kong and Japan) for $28. I was so proud of my earnings, until I realized that I have dropped twice that price for single articles of clothing that I ended up not wearing. The more things you buy, the more money you lose.. It's a bit frustrating to me that clothes are so expensive, but then again, we (lower middle class and up) don't buy clothes for their functional purpose most of the time, we buy them for their social value. The fashion cycle sucks. Per the capitalism articles below, we are totally being duped. You'll never capture the new (which is actually always recycled = old).