THE KING AND THE MOCKINGBIRD – New Restoration!

The King and the Mockingbird 3

Widely considered one of the best animated features of all time and a masterpiece of French animation, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning THE KING AND THE MOCKINGBIRD has been cited by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as a profound influence on their work. The King is in love with a beautiful shepherdess in a painting on his wall, but she is in love with a chimneysweep from another artwork. At night the paintings come to life, and together they attempt to flee. Hiding at the top of the palace, they help Mr. Bird who’s become caught up in one of the King’s cruel traps, before leading the police on a wild chase. A story told with wit, charm, and imagination, with beautifully realized animation and rich with cultural references—Parisian and Venetian architecture, surrealist artists di Chirico and Magritte, METROPOLIS, KING KONG, and Tintin, among many—the result is a delightful marriage of story and image which animation lovers will recognize as the inspiration for Studio Ghibli. (83 mins.)

New digital restoration by Studio Canal.

 

THE KING AND THE MOCKINGBIRD screens Friday, January 30 through Sunday, February 1 in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Japanese Currents: THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS

The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams 1

Studio Ghibli, Japan’s most influential animation studio and one of the world’s most famous, is the subject of this fascinating documentary. With a heavy focus on the production of master animator and studio chief Hayao Miyazaki’s final film THE WIND RISES, Sunada explores the nuts and bolts of producing an animated feature from start to finish. Seeing the storyboards, drafts, sketches, work shopping, and experimentation provides a deep appreciation of Miyazaki, his craft, and his honored place in the world of animation. “The atmosphere inside Studio Ghibli may suggest a zen-like idyll, but animation is a painstaking—and sometimes painful—process…Sunada’s tour of the ‘Kingdom’ makes us appreciate the magic all the more.”—Variety. (118 mins.)

THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS screens Saturday, December 6 at 7pm and Tuesday, December 9 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Classics from Studio Ghibli: CASTLE IN THE SKY on 35mm!

Castle in the Sky

A rare opportunity to see one of Miyazaki’s most stunningly beautiful, exciting, and infrequently screened films. A young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant falls out of the sky 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. (124 mins.)

CASTLE IN THE SKY screens Thursday, March 27 at 7pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics from Studio Ghibli: SPIRITED AWAY on 35mm!

Spirited Awaypic

Miyazaki’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece was the biggest box office hit of all time in Japan and a film that helped redefine the possibilities of animation for American audiences and a generation of new filmmakers. Wandering through an abandoned carnival site, 10-year-old Chichiro is separated from her parents and stumbles into a dreamlike spirit world where she is put to work in a bathhouse for the gods, a place where all kinds of nonhuman beings come to refresh, relax, and recharge. Here she encounters a vast menagerie of impossibly inventive characters—shape-shifting phantoms and spirits, some friendly, some less so—and must find the inner strength to outsmart her captors and return to her family. Combining Japanese mythology with THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS-type whimsy, SPIRITED AWAY cemented Miyazaki’s reputation as an icon of inspired animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling. (125 mins.)

SPIRITED AWAY screens Saturday, March 22 at 4:30pm and 7:15pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics from Studio Ghibli: PORCO ROSSO on 35mm!

Porco Rosso

This unsung Miyazaki treasure nestles a tale of morality and identity inside a soaring airborne adventure—a tribute to early aviation and the reckless flyboys whose home was the open sky. Set in a mid-World War II Italy swept by fascism, the film follows Marco, a world-weary flying ace turned bounty hunter who plies his trade above the waters of the Adriatic. Somewhere along the way a curse has transformed Marco’s head into that of a pig, reflecting his loss of faith in humanity. Marco meets his polar opposite in the innocent and energetic 17-year-old Fio, an aspiring airplane designer, and the two are catapulted into an airborne adventure pursued by air pirates, the Italian army, and an egotistical American flying ace. (94 mins.)

PORCO ROSSO screens Saturday, March 22 at 2pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics of Studio Ghibli: PRINCESS MONONOKE

Princess Mononoke

A landmark of animation and a film of unsurpassed power and beauty, Miyazaki’s epic story of conflict and balance between humans, God, and nature has been universally acclaimed by critics and broke the box office record on its original release in Japan. While defending his village from a demonic boar-god, the young warrior Ashitaka becomes afflicted with a deadly curse that grants him superhuman power in battle but will eventually take his life. Traveling west to find a cure and meet his destiny, he journeys deep into the sacred depths of the Great Forest, where he meets San (Princess Mononoke), a girl raised by wolf-gods. Mononoke is a force of nature, riding bareback on a great white wolf and terrorizing the human outpost of Iron Town on the edge of the forest. (134 mins.)

PRINCESS MONONOKE screens Saturday, March 15 at 4:30pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics of Studio Ghibli: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO on 35mm!

my-neighbor-totoro

The third Studio Ghibli feature tells the story of two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe, who move with their father into a new house near a vast forest to be closer to their ailing, hospitalized mother. Discovering wondrous forest spirits and dust bunnies, they also encounter Totoro, a giant lumbering bunny-esque creature. “Here is a children’s film made for the world we should live in, rather than the one we occupy. A film with no villains. No fight scenes. No evil adults. No fighting between the two kids. No scary monsters. No darkness before the dawn. A world that is benign. A world where if you meet a strange towering creature in the forest, you curl up on its tummy and have a nap. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO has become one of the most beloved of all family films without ever having been much promoted or advertised.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. (86 mins.)

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO screens Friday, March 7 at 7pm and Saturday, March 8 at 2pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics of Studio Ghibli: NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND on 35mm!

Nausicaa

This first of many triumphs for Studio Ghibli is set a thousand years after a nuclear holocaust has gutted the globe. After the death of her father and an attack from the hostile Tormekia, Princess Nausicaä must use her uncanny ability to communicate with the giant crustacean Ohmu to unite her people against the threat of annihilation. Based on the manga of the same name and using Miyazaki’s distinctive stylistic flare for the dreamlike and fantastical, the film also inaugurates Miyazaki’s enduring collaboration and friendship with composer Joe Hisaishi. Visually breathtaking, with truly dexterous image making, the film introduced an original and lasting talent to the world of animation. (117 mins.)

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND screens Saturday, March 1 at 7pm as part of our Classics from Studio Ghibli series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

Classics from Studio Ghibli: A 9-Film Series from the Masters of Japanese Anime – March 1-29, 2014

My Neighbor Totoro

With the recent release of Miyazaki’s THE WIND RISES, we are pleased to present “Classics from Studio Ghibli.” Founded in Tokyo in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli is one of the most successful and well-respected animation studios in the world. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Miyazaki and Takahata, Studio Ghibli’s films have been critically praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling and loved by audiences of all ages throughout the world. We are pleased to bring these great films back to the big screen on new 35mm prints made especially for this studio retrospective.

Complete Film listings:

March 1 – Saturday 7 p.m.
NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WINDBuy Tickets Now!

 

 

March 7 – Friday 7 p.m.
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO
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March 15 – Saturday 2 p.m.
ONLY YESTERDAY
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March 15 – Saturday 4:30 p.m.
PRINCESS MONONOKE
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March 22 – Saturday 2 p.m.
PORCO ROSSOBuy Tickets Now!

 

 

March 22 – Saturday 4:30 p.m.
SPIRITED AWAY
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March 23 – Sunday 4:30 p.m.
POM POKOBuy Tickets Now!

 

 

March 27 – Thursday 7 p.m.
CASTLE IN THE SKYBuy Tickets Now!

 

 

March 29 – Saturday 4:30 p.m.
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLEBuy Tickets Now!

 

 

 

The Northwest Film Center is a regional media arts organization offering a variety of exhibition, education programs, and artist services throughout the region.  The Center presents a program of foreign, classic, experimental, and independent works year-round at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum.  For more information, visit http://www.nwfilm.org.

Animated Worlds: PIFF 37 Showcases Animation from Around the Globe

Animation showcase
The Northwest Film Center’s 37th Portland International Film Festival kicked off last week with Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song THE WIND RISES on two of the three Opening Night screens.  But the animated programming at PIFF 37 doesn’t stop there!  In addition to THE WIND RISES, this year’s Festival boasts seven animated features sourced from cutting edge directors around the globe.  From the Oscar-nominated, French film ERNEST AND CELESTINE to Israeli director Ari Folman’s psychedelic, metaphysical thriller THE CONGRESS, PIFF 37 offers up a multitude of animated pleasures for viewers of all ages and tastes.

Thanks to LAIKA for supporting these animated Festival films.

Complete PIFF 37 animation listings:

February 19 – Wednesday 8:30p.m.
THE APOSTLE (Dir. Fernando Cortizo)


Ramon, a convict who has escaped from jail, arrives in a remote Galician mountain village searching for a treasure hidden there years earlier. What at first appears to be a deserted town in which only a few old people live turns out to be a village under a mysterious curse that has existed for over 600 years. He soon finds himself in a nightmarish world in which the harmless elders are actually looking for souls to trade with the grim reaper himself. This adult fairy tale—a beguiling mix of stop-motion, 3D animation, and motion capture, steeped in a dark, gothic visual style and accompanied by a haunting soundtrack composed by Philip Glass—won the Audience Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. (80 mins.)

Purchase tickets now!

February 15 – Saturday 3:30p.m.
February 17 – Monday 12:15p.m.
AYA OF YOP CITY (Dir. Clément Oubrerie, Marguerite Abouet)


Based on the series of young adult graphic novels, this vibrant animated tale unfolds in a colorful, working-class neighborhood in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Life is good in Yop City: its sun-soaked markets, open air bars, and quirky cafés are the perfect backdrop for 19-year-old Aya and her two best friends, Adjoua and Bintou. While the bookish Aya hopes to get a degree in medicine, the ambitions of Adjoua and Bintou lean more toward the degree to which they can attract young men. In this upbeat, gentle weave of modern urban Africa, the three girls navigate nosy neighbors, meddling relatives, young romance, and old traditions, all complicated by the unexpected pregnancy of Adjoua. Aya of Yop City presents us with a picture of African life too seldom seen in the West—lighthearted, warm, and universal. (84 mins.)

Purchase tickets now!

February 12 – Wednesday 8:30p.m.
February 16 – Sunday 5:30p.m.
CHEATIN’ (Dir. Bill Plympton)


An adult tale of love, jealousy, revenge, and murder—infused with Plympton’s surreal sense of humor—Cheatin’ takes its inspiration from the work of such James M. Cain noir classics as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. In a fateful bumper car collision, Jake and Ella meet and become the most loving couple in the long history of romance. But when a scheming “other” woman drives a wedge of jealousy into their perfect courtship, insecurity and hatred spell out an untimely fate. With only the help of a disgraced magician and his forbidden “soul machine,” Ella takes the form of Jake’s numerous lovers, fighting malfunction and deceit to reclaim their destiny. Plympton’s seventh animated feature is his first done in a hand-painted style, with over 40,000 drawings colored by a studio team of just 10 people. (76 mins.)
Director Bill Plympton in attendance at the 2/12 screening.
Purchase tickets now!

February 14 – Friday 11:45p.m. (screening begins at midnight)
THE CONGRESS (Dir. Ari Folman)
“Folman’s follow-up to his strikingly rotoscoped Waltz with Bashir is a bold, metaphysical sci-fi satire: a live-action set-up that goes down the rabbit hole of loony animation partway through. Based on a novel by Solaris author Stanislaw Lem, The Congress sees Robin Wright playing Robin Wright, an actress with diminishing options in a savage and surreal movie business. When her agent (Harvey Keitel) delivers an ultimatum, Wright’s only choice is to sell her very identity. Plunged into a lurid Orwellian future, she must rediscover herself with the help of her personal animator (Jon Hamm) and human doctor (Paul Giamatti).”—London Film Festival. “[A] visionary work…it’s lyrical and mysterious, contemplating age-old sci-fi questions (of artificial intelligence, of perception versus reality) while grafting them onto a commentary about the changing nature of movies.”—RogerEbert.com. (120 mins.)

Purchase tickets now!

February 19 – Wednesday 6p.m.
February 22 – Saturday 12p.m.
THE DAY OF THE CROWS (Dir. Jean-Christophe Dessaint)


Filled with charming, gorgeous animation, The Day of the Crows is a delightful family film. A father raises his son Courge in the wild and warns him never to venture beyond the forest. One day the boy’s father is injured, and the son must leave the woods in search of help. Entering a neighboring village, he befriends a young girl and experiences the wonders civilization offers—and the truth about his family’s past. Exploring the blurred lines between animal and human, nature and civilization, and the realms of the living and of spirits, underneath is a simple story of a father’s lost love and a boy’s brave struggle to recapture it. (95 mins.)

Purchase tickets now!

February 11 – Tuesday 6p.m.
ERNEST AND CELESTINE (Dir. Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner)


Ernest and Celestine is the winner of France’s Cesar Award for Best Animated Feature and numerous other festival prizes. Tucked away in networks of winding subterranean tunnels lives a civilization of hard-working mice, terrified of the bears that live aboveground. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer, and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for burly troubadour Ernest, the pair forms an unlikely bond. But it isn’t long before their friendship is put on trial by their respective bear-fearing and mice-eating communities. Like a gorgeous watercolor painting brought to life, influences as varied as Buster Keaton, Bugs Bunny, and the outlaw romanticism of Bonnie and Clyde create “a delightful melding of visual style and narrative pirouettes, a just-about-perfect hand-drawn animated feature.”—Screen Daily. (80 mins.)
Purchase tickets now!


February 16 – Sunday 1p.m.
MY MOMMY IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL (Dir. Marc Boréal, Thibaut Chatel)
Based on the award-winning book of the same name, this winner of the Special Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival is a beautifully moving tale full of moments of sheer, simple, childish joy. Six-year-old Jean is starting first grade. He looks forward to learning to read and write so he won’t need Michelle, the girl next door, to read the postcards he gets from his mysteriously absent mother, who writes from around the world about her wild adventures. Even though they seem far-fetched at times, with his father so busy, the postcards bring comfort. A bittersweet, joyous, and thought-provoking tale about childhood loss and the need even for adults to hide from the truth at times. (75 mins.)

Purchase tickets now!

ADDITIONAL FESTIVAL DETAILS
The 37th Portland International Film Festival hosts screenings at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Avenue), the Empirical Theater at OMSI (1945 SE Water Avenue), Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st Avenue), Cinemagic (2021 SE Hawthorne Boulevard), World Trade Center (121 SW Salmon Street, 1st Street, Building 2), and Regal Fox Tower (846 SW Park Avenue).

Over the last 37 years, the Festival has populated its schedule with diverse and innovative films for an audience of more than 38,000 annually from throughout the Northwest.  As Oregon’s largest, most culturally diverse film event, the Portland International Film Festival pulls together a multi-faceted experience with 128 films and special events presenting a full spectrum of features, documentaries, shorts, and visiting artists – and featuring submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and works by both returning masters and emerging talents.

This year’s Festival includes the return of the popular PIFF After Dark program, showcasing midnight movies like Ti West’s (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) THE SACRAMENT and Ari Folman’s (WALTZ WITH BASHIR) THE CONGRESS for adventurous festival attendees.  Contained within the PIFF 37 lineup is a sizable animation block with seven animated features on offer, including THE APOSTLE, MY MOMMY IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL, and the latest film by Portland-born animator Bill Plympton, CHEATIN’.

Other highlights of PIFF 37 include screenings of Tsai Ming-Liang’s (WHAT TIME IS IT OVER THERE?) STRAY DOGS, Rithy Panh’s THE MISSING PICTURE, Doug Pray’s (HYPE!) LEVITATED MASS, François Ozon’s (SWIMMING POOL) YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL, Jillian Schlesinger’s MAIDENTRIP, Alain Guiraudie’s STRANGER BY THE LAKE, Anthony Chen’s ILO ILO and Claude Lanzmann’s (SHOAH) THE LAST OF THE UNJUST.

FULL SCHEDULE
The full PIFF 37 Program is available to the public online at http://festivals.nwfilm.org/piff37/.

ADVANCE TICKET OUTLET – Mark Building, Portland Art Museum, 1119 SW Park Avenue
Daily from 12-6 p.m.
Advance tickets by phone at (503) 276-4310
Advance tickets online at http://festivals.nwfilm.org/piff37/.

Admission Prices:
$11 General; $10 Portland Art Museum Members, Students, Seniors; $8 Silver Screen Club Friends, Children
Opening Night: $25 general; $20 Silver Screen Friend and Portland Art Museum and OMSI Members

The Portland International Film Festival is sponsored by The Oregonian, Regal Cinemas, LAIKA, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Alaska Airlines, Wieden+Kennedy, Delta Airlines, James F. Marion Miller Foundation, and many others.

The Northwest Film Center is a regional media arts organization offering a variety of exhibition, education programs, and artist services throughout the region.  The Center presents a program of foreign, classic, experimental, and independent works year-round at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum.  For more information, visit http://www.nwfilm.org.