Programmed by Helen Wilkey
Filled with vibrant visuals and incredible stories, this series looks beyond the standard Studio Ghibli slate to showcase the diversity of Japanese animation films over the past decade. Just like Miyazaki, the variety of directors presented are masters of world-building, immersing viewers in spectacular lands from the militarized Roboworld and intergalactic racing scene of Redline to the intense and twisted dreamscape of Paprika.
This series is co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies.
(Mamoru Hosoda, 2009) · Kenji Koiso, your typical teenage math genius, is recruited by Natsuki Shinohara, his longtime crush, to pretend to be her fiancé for her great-grandmother's 90th birthday party. While with her, he unknowingly cracks the security for the massive virtual reality world, OZ, which becomes infected by a super virus. When the virus causes serious problems in the real world as well, the fate of both worlds is put into the hands of Kenji and the Shinohara family.
runtime: 114 min format: Digital
(Michael Arias, 2006) · Tekkonkinkreet follows two street-smart orphans, Black and White, who treat Treasure Town like their own playground. Soon they're forced into a fight over the future of their hometown, facing off against local yakuza leader "The Rat," the diabolical Mr. Snake, who wants to sell the land to build an amusement park, and a pair of intergalactic assassins. With his directorial debut, Arias became the first non-Japanese director of a major anime film.
runtime: 111 min format: 35mm
(Satoshi Kon, 2006) · When a machine that allows one to enter dreams is stolen, the scientists who developed it, a police investigator, and the mysterious Paprika fight to get it back from the thief who is abusing its powers. Featuring incredible animation and a gripping plot, Paprika was described by the New York Times as "evidence that Japanese animators are reaching for the moon, while most of their American counterparts remain stuck in the kiddie sandbox."
runtime: 90 min format: 35mm
(Takeshi Koike, 2009) · When the militarized fortress planet of Roboworld wins a poll to host the Redline, the most extreme race in the universe, many drivers withdraw out of fear, opening a spot for Sweet JP, a slick underdog driving the last two tonnes of supercharged American muscle this side of Detroit. Like Deathrace 2000 on cocaine, Redline populates its interspecies, anything-goes planet-sized race track with a cacophonous mob of speed freaks and killing machines.
runtime: 102 min format: Digital
(K. Masunari & M. Yuasa, 2010) · Five Japanese children rescue a dog-like alien named Pochi while on summer vacation, sparking an fantastic journey through space to Pochi's homeworld, Wan. They're pursued by the host of "The Space Show," a popular variety act broadcast throughout the universe, who's targeting the wasabi root in one of the children's bags. The result is a wacky intergalactic spectacle featuring strong visuals and a theme song from one-time UK pop sensation Susan Boyle.
runtime: 136 min format: DCP
(Hiroyuki Okiura, 2011) · After her father's death, Momo and her mother move from bustling Tokyo to a remote island called Shio. Soon after their arrival, strange happenings begin to occur on the island. Orchards are ransacked, possessions stolen, and then Momo hears strange voices emanating from the attic. She discovers the culprits, three yokai (supernatural creatures in Japanese folklore) who, in their own way, help her come to terms with the loss of her father.
runtime: 120 min format: DCP
(Makoto Shinkai, 2011) · Departing in style from director Makoto Shinkai's earlier works, but pursuing many of the same themes, Children Who Chase Lost Voices centers on young girl Asuna, who is forced to cope alone with the death of her father while her mother works long hours to make up for the loss. After meeting Shun, a boy from Agartha, the mysterious land of the dead, Asuna ends up on an adventure in the mystical world, where she learns to let go of the past.
runtime: 116 min format: DCP
(Masahiro Ando, 2007) · In Sword of the Stranger, young boy Kotaru and his dog Tobimaru are targeted in Sengoku-era Japan by assailants from the Ming Dynasty. In their quest to reach safe haven at the Mangaku temple, they stumble across an unnamed lone swordsman whose path quickly becomes tangled in theirs. Together, they fight to escape their foreign pursuers, who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and bring Kotaru and Tobimaru to safety.
runtime: 103 min format: DCP
(Keiichi Hara, 2016) · Based on a historical manga of the same name by Hinako Sugiura, Miss Hokusai centers around Katsushika O-Ei, the often overlooked third daughter of famous Japanese artist and ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai. The film depicts O-Ei's everyday life in nineteenth-century Edo (Tokyo) as she takes care of her divorced father and develops an art style of her own. The most poignant moments come when O-Ei helps her blind younger sister O-Nao explore the outside world around her.
runtime: 93 min format: DCP