Hayao Miyazaki retrospective at the Academy Museum is a magical forest of Ghibli goodness 

 April 14, 2022

As you crawl through the thicket of branches that leads to Totoro’s tree, you will enter Museum of Cinema of the Academy A retrospective of Hayao Miyazaki through a green tunnel with filtering warm, colorful light.

On the other hand, for fans of Japan’s favorite animation director, it’s like meeting old friends: videos from his Studio Ghibli movies are played behind sketches of characters and cartoon cells by Satsuki, Mei and Totoro; Kiki and Gigi; and Ashitaka and San. Seeing them all together is an almost compelling reminder of the wonders of these Miyazaki-created worlds, and at every turn the exhibition celebrates the artistry behind the charming characters and the beautifully painted environment that makes these films so magical.

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Photo: Courtesy of Joshua White, JW Pictures / © Academy Museum FoundationHayao Miyazaki, Academy Cinema Museum.
Imageboard, My Neighbor Totoro (1988).
Hayao Miyazaki, © 1988 Studio GhibliImageboard, My Neighbor Totoro (1988).

“Hayao Miyazaki”, which opens with the debut of the Academy Museum on September 30, includes over 300 storyboards, conceptual images and backgrounds, many of which are on display outside Studio Ghibli’s headquarters in Tokyo for the first time. It is drawn from the director’s 11 feature films, with a particularly strong inclination towards My neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Gone with the ghosts as well as its lush, enchanted forests. To be clear, this is an exhibition of Miyazaki and not necessarily Ghibli, so you’ll find pieces from every Miyazaki-directed film, but not one from the late animation co-founder Isao Takahata (so you won’t have to worry about crying in front of anyone even if it is The tomb of fireflies scenes).

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After this initial room, the second gallery covers Miizaki’s early intermediates and layouts in Toei Animation, as well as a synthesis of both the film and manga versions of Swarming from the Valley of the Wind. He has a pair of Oscars, a desk from Studio Ghibli and a few stuffed goats, which he puts on his window every December as a sign of his work on Heidi, the Alpine Girl. But otherwise, with the exception of a few quotes here and there, the mythology of man and the context and inspirations for his films recede into the background in his animated product. Letting this work speak for itself, however, is not really a complaint when these images are as instantaneously magnetizing as those of Miyazaki.

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Most of the exhibition presents things thematically: Predominantly blue paintings by Ponyo sunken scenes cover the next wall with earthy hues of Miyazaki’s nostalgic homes (there is a particularly charming miniature model of the house of Japanese western meetings from My neighbor Totoro). Others deal with the director ‘s enduring fascination with airplanes (mechanically thinking drawings from Porco Rosso and The wind is getting stronger) and the soot clash between industry and nature (including the physical cross-section of the coal mine from Castle in the sky). You can get lost in the alpine scenery and the sliding fortress from Howell’s Moving Castle and admire the stunning architectural details of the images of the bathroom from Gone with the ghosts. And you can soak in everything while lying on Kiki-slanted section of grass in style Sky Viewinstallation by Yôichi Nishikawa with a circle of puffy clouds floating from above by the local animation studio Titmouse.

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Hayao Miyazaki, Academy Cinema Museum.
Photo: Courtesy of Joshua White, JWPictures / © Academy Museum FoundationHayao Miyazaki, Academy Cinema Museum.
Photo: Courtesy of Studio Ghibli – NDHDMT
Background, Gone with the Wind (2001).
© 2001 Studio Ghibli – NDDTMBackground, Gone with the Wind (2001).
Prehistory, Princess Mononoke (1997).
© 1997 Studio Ghibli – ND

However, if there is a place to get lost, this is the last one dedicated to the enchanting forest settings of the Miyazaki and their mythological muses. Every image here feels alive, bathed in light, shadow and at the same time the boundless mysteries and hope of nature. It is also home to what would certainly be the place for selfies on the show if it weren’t for the policy of banning photos inside: green, glowing string wood and fiber optics, reminiscent of the majestically tall camphor tree from My neighbor Totoro with a flank of floating, turning head Kodama from Princess Mononoke.

But we found that the finer installation that follows is the most emotionally arresting. Picture of the strange clock tower from Gone with the ghosts hangs next to a tunnel that mimics the red gate of this film, the passage between the human world and the Spiritual Kingdom. Like the station-like interior of this structure, pictures of rainbow rays filtered through stained glass windows emerge from the side, and the sound of footsteps echoes from above. At the very end of the door is a stone statue of a ghost. Like the protagonist of the film Chihiro, we are left to return to the world of the ordinary with the purpose and lasting part of Miyazaki’s magic.

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Hayao Miyazaki opens at the Academy’s Cinema Museum on September 30. The entrance is included in tickets with hours for the museum ($ 25). You will also find film screenings (both duplicated and subtitled) from 5 October to 27 November, as well as all kinds of Studio Ghibli goods in the museum shop (including an exhibition catalog full of all the artwork from the exhibition).

Academy Museum
Photo: Time Out / Michael Juliano

Hayao Miyazaki retrospective at the Academy Museum is a magical forest of Ghibli goodness Source link Hayao Miyazaki retrospective at the Academy Museum is a magical forest of Ghibli goodness


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