You know what this city has been missing? An anime film festival. No, seriously, we don't have anything like it in the Lowcountry, and it's kind of an oversight. Charleston Music Hall looks to remedy that problem with the inaugural Miyazaki Film Festival, presented at CMH this June and featuring four films written by Hayao Miyazaki.
The full day of flicks kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sat. June 16 and keeps going strong until a final screening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12/per film or $36/four film pass (which comes with a complimentary special poster). In addition to the films, 2Nixons' Chef Jeffrey Stoneberger will be slinging ramen in CMH's lobby, and additional vendors will be added as the date draws near. Now for those flicks:
Kiki's Delivery Service
The 1989 animated fantasy film (spoiler: all of these films are precisely that) tells the story of Kiki, a young witch, on her "mandatory year of independent life," in which she runs an air courier service (on a broom, no less). And if you're a big fan of the film, then you may be interested in recently released Kiki's Delivery Service inspired accessories and fragrances — for real.
Howl's Moving Castle
Like Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle features a teenage girl whose life is thrown into turmoil when she climbs aboard a moving castle — Howl's to be exact — and enters a magical world.
One of the world's better known anime flicks (according to a poll of two City Paper staffers), Spirited Away is the story of a 10-year-old girl who moves to the suburbs, only to wander into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits. Oh yeah, and where humans are changed into beasts.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa is the princess of a small kingdom on a post-apocalyptic Earth with a bioengineered ecological system, who becomes involved in a war between kingdoms.
Y'all, can we give it up for strong female characters in these films? We're not alone in seeing a trend here — Scott Brown of lomabeat.com recently wrote a piece, "She-roes: Strong Female leads on the Rise." He says:
These early female heroes aren’t just found in American films, but are ever-present in Japanese anime, specifically in the work Hayao Miyazaki. Whether it be Nausicaa of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind or San of Princess Mononoke, anime is filled with female heroes that simply embody a textbook definition of what a protagonist.