American Cinematheque to Host LA EigaFest
Sunday, December 16 - 6:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere! WOLF CHILDREN
(OKAMI KODOMO NO AME TO YUKI), 2012, Nippon Televsion, 117 min. Dir. Mamoru Hosoda. Hana notices a mysterious older man auditing one of her classes, and before long, the two begin dating. When she falls in love with him, he confesses that he is a descendent of an ancient tribe of wolfmen, who have the ability to alternate between human and wolf form. Hana does not bat an eye, and the two begin a lengthy romance that produces daughter Yuki and son Ame, who behave more like pets than people. A tragedy leaves Hana alone to care, as best she can, for her two kids who also exhibit furry tendencies. As young Yuki and Ame grow older, they must grapple with what they want to be: civilized human beings or the wild animals within. WOLF CHILDREN is the latest film from Hosoda (GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, SUMMER WARS), a protégé of the historic Toei Animation and the Hayao Miyazaki-led Studio Ghibli; many are calling him Japan's next great animation master. But while WOLF CHILDREN exhibits amazing attention to detail and movement in its animation, it is no mere imitation of previous masters, as it displays a wry sense of humor, a mature view of romance and a deeply moving portrayal of siblings who transform - literally and figuratively - before our very eyes. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Los Angeles Premiere! THE FLOATING CASTLE
(NOBO NO SHIRO), 2012, TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), 146 min. Dirs. Shinji Higuchi, Isshin Inudo. In 1590, powerful warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Masachika Ichimura) seeks to unify all of Japan under his rule. One of the last holdouts is Oshi Castle - often referred to as the Floating Castle - which is surrounded by an enormous lake. Hideyoshi sends his right-hand man, General Ishida (Yusuke Kamiji), and 20,000 soldiers to take the castle, which is defended by only 500 men. The death of his father leaves control of the castle with Narita Nagachika (a bravura Mansai Nomura), but the clumsy child king fails to gather the support of any of the other samurai except childhood friend Tanba (Koichi Sato). But Nagachika refuses to acquiesce to Hideyoshi's army, and through a mix of self-deprecating humor and unconventional tactics, he is slowly able to connect with the people and fight alongside the hardened samurai who once doubted him. Half David-and-Goliath, against-all-odds jidaigeki and half broad slapstick comedy, FLOATING CASTLE pays tribute to films like Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI (or even 300) while also being cheeky enough in its homage to have fun with its character archetypes. While the film packs in the action and laughs (especially from Nomura's wild antics), there is also a rather stunning flood sequence that was the cause of an 18-month delay to the theatrical release. When viewed in light of the tragedy of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, it makes for one of the most somber and powerful scenes in Japanese cinema this year. In Japanese with English subtitles.
In addition to these five features presented in the Egyptian's Rigler Theatre -- all of them Los Angeles premieres! Visit LAEigaFest.com for more programs screening throughout the weekend in the Egyptian's Spielberg Theatre.
Source: The American Cinematheque