Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) – 119 min
Hauru no ugoku shiro (original title)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genres: Animation | Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.
A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sofî, cursed by a witch into an old woman’s body, and a magician named Hauru. Under the curse, Sofî sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Hauru’s strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Hauru’s fire demon, named Karishifâ. Seeing that she is under a curse, the demon makes a deal with Sophie—if she breaks the contract he is under with Hauru, then Karushifâ will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape.
Review – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, Friday 23 September 2005
Miyazaki’s films require a conscious investment of attention; you have to immerse yourself in them, and soon you will find yourself floating, buoyed up by his gentleness, his visual exuberance, and his unshowy intelligence and emotional literacy. It is a lovely film for all ages.
Film starts 8.30pm – free admission Joining us for food – please book ahead
Spirited Away (2001) PG
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (original title)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.
This weekend’s film is for families and fans of Miyazaki’s Japanese animation of all ages. According to the Guardian – Spirited Away is the most successful Japanese film ever.
Chihiro and her family are on their way to their new house in the suburbs when her father decides to take a shortcut along a lonely-looking dirt road. After getting out of the car and walking along a path for a while, they discover an open-air restaurant filled with food but with no workers or customers present. Mom and Dad don’t hesitate to sit down and dig in, but Chihiro senses danger and refuses. As night falls, she is terrified to see the area fill with faceless spirits, but when she runs to find her parents, she discovers that they have been turned into pigs. She is found by a mysterious boy named Haku, who promises to help her. He gets her a job working in a nearby building, which turns out to be a bathhouse for the thousands of Japan’s gods and spirits. Though the work is hard and the people strange, she does as well as she can. Her parents, however, are still waiting in the hotel’s stockyard…