Sunday, October 2
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
DCP. Approx. 133 min. Rated PG-13.
Choice of English or subtitled Japanese version.
“Miyazaki was already a culture hero in Japan when this animated mythic adventure raised him to a status approaching living national treasure. The young warrior Ashitaka is infected by poison while saving his village from a demonic giant boar; he rides his elk to the west (where the boar came from) in the hope of finding a cure. He stumbles into a three-way battle between a woman chieftain in a fortified encampment (built to protect the secret of smelting iron from ore), a clan of samurai eager to take control of the iron - and the creatures (chiefly wolves and boars) of the surrounding forest, enraged by all the human damage to their natural habitat. Fighting on the side of the animals is Mononoke, a girl raised by the wolves, who hates and distrusts all humans, including Ashitaka. The samurai are pretty unredeemed, but Miyazaki insists that there are things to be said for both the Iron Age settlers and the animals and their deities: rather than a Lord of the Rings-style showdown between good and evil, this argues for peaceful co-existence. – Time Out
“This exotically beautiful action film features gods and demons locked in a struggle for the future of the unspoiled forest and an elaborate moral universe that Mr. Miyazaki has created. As such, it is a sweeping, ambitious version of the comic-book storytelling that engendered it.”
– Janet Maslin, The New York Times