Heisei tanuki gassen ponpoko
Imagine Watership Down, Studio Ghibli-style. Instead of rabbits, we have raccoons. And not just any raccoons – these critters have magical powers of transformation, albeit grown a little rusty in the modern age. As their habitat is stripped and paved by the encroaching humans, the good-natured but rather undisciplined forest creatures relearn their ancient powers and embark on a campaign of disruption and distraction.
Pom Poko ranks among Ghibli’s best; it’s incredibly free and imaginative in its animation, and effortlessly combines pathos, comedy, surreal imagery and a heartfelt ecological message. Director Isao Takahata cofounded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. His other films include Graveyard of the Fireflies, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Only Yesterday.
Our matinee family-friendly shows will feature the English-language version, all ages welcome. Evening screenings will play in Japanese with English subtitles.
March 23: Introduced by Jeff Chiba Stearns
Pom poko is a delightful, often uproariously funny film, at once childishly irreverent and thoughtfully mature. Being a Ghibli work, it is beautifully rendered and technically impeccable, with a great number of memorable set pieces.
Tom Mes, Midnight Eye
Evening: In Japanese with English subtitles