Photos - The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro

Okayyy....slow weekend.  I'm guessing everybody is off for Labor Day.  I was given a slate of high-resolution screenshots from the theatrical releases for Miyazaki's last three features - Spirited Away, Howl and Ponyo.

I think I'm going to stick with the Japanese title, translated, of course.  I just like the way it sounds.  Ghibli's movies are given such flowery titles.  American movies have always been very short and functional, really just a grunt or two to let you know what you're getting.  Explosions!  Slasher Flick!  Rom-Com!  More Explosions!  Ahem.

I haven't watched this movie in a long time.  I know it's beloved in the West, regarded as Miyazaki's masterpiece and all, which is a bit strange considering this was just about the only one they've ever seen.  Oh, well.  I think you can enjoy this picture as pure escapism, without paying much attention to the cultural details.  The Japanese elements are smoothly integrated into the background, so it's not necessary to notice.  It's not as explicit as Pom Poko, which was a visual encyclopedia of Japan's rich heritage.  Miyazaki evokes the archetypes without calling them by name.

This movie really stands apart from the rest of the Miyazaki canon.  It feels like a clean break from his past, as close to a true original as anything he's done.  Perhaps he really wanted to get away from his more serious side, and felt purged at last after Mononoke's enormous success.  But then again, we find ourselves hurled right back into the thick of things again, in Howl's Moving Castle, which felt like a fusion of Horus, Heidi and Nausicaa, reforged as one of Fellini's great surreal circuses.

So Spirited Away managed to achieve a universal appeal, and that's a good thing.  It was never created as such, but these sort of things just happen.  And this really is a spectacular film.  I remember watching it on the big screen, reading stories on the intertubes about this movie that's "even better than Princess Mononoke."  Could such a thing be possible?  I left the movie theater completely awestruck.

Enjoy these photos.  They're very large, so be patient when clicking on the full-size.


Eishagishi said...

Well, not a completely slow weekend - I'm doing the Anime Vegas Con here at Cashman Center through Monday.

I was originally asked to do a Japanese anime theatrical poster exhibit, similar to the Ghibli-theme one I did for the 2007 Con. So in Gallery 2 I've got 28 posters on display - mostly from other studios and directors this year.

When I showed up Friday to install the show, the con staff thought I was going to do the Ghibli-theme show again - that's the way they publicized it. Oh well.

But as it turns out, the people exhibiting next door in Gallery 1 had to bail out a day early, leaving the gallery empty for the last day.

The con staff asked me to help them out with some content for that gallery on the last day. So, the Ghibli poster exhibit is back, sorta by popular demand ^_^ 39 posters covering a little pre-Ghibli history up through Ponyo in Gallery 1. Altogether 67 posters being shown in both galleries. Fun stuff! Too bad this will be my last show - out of work and out of money - can't afford to do this anymore.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Hey, that sounds great! Did you take any photographs of the event? I'd love to share them here on the blog. And I'm curious to know what pre-Ghibli posters are in your collection.

Eishagishi said...

The shots I took this morning just before opening didn't come out as clean as I had hoped, but I'll send them along to you.

What I call the "pre-Ghiblies" are posters for Meitantei Holmes, Future Boy Konan (even though the poster is for the movie), and Castle of Cagliostro. Always looking for more, but obviously that'll have to wait until someone thinks I'm employable again.

Star Fisher said...

Hello there, I've been lurking around this blog for a while and I just have to say these screen shots are stunning. I've done a lot of searching for Spirited Away screens and have never found anything with this high of a resolution. Where did you find them?

Becky Huỳnh said...

Awesommmeeee xDDD isnt Haku so handsome, love himmm, thank you ^^

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