A Studio of Generations


I’ve been covering Bell Tiff Lightbox’s Spirited Away: The Films of Studio Ghibli event for the last week or so. This 60 year old Japanese studio is renowned for putting out films which look totally unique, are meticulously crafted, and pretty much always guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Trying to sum a film in 150 words isn’t easy- and trying to do this with a Ghibli film is damn near impossible. Speaking with Jesse Wente, head of Film Programmes at TIFF Bell Lightbox, about this legendary and prolific Studio’s aims was greatly helpful though. Still trying to find the words, no, the right words to sum up Howl’s Moving Castle, Jesse insight is of great and haunting value.

“The common element is really about people. And I think that’s one of the interesting things about Ghibli. They have tons of talking animals but unlike a studio like Pixar, which doesn’t typically always deal with people a central characters, Ghibli always does. I would describe it as a humanist movie studio, and outside of them I’m not sure there is another one [a humanist studio]. Their primary concern is our experience and our interactions with each other, the world around us on this planet. They often relate to history or mythology, or the stories we tell. But they always mange to tell those themes. They all say the same thing, which is that we’re all very much tied to what is going on around us and that we need to be more aware of the footprints we leave in the world.”


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