Hayao Miyazaki visited Encounters briefly back in 2005, and in 2003 Encounters screened his short Imaginary Flying Machines featuring Miyazaki in the form of a humanoid pig as he narrates the story of flight and the many imagined machines needed to achieve it - a nod to his earlier classic Porco Rosso (1992) and a precursor to The Wind Rises (2013), which cemented the director’s reputation (if it wasn’t already) as an icon of animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling.
Miyazaki’s Oscar®-winning masterpiece Spirited Away was the biggest box office hit of all time in Japan and a film that helped redefine the possibilities of animation for audiences and a generation of new filmmakers.
Wandering through an abandoned carnival site, ten-year-old Chichiro is separated from her parents and stumbles into a dream-like spirit world where she is put to work in a bathhouse for the gods - a place where all kinds of non-human beings come to refresh, relax and recharge. Here she encounters a vast menagerie of impossibly inventive characters (shape-shifting phantoms and spirits, some friendly, some less so) and must find the inner strength to outsmart her captors and return to her family.
Encounters in Retrospective
Until Sun 22 Sep