Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

I watched Grave of the Fireflies expecting a masterpiece. I’d never seen the film before, but its reputation preceded it – as Studio Ghibli’s second film (released simultaneously with the magnificent My Neighbour Totoro) and as a tear-jerking war drama. Based on the non-fiction novel by Nosaka Akiyuki, it tells the tale of teenage boy…

The Castle of Cagliostro

The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Have you ever wondered what you’d get if you asked Walt Disney to make a James Bond film? Well, wonder no more. The Castle of Cagliostro centres on Lupin the Third, a gentleman thief inspired in equal part by Bond and fictional French burglar Arsène Lupin. It’s fair to say that, in retrospect, the ever-whimsical…

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke’s recent release on Blu-Ray provided me an opportunity to truly appreciate the gorgeous animation of Miyazaki’s seventh feature-length film. My previous viewings of the film had been low-quality (pirated) versions – in fact, I can distinctly recall watching the film at a friend’s place on a burnt DVD when, halfway through, the disc…

The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013)

“Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up.” It’s hard to separate The Wind Rises from its creator, Hayao Miyazaki, iconic anime director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Barring a Jay Z-esque change of heart, The Wind Rises represents his last feature length film, and with this in mind…