My Neighbor Totoro

Princess Mononoke

In the context of American animation, Hayao Miyazaki’s films seem nearly unfathomable. With their conspicuous absence of exclusively kid-centric theatrics and their eschewing any burden of pop culture topicality, Miyazaki’s films are instead allowed to explore the limitless imaginative possibilities of animated filmmaking. And there are few imaginations quite like Miyazaki’s. That’s what makes his retirement on the occasion of The Wind Rises that much more of a loss. It’s difficult to be anything but grateful for the beautiful films the 73-year-old director has made, but his absence will certainly leave a giant, gaping hole that no other filmmaker can replace. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the man who makes us wish we could call a giant wood spirit our neighbor.

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studio-ghibli

It’s long been rumored that legendary Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, was working on two new film, one each from its two founders, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, but today the studio went ahead and made the rumors into official announcements [via SlashFilm]. Not only is Princess Mononoke director Miyazaki set to bring us a new film called The Wind is Rising, which is said to be something of a biopic for the designer of a famous Japanese fighter plane, and not only is Grave of the Fireflies director Takahata set to bring us a new film called The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which is said to be a re-telling of the old folktale “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” but both films are actually set to be released on the same day. This is kind of a throwback to when Miyazaki released My Neighbor Totoro and Takahata released Fireflies on the same day 25 years ago. Which was kind of a big day for animation.

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If you’re “too old” to skulk around all hunch-backed in your own yard looking for the painted eggs your little cousin hid for you, why are you holding that remote with the Pause Button at the ready? We all love hunting. It’s in our nature. Just like we love discounted Criterion titles, free scotch and foot massages that don’t mean anything sexual. So here are some Movie Easter Eggs to hunt down. Bonus one? They involve movies, so you have a solid excuse to just watch movies all week. Bonus two? If you can’t find them, they won’t smell rotten after a few days. And be sure to add your favorite in the comments section for fellow hunter/gatherers:

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Mondo

Tomorrow will see the grand opening of Mondo’s new gallery space in Austin, Texas. Mondo, the art boutique offshoot of the Alamo Drafthouse, has been creating t-shirts, posters, and other movie-related items for several years now. In light of the new gallery opening, it seems as good a time as any to take a look back over their illustrious career. Many current poster hounds may not realize that the Mondo legacy goes back as far as it does, but old school fans will remember the phone booth-sized storefront Mondo enjoyed at the original Alamo Drafthouse on Colorado. No bigger than a postage stamp, the Mondo room was packed to the gills with t-shirts and posters. Mondo recently put up an online archive of all of their prints dating back to 1998, which frankly made this article much easier to put together. But it also serves as a window into their fantastic past, showcasing many prints you probably missed and will now furiously try to track down. Speaking of tracking down prints, here’s the top 13 on our radar.

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Solid relationships are built on compromise. Meaning, when your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they want to go see Something Borrowed or Thor this weekend and your gut reaction is “I’d rather have an eagle bite out my liver every day for an eternity than see that movie,” well, you have to suck it up. Not just because you’re trying to keep the two of you together, but because the movie may actually turn out to be your cup of tea. Open minds, people. I’ve been the “movie buff” in many a relationship, but this weekend’s line-up reminded me of the many discoveries I’ve made thanks to the differing opinions and interests of past significant others. For every sappy mother/daughter road trip drama (Anywhere But Here), fairy tale relationship come true (The Prince and Me), or by-the-books rom-com with a song for a title (Sweet Home Alabama), my girlfriends took me to a movie that — gasp — continues to resonate in my memory, challenge the way I watch films and remind me that I should get over myself once in awhile. Pretty impressive. I hope one of them felt that way when I sat them down to watch Jet Li’s The One. As a reminder to myself and to all that we don’t ever really know what we’re going to enjoy the heck out of, here are eight movies I would probably never have seen on my own volition. And then I turn the table on you: what movie […]

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