Princess Mononoke

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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Earth Day: the red-headed stepchild of world holidays. Founded in 1970, the celebration of our planet has been mounted (and basically ignored) every April 22nd. When was the last time you paid respects by going outside and planting a seedling? Or left a plate of cookies out for Mother Earth? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Earth Day may not have the allure of its cheerful , laid back holiday counterparts, but it’s certainly no less important. Recognizing environmental concerns is more relevant than ever, and Hollywood has been trying its darndest to prod you in to taking action. Think of it as a  “scared straight” course of action: if you’re afraid of impending environmental doom, maybe you’ll do something. Here are seven movies that a sure to reinvigorate your ecological awareness and get you back on the green track this Earth Day:

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So Lars Von Trier isn’t forcing Martin Scorsese to remake Taxi Driver. Who cares? Here are ten directors that the madman should punish for being geniuses.

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