With the newest (and as always, highly anticipated) feature-length film from Studio Ghibli — The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) — scheduled for release in Japan in less than a month, we’ve been seeing the anime production company’s name a lot in the news recently. Well, it appears that fans of Ghibli animes based near Vancouver, Canada, now have reason to be extra happy over the next month or so. Why? Because it’s going to be Ghibli Fest at The Cinematheque, the film society and cinema establishment located in Vancouver!

This isn’t the first time they’re presenting a program featuring Ghibli films at The Cinematheque. They actually put on a Ghibli retrospective showing 14 films in December of last year, which was so popular — a “positive sensation”, in fact, according to their website — that they’ve decided on a repeat performance. This time, fans will be treated to showings of 16 Ghibli films, with two new additions from the program in December, namely Ponyo (Gake no Ue no Ponyo) and From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara). Fans will also be happy to learn that the program will again include rare screenings of the films Only Yesterday (Omoide Poro Poro)  and Oean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), which apparently have had very few screenings as well as never having been released in DVD in North America.

▼Artwork from Ocean Waves (left) and Only Yesterday (right)

Ghibli Ocean and Yesterday

left image: wikipedia (Ocean Waves); right image: wikipedia (Only Yesterday)

Of course, you’ll still be able to see popular Ghibli classics such as My Neighbor Totoro and Castle in the Sky, so there should be something to suit every fan’s taste. I’m sure we all have our favorite Ghibli film, but personally, mine is still Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the epic anime generally considered to be the start of Studio Ghibli. I remember being completely blown away by the film’s utterly unique story-telling and sometimes haunting music as a child (and also really really wanting one of those fox-squirrels as a pet).

▼Poster for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Ghibli Nausica aposterimage: wikipedia

The Ghibli retrospective at The Cinematheque starts from July 4 and runs until early August. You can check the dates and screening times on their website here, and you do need to subscribe to a C$3 annual membership at the box office to attend any of their screenings. If you’re going to be in Vancouver and looking for something to do in the evening, this could definitely be an option, and in all honesty, I can think of many worse ways to spend two hours and the cost of movie admission than seeing a visually stunning quality anime film.

As for those of us here in Japan, I guess we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope that we get lucky and win a ticket to one of the preview screenings of The Wind Rises scheduled across Japan during the first half of next month.

Source: The Cinematheque via MINKEI NEWS VANCOUVER