With the announcement of the films for the upcoming 59th London Film Festival, they include Studio Ghibli’s ‘When Marnie Was There’ and Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘The Boy and the Beast’, to the delight of UK-based anime fans.
The BFI revealed the two acclaimed Japanese films - amongst several others - in their huge line-up of 238 features, playing with others such as ‘Suffragette’, ‘Steve Jobs’, and ‘Carol’.
Studio Ghibli, the acclaimed anime studio behind ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, ‘Spirited Away’, and ‘The Wind Rises’, will showcase their latest film ‘When Marnie Was There’, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (’The Secret World of Arrietty’), which is hugely anticipated.
It’s about a young girl who, for health reasons, moves to the countryside where she befriends another girl named Marnie, and possesses the unmistakable quality and story depth Ghibli are synonymous with.
But since the studio’s announcement last year that it was taking an indefinite break from making films for a number of reasons - one being how expensive their animations are to create and how some have recently underperformed at the box office - ‘Marnie’ was, and still is, believed to be their last ever film.
If such pessimism is true, then it’ll be a sad time for not only the 31-year-old studio, but for fans everywhere.
During this cinematic hiatus, Goro - son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki - has directed the TV anime series ‘Ronia the Robber’s Daughter’, and currently there are no further plans or announcements for any cinema releases.
‘When Marnie Was There’ was released in Japan back in July of 2014, and was warmly received by both fans and by critics. Whether this is their last ever film isn’t 100% confirmed, so there’s always hope…
Joining ‘Marnie’ is ‘The Boy and the Beast’ (pictured above); an anime feature from the talented Mamoru Hosoda. Having been responsible for ‘Summer Wars’, ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ and the breathtaking ‘Wolf Children’, he’s arguably the most exciting anime director working today.
Kyuta lives in an imaginary world and, one day, meets lonesome beast Kumatetsu as he’s trying to find his way back to reality. The pair embark on a touching adventure, with the latter acting as Kyuta’s spiritual guide.
In short, it’s massively exciting that both anime titles will play at LFF. It’s been year since Studio Ghibli have featured at the fest, so will be nice to see that and Hosoda’s intriguing movie on the big screen.
‘When Marnie Was There’ and ‘The Boy and the Beast’ will feature at this year’s London Film Festival, which runs from 7 - 18 October.