When I want to watch a movie on a random night, there’s a good chance I’m going to pick a movie by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Movies like Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle are some of my favorites, and I go back to Miyazaki’s work over and over. The storytelling is thoughtful and the art is fun and beautiful, and even in fantastical settings his characters feel so real.
I love this video that talks about why Miyazaki’s films are so successful, including his focus on precise character actions, clear character needs, and fostering human empathy on screen.
Basically, Miyazaki’s films are a masterclass in storytelling and character development. So when I watch them over and over, it’s totally for professional reasons.
Hollywood has been trying to bring Lois Lowry’s celebrated 1993 children’s book “The Giver” to the bigscreen for the better part of two decades — now the movie is one step closer to fruition, as Phillip Noyce (“Salt”) is in early talks to direct for The Weinstein Co., Walden Media and star Jeff Bridges, who is producing with Nikki Silver…
As recently as last month, Lowry expressed her doubts that “The Giver” would ever be made, having read four screenplays over the years. But with studios high on branded properties, the time may be right for “The Giver,” which also offers franchise potential. Lowry wrote two loosely-related companion novels, “Gathering Blue” and “Messenger,” while a fourth novel, “Son,” was released earlier this year and ties all three storylines together in an epic conclusion.
I’m sure part of the current push also has to do with the recent trend toward dystopian YA, and the success of the first Hunger Games movie.
Not sure how I feel about a movie adaptation, actually. Walt and I were talking about it recently, and we both said the film would have to find a way around the color issue. It’s such an unexpected moment in the book, but on screen it would be obvious pretty fast. Still, I know there have been stage adaptations of The Giver, so I’m sure they’ve had to deal with that issue as well. And I can see Jeff Bridges as the Giver, even though he’s not the guy I’ve been picturing. At any rate, I’m hopeful about this one.