Quote: “They say that the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst.” —Young Sophie in “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004). Since Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement last year, many fans of his beloved films have been in withdrawal, saddened at the thought of never seeing another Miyazaki masterpiece. But there may be hope yet!
The Story: Although Miyazaki announced his departure from Studio Ghibli last year, the legendary animator and director stated during an interview with The Los Angeles Times on Nov. 7 that he will continue to create new manga and is very busy despite his retirement from feature-length filmmaking. This statement came after it was announced that he would receive an Honorary Academy Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards. This is his second Oscar, following his first for his 2001 film “Spirited Away.”
What to say to that one guy who lives to bash movie adaptations…
Are TV adaptations any better? We’ll see soon! Popular book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was first adapted into a movie in 2004. While it was critically well-received, some loyal fans (or maybe just this loyal fan) thought the adaptation could have been better, perhaps by utilizing the extended format of a TV series. Netflix certainly thought so and recently announced that they will be adapting the 13-book saga into an original series. In the wake of other successes among Netflix original series—“House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and their reboot of “Arrested Development” (disappointing though it was)—dare we hope that “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will be reborn and transport us back to the days of our childhood?
What to say when you’re invited to watch yet another Nicholas Sparks movie…
Put down your worn-out copy of “The Notebook” and pick up something infinitely better. After being dropped by Sony and battling its way through Hollywood for four years, “Beyond the Lights” has finally been released, premiering in theaters Nov. 14. This romantic film—which follows a female hip-hop star’s battles with fame, family, and her sense of self—was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, whose previous successes include “Love & Basketball” and “The Secret Life of Bees.” Although a handful of critics have given Prince-Bythewood’s newest release negative reviews, the film has generally been a success, due in part to the impressive performances from Minnie Driver and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
What to say to your date who loves sci-fi…
Have you seen “Interstellar”? Christopher Nolan’s new film opened in theatres on Nov.7, and so far the reception has been predominantly positive. This film seems to reaffirm that Nolan still has a golden touch for storytelling, joining his long line of successes, including “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy (in case you live under a rock and need reminding). However, in the scientific community there has been both positive and negative feedback on how the film handles portraying complicated scientific theories.
What to say to your friend who was a bona fide nerd in high school…
The makers of “The Hobbit” released the official trailer for the last installment of the trilogy! “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is set to premiere in theaters on Dec. 17. Considering the reception of the first two “Hobbit” films was mostly positive, it’s safe to hope that this film will not disappoint. After watching this final chapter, you may want to go ahead and set aside a day to binge watch the “Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” You’ll finally have all of the pieces needed to watch the story on its full linear timeline à la Star Wars.
What to say to your roommate who can’t even decide which top to wear…
At least you’re not Taylor Swift. After publishing her op-ed in The Wall Street Journal detailing her views on the future of the music industry, Swift decided to put her money where her mouth was by pulling her music from the popular music streaming site Spotify. Swift has stuck by her statement, despite some major backlash from fans. This bold move calls to mind some of the other strong stances that the singer has taken recently, including the stance she took on sexism on Australian podcast “Jules, Merrick & Sophie.” Echoing her response from a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, Swift claimed that the way the media treats her writing about past and present relationships is sexist, pointing out that artists like Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are never asked why they write about their exes and girlfriends. Perhaps that is why she has decided to embrace the media’s image of her and play with it, as seen in her new music video for “Blank Space.”
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'Santo Antonio' Tells a Claustrophobic Story“Santo António,” an art installation currently exhibited in Radcliffe Yard’s Byerly Hall, consists of four screens that each cover a side of a room. The mesmerizing short film “Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day” is projected simultaneously on all screens with variations between each one, forming an endless fugue enclosed in a 200-square-foot universe.