Miyazaki Madness: SPIRITED AWAY

Director Hayao Miyazaki
Year 2001
Rating PG
Run Time 135min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Screening on 35mm film. Original Japanese language with English subtitles. See what other Miyazaki films we will be screening this month here.

SPIRITED AWAY is a trip, in the literal, metaphorical and indeed lysergic senses of that word. Ostensibly, it’s the story of a girl’s voyage into the spirit world to rescue her parents, who, in typical idiotic adult fashion, drive on a road where they shouldn’t drive, eat food they shouldn’t eat and end up getting turned into pigs.

But this premise is, as usual, mainly an excuse for Miyazaki’s imagination and id to free-associate, channeling and repurposing elements of Eastern and Western mythology, Lewis Carroll’s Alice, E. Nesbit, “Where the Wild Things Are,” George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” comic strip, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy and God only knows what else.

This movie is so druglike that you’ll probably start suspecting at some point that you’re actually asleep, since what’s unfurling on-screen is more like the arbitrary symbolic language of dream than what usually happens on film. (Andrew O'Hehir, Salon)

 

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