New Studio Ghibli Film FROM UP ON POPPY HILL Opens Friday in NYC!
GKIDS is extremely proud to present FROM UP ON POPPY HILL (コクリコ坂から, Kokuriko-Zaka Kara, 2011), the highly anticipated new film from Studio Ghibli, creators of SPIRITED AWAY, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, PONYO, THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY and many other animated masterpieces. Written by legendary studio founder Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Goro Miyazaki, FROM UP ON POPPY HILL marks the first feature film collaboration between father and son. The results are stunning — a pure, sincere, nuanced and heartfelt film that signals yet another triumph for the esteemed studio.
The top-grossing Japanese film of 2011 and winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Animation, FROM UP ON POPPY HILL opens in New York on March 15, Los Angeles and Toronto on March 22, and expands to major North American markets on March 29.
The setting is Yokohama in 1963, and the filmmakers masterfully bring to life the bustling seaside town, with its salty air, sun-drenched gardens, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film (plan on ramen and pork katsu after the movie). The story centers on an innocent romance beginning to bud between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics — and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji-era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But — in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing — a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.
More than any Studio Ghibli film, FROM UP ON POPPY HILL embodies a specific time and place and captures the emotional landscape of its setting. This sense of yearning and possibility is palpable (the upbeat mood is captured perfectly by the period pop music), evoking both a wide-eyed hope for the future, and a longing nostalgia for a past that can never be recovered.
Star-filled voice cast includes Gillian Anderson (THE X-FILES), Sarah Bolger (THE TUDORS), Beau Bridges (THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS), Jamie Lee Curtis (TRUE LIES), Bruce Dern (BIG LOVE), Jeff Dunham (ARGUING WITH MYSELF), Isabelle Fuhrman (THE HUNGER GAMES), Christina Hendricks (MAD MEN), Ron Howard (AMERICAN GRAFFITI), Chris Noth (THE GOOD WIFE), Emily Osment (HANNAH MONTANA), Aubrey Plaza (PARKS AND RECREATION), Charlie Saxton (HUNG), Alex Wolff and Anton Yelchin (STAR TREK).
OPENS THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 15
IFC CENTER – 323 SIXTH AVE (AT WEST THIRD)
ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER – 144 WEST 65TH (LINCOLN CENTER)
About Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and is one of the most successful and well-respected animation studios in the world. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Miyazaki and Takahata, Studio Ghibli’s films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling. The films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture, and have garnered worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Hayao Miyazaki’s SPIRITED AWAY won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2002 and in 2005 Miyazaki was named one of “the most influential people” by Time Magazine.
GKIDS is a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences. Theatrical releases include Tomm Moore’s Oscar nominated THE SECRET OF KELLS, Michel Ocelot’s acclaimed AZUR & ASMAR, European Film Award Best Animated Feature winner MIA AND THE MIGOO, Nina Paley’s multiple-award-winning SITA SINGS THE BLUES, and Japan Academy Prize winner SUMMER WARS by Mamoru Hosoda. Upcoming GKIDS releases include 2011 Berlin official selection A CAT IN PARIS and Annecy winner ELEANOR’S SECRET. GKIDS is also producer of New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival, North America’s largest festival of film for children and teens. NYICFF is an Oscar-qualifying event and jury members include Uma Thurman, Susan Sarandon, Gus van Sant, Matthew Modine, James Schamus, Michel Ocelot, and Christine Vachon.