NYC’s Carnegie Hall features American Debut of Two Miyazaki Short Films at JapanNYC Fest

RARE U.S. SCREENINGS OF TWO SHORT FILMS BY ACCLAIMED ARTIST AND ANIMATOR HAYAO MIYAZAKI TO BE HELD AT ZANKEL HALL ON SATURDAY, MARCH 26 AS PART OF CARNEGIE HALL’S CITYWIDE JapanNYC FESTIVAL

Carnegie Hall today announced that two short animated films–House Hunting and Mon Mon the Water Spider–by Academy Award-winning Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle) will be shown together in two screenings on Saturday, March 26 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. It will mark the first time that these two films, created in 2006, have been exhibited outside Japan. The screenings are part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide JapanNYC festival which invites audiences to explore the incredible diversity of Japanese arts and culture with more than 65 performances and events this season (including over 40 this spring) at Carnegie Hall and New York City partner venues.

Tickets for the Zankel Hall film screenings, priced at $15, will go on sale Tuesday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online at carnegiehall.org.

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the world’s most prominent directors and animators of animated feature films. A commercially and critically successful filmmaker in Japan since the late 1970s, Miyazaki came to be well known in the West for his 1997 feature Princess Mononoke, which at the time was the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan and was the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. His 2001 follow-up, Spirited Away, then became the highest grossing film in Japanese history and also won Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. Spirited Away also won Best Animated Feature at the 2002 American Academy Awards and the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the first animated film to win either of these honors.

House Hunting and Mon Mon the Water Spider are two of eight short animated films created specifically for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, by Studio Ghibli, the animation studio that Miyazaki co-founded in 1985. These short films may only be seen at the Ghibli Museum, which was founded in 2001 to celebrate, preserve, and introduce people of all ages to the techniques and culture of traditional hand-drawn animation. In cooperation with Carnegie Hall, the Ghibli Museum has made a one-time-only exception to its screening policy for the JapanNYC festival.

Both House Hunting and Mon Mon the Water Spider share a common feature in that they do not make use of spoken dialogue to convey their story or theme. And each in its own way represents two divergent thematic and stylistic characteristics of Japanese art and culture: the indigenous traditional culture of Japanese folk art, and the more elaborate and refined art influenced by borrowings from foreign cultures. House Hunting employs a bold and somewhat simplified style and owes much to the influence of manga, including the use of visual representation of sound effects. Mon Mon the Water Spider is more Western-influenced, both in its style and its story and theme.

The JapanNYC festival explores the world of Japan today, where artists embrace their country’s unique aesthetic sensibilities while continually revitalizing its cultural landscape. Led by famed conductor Seiji Ozawa as Artistic Director, JapanNYC celebrates a country that values its long-standing cultural heritage while also embracing and transforming Western art forms, in a spirit that very much looks ahead. More than 40 JapanNYC events will take place throughout New York City from March 14—April 9. For a complete schedule and more details, visit carnegiehall.org/japannyc.

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