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Ghibli's Princess Kaguya Begins Screening Today in NY, LA, Toronto

posted on by Rachel Mahoney
Isao Takahata's folktale film plays at IFC Center

Isao Takahata's film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya began screening today at the IFC Center in New York City, ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, and TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The New York and Los Angeles theaters will offer both the English- and Japanese-dubbed versions.

The film will run in these theaters until October 23, and then open in multiple other North American theaters over the next few weeks.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) held the film's North American premiere on September 8. The Fantastic Fest in Texas then hosted the United States premiere, and it gave the movie the Audience Award on September 23.

TIFF describes the story from Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko):

Okina (voiced by Takeo Chii) is a bamboo cutter in ancient rural Japan. One day in the forest, he finds a tiny baby in the folds of a bamboo shoot. He brings the creature home to his wife Ounaa (Nobuko Miyamoto) and they decide to keep her and raise her as a princess. She is clearly not of this world. Kaguya (Aki Asakura) grows at an unnatural rate, soon maturing into an uncommonly beautiful young woman. Since Okina has now also found a cache of gold and treasure in the forest, every suitor wants Kaguya. But this is not a fairytale of courtship and marriage. True to the Studio Ghibli that brought us Ponyo and Kiki's Delivery Service, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya follows this strange young female as she creates her own identity.

Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, The 5th Wave) stars as the title character in the English dub. The cast also includes James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt and Dean Cain.

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is based on the famous Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), which centers on a princess named Kaguya who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant. The film won the Animation Film Award at the 68th Mainichi Film Awards. The film was screened at Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight but did not receive any awards.

          

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