Spirited Away

Movie Information

In Brief: I go back and forth between Spirited Away (2001) and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) as to which is my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film. At the moment, I’m leaning toward Spirited Away — perhaps because I just saw it. The film’s story line is fairly complex, especially when you figure that it’s mostly there to hang the series of adventures and weird encounters the little girl—Chihiro/Sen—has after she and her parents pass through the tunnel at the beginning of the film. The relationships of the characters to each other are almost like something out of a Russian novel — except it’s all in the most fantasticated manner imaginable. But in all honesty, that’s what we watch the film for (apart from its humanistic tone): its fantastication. This is spectacle — spectacle of the imagination — pure and simple. It is creativity unbound and limited only by Miyazaki’s imagination, which, frankly, seems to have no limitations. The point is to sit back and marvel at the outpouring of ideas laid out before you. What more could you really ask for? This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on Sept. 28, 2010.
Genre: Animated Fantasy
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: (voices) Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers
Rated: PG

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Spirited Away on Friday, Aug. 10, at the new Flood Gallery location in Black Mountain, 850 Blue Ridge Road, Unit A-13, Black Mountain.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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