“Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul:” our selection of Studio Ghibli films.

Studio Ghibli Flowers GIF
“Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.”

The Baron, ‘The Cat Returns’ Studio Ghibli (2002).

Occasionally a film will lift itself from being a cinematic experience to being a work of art.
Studio Ghibli however has established itself as a studio that creates exquisite cinematic artworks time after time, whilst also making sure that the films are hugely enjoyable, entertaining and, when required, profound.

Founded in 1985 Studio Ghibli is widely recognised as one of the finest animation studios on the planet. Nominated for Academy awards for best animated feature on no less than five occasions and winner in 2001 for Spirited Away. The studio’s stylistic influences range from romantic Victorian steam punk, Ukiyo-e woodblock printing to traditional Japanese brush work and fantasy art. Likewise the subjects and themes range from adaptations of literary works, traditional mythology to studio penned original works and historical inspired works.

After their 1986 film Valley of the Wind was cut to ribbons in the U.S., Studio Ghibli refused to release their works in the West. And it was only after a no-edit distribution deal with Disney that this changed. Indeed, when one studio executive suggested edits the studio reportedly sent them a Samurai sword with a note that only said ‘no cuts’.

We have all the beautiful, lyrical, exciting, funny, and mysterious Studio Ghibli films in our collections.
Below is just a small selection.

Howl’s moving castle
“Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. After this chance meeting she is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl’s apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

My neighbor Totoro
“Deep inside a tree trunk, two children discover a fascinating new world inhabited by Totoros, amazing, charming creatures who become their friends.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

Ponyo
“A young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship before Ponyo’s father forces her to return to the sea. Ponyo’s desire to be human upsets the balance of nature and only Ponyo’s mother, a beautiful sea goddess, can restore nature’s balance and make Ponyo’s dreams come true.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Spirited away
“Spirited away is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl named Chihiro who discovers a secret world of strange spirits, creatures and sorcery. When her parents are mysteriously transformed, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Arrietty
“In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live quietly among us. But when tenacious and tiny Arrietty is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

Porco Rosso
“Slouching towards middle age, Porco Rosso makes his living by flying about in his red bi-plane and fighting sky bandits who prey on cruise ships sailing the Adriatic. When he’s not engaging in dog fights, this pilot lives on a deserted island retreat. Porco was once a strappling young man, but after his entire squardron was wiped out, he is mysteriously transformed into a pig. Then he is defeated in a dogfight against a dashing American rival, who has been hired by the dastardly bandits. With his plane damaged, he finds a repair hanger near Milan where a local woman fixes his plane.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Grave of the fireflies
“Orphaned Seita and his four-year-old sister struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside after a World War II bombing; the helplessness and indifference of their countrymen is more painful than the enemy raids.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

The collected works of Hayao Miyazaki.
“Featuring the collected works of legendary director Hayao Miyazaki. One of the founding members of Studio Ghibli, this limited edition box set collect’s all of Miyazaki’s full length feature films. Includes Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979), Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo (2008) and The Wind Rises (2013). ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Studio Ghibli : the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata / Odell, Colin
“The animations of Japan’s Studio Ghibli are amongst the highest regarded in the movie industry. This book examines all their major works and explores the cultural and thematic threads that bind these films together.” (Catalogue)

Over 50 years of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine

It is now over 50 years ago since the world’s biggest band released what is now regarded as their revolutionary landmark in, not music this time, but animation:

via GIPHY

Yellow Submarine (1968) was The Beatles fourth film — a psychedelic tour de force. However, other than very short cameo roles at the end of the film, the voices of the fab four were all provided by actors. The vocal cast included two major British comic talents of the time — Lance Percival and Dick Emery. In the end, George Harrison was voiced by two actors after the first was arrested for deserting the British Army mid-way through the film’s production.

The plot — a mind-expanding story — was written by Lee Minoff and was based on the lyrics of the title track penned by Lennon and McCartney. The (at the time) cutting edge style used revolutionary techniques such as rotoscoping  to create the  hallucinogenic, eye-popping visuals. The film is a million miles away from the mainstream Disney style prevalent at that time. Animated films during the period were at a low ebb — indeed some commentators have said the film saved feature-length animated film from a slow creative eclipse that it was experiencing at the time.

Watching it now, the film is still a joy to behold — playful, “child-friendly” and a glorious example of 60s surrealist, psychedelic pop art, coupled with a very funny script reportedly largely written by the uncredited Roger McGough. Of course, it also features an outstanding music soundtrack, which includes four Beatles songs previously unreleased at that point. Incidentally, the orchestral pieces from the film were later used by NASA in their short Apollo 9 promo film.

As John Lennon said of the movie, “I think it’s a great movie, it’s my favourite Beatle movie.”

You can borrow the film, soundtrack, graphic novel and even the songbook from us — full details below:

DVD

Yellow submarine / Beatles
“The legendary film. Once upon a time… or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland, a place where happiness and music reigned supreme. But all that was threatened when the terrible Blue Meanies declared war and sent in their army led by a menacing Flying Glove to destroy all that was good. Enter John, Paul, George and Ringo to save the day! Armed with little more than their humour, songs, and of course, their yellow submarine, The Beatles tackle the rough seas ahead in an effort to bring down the evil forces of bluedom” (Catalogue)

Music CD

Yellow submarine : songtrack / Beatles
Featuring tracks: Yellow submarine — Hey bulldog — Eleanor Rigby — Love you to — All together now — Lucy in the sky with diamonds — Think for yourself — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — With a little help from my friends — Baby you’re a rich man — Only a Northern song — All you need is love — When I’m sixty four — Nowhere man — It’s all too much.

Songbook

Yellow submarine. / Beatles
Note-for-note transciptions for guitar from the movie soundtrack contents include transcriptions for: Yellow submarine — Hey bulldog — Eleanor Rigby — Love you to — All together now — Lucy in the sky with diamonds — Think for yourself — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — With a little help from my friends — Baby you’re a rich man — Only a northern song — All you need is love — When I’m sixty four — Nowhere man — It’s all too much.

Comic

The Beatles : yellow submarine / Morrison, Bill
“The Beatles are recruited by the Captain of the Yellow Submarine to help him free Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies. The music-loving,  paradise of Pepperland has been overrun by the music-hating Blue Meanies. Pepperland’s mayor sends aging sailor, Young Fred out in the fabled Yellow Submarine to find help. He travels to our world where he stumbles across the Beatles and begs them to help him free his world. They agree and head back to Pepperland, to help overthrow the evil Blue Meanies through the power of music and loved.” (Catalogue)

Keep Calm and Carry On: New art books

Bomberg

In our most recent art picks we invite you to “keep calm and carry on” appreciating art. Whether your interests lie in 20th century artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Dion, instructional books, recounts of the influences of art or evolutionary tales of Manga through comics, cartoons and animation, or a WW2 slogan, we have quite the selection for you.

Book Jacket for: Keep calm and carry on : the truth behind the posterKeep calm and carry on : the truth behind the poster / Lewis, Bex
“‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become one of the most recognizable slogans of the twenty-first century. But where is it from and why has it resonated so strongly with the modern British public? This book reveals the truth behind the now infamous poster, tracing its origins to the Second World War, when it was created to allay public panic in the event of a German invasion. Later seized upon as an encouragement in the economic crisis, ‘Keep Calm’ went on to become arguably the most successful meme in history.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Draw your weaponsDraw your weapons / Sentilles, Sarah
“A literary collage with hope at its core, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war. Asking questions such as, what impact can one person have? And how should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: BombergBomberg / MacDougall, Sarah
“This monograph on the influential 20th-century British artist David Bomberg (1890-1957) accompanies a major new exhibition curated by the authors. A comprehensive account, providing an informed and accessible overview of Bomberg’s career and achievements, combining a biographical narrative with an analytical and interpretative approach. Including new material relating to Bomberg’s Jewish background and sumptuous illustrations.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comicsMangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comics / Gravett, Paul
“An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years. With infographics, maps, timelines, and reproductions from all across Asia, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths and the connections between various manga traditions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: In celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educatorIn celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educator
“Cecil Collins is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. Recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art, his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalistMark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist / Erickson, Ruth
“Part of a generation of artists expanding institutional critique in the 1990s, Dion adopted the methods of the archaeologist or the natural history museum, juxtaposing natural objects, taxidermy, books, and more to reorganize the natural and the manmade in poetic, witty ways. Generously illustrated, this publication introduces new insights and features more than seventy-five artworks.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Ann Blockley's watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations.Ann Blockley’s watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations./ Blockley, A 
“Artist Ann Blockley is renowned for her innovative approach to watercolour painting. Her highly anticipated new book provides a series of workshops demonstrating how to push the boundaries of watercolour, using key techniques to develop your own work and take your paintings to the next level. Her beautiful and inspirational artworks demonstrate how different interpretations of a subject might take an unexpected or unusual direction, and how to make the most of these opportunities.” (Adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Book Jacket for: Wanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn TaylorWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor
“The detective hunt for some of this country’s most important and beautiful murals. Mervyn Taylor was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for his murals and tells the stories of their creation.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: The art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collectorThe art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector / Bamberger, Alan S.
“This classic, since its original publication in 1990, has been revised to bring it completely up to date and make it internationally relevant. It now includes information on the internet (researching and buying directly from artists), global art fairs and the contemporary art world. Without a doubt the best and most readily understandable book on how to buy, sell, price, evaluate, appraise and collect artworks for any art buyer, not just collectors no previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)