I last ranked the Studio Ghibli filmography here in August, 2013. But during my COVID-19 downtime I created a podcast with my friend Trevor where we discussed all of the Studio Ghibli films, with Trevor watching them all for the first time. We also included non-Ghibli films Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind.
I thought I’d re-present my new list below which I pulled together after my revisit for the podcast. See below to see my 2021 opinion of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films.
I’m not an obsessive Star Wars fan by any margin and I’m no expert when it comes to the minutiae of the expansive mythology of the Star Wars universe, but I think even hardcore fans of the series would tell you that Rogue One does very little tobuild upon the far reaching narrative that started in Episode I and that’s being continued in Episode VII and VIII and beyond. Of course, as a standalone film, this shouldn’t matter as long as the story it tells is a compelling one. But the biggest sin this film commits is that it doesn’t justify its existence as an engaging piece of entertainment, making it no more than a ‘good-enough’ corporately mandated cash grab.
Can a horror movie get by on atmosphere and filmmaking chops alone? It Follows answers that question with a resounding, ‘yes, kinda’.
The movie follows a young college student Jay (Maika Monroe), who after sleeping with a new boyfriend (Jake Weary) is tied up by said boyfriend and told that he passed something onto her, a curse of sorts. She will be followed by a shape shifting creature that can take the form of anyone. It walks and it follows, and if it catches you, you die. Continue reading →
There is absolutely no denying Gravity‘s mastery of cinematic and technological form and the beauty of its visuals. The camera effortlessly glides through the (lack of) air capturing both the enormity of space and the claustrophobic intimacy of a space suit in single vast takes without calling attention to itself. When you have Alfonso Cuarón as the director and Emmanuel Lubezki (Terrence Malick’s longtime collaborator) as the cinematographer, you know you’re going to get images that simultaneously capture all the beauties of nature and humanity by focusing on the mundane and tactile qualities of existence.
Calling it now: Before Midnight is my favourite film of 2013.
Although I’m intrigued by upcoming technical masteries (Gravity) and festival darlings (12 Years A Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis), I just cannot imagine a film coming along this year that is able to capture the truth of human existence and relationships in all their beauty and ugliness as effortlessly and simply as Before Midnight.
This list represents a ranking of the Studio Ghibli films that I have seen between 1984’s ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’ and 2010’s ‘Arriety’. This list is to somewhat celebrate the arrival of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film ‘The Wind Rises‘ which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival. I’ve still yet to see ‘From Up On Poppy Hill’. See my updated 2021 list.
Studio Ghibli has made some of the greatest animated films of all time. Almost every film is beautifully textured and thoughtfully written. This list is ranked purely in terms of how much I enjoy these films; it’s not necessarily a reflection of how well made they are but rather how much I enjoy revisiting them, so there may be some controversial choices here.