Princess Mononoke (subtitled, 6/1, 10:30pm)

Following the hijinks and aviation exploits of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Porco Rosso, Miyazaki returned to his adventure epic roots with Princess Mononoke — a film that secured Miyazaki’s name among Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Naruse as one of the absolute masters of Japanese cinema. After slaying a wild boar demon gone mad in order to defend his village, the local prince is cursed in his right hand, granting him incredible strength while slowly killing him. Taking off on a quest to expel the curse, he instead discovers a world thrown off-balance by industrial greed and careless for the environment — and a girl raised by wolves who holds the key to reverse it all. Twelve years in development, and with more than half of the film’s 144,000(!) animation cels personally supervised by Miyazaki himself, each frame of Princess Mononoke is something to relish, with a visual style rooted in woodblock prints, pop-fantasy aesthetics, Japan’s natural beauty and ancient figures and masks of the Jōmon period. No saccharine eco-fable, Princess Mononoke is one of the most deeply moving animated adventures ever drawn.
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1997, 35mm, 134 min.