More than Miyazaki

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To celebrate a century of Japanese animation, the Watershed is showing a wealth of jewels

This month sees an extra-special season of films celebrating 100 years since the birth of Japanese animation — but the Watershed isn't going to be filling the bill with masterpieces from Studio Ghibli. This set of events looks deeper into the magical, fantastical world of anime, and leaves the classics by master Hayao Miyazaki behind.

Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name is first up — the “body-swapping romance” is actually the highest grossing anime film of all time, and it heads back to the big screen on 16 November. Enjoy dramatic action, huge emotion and thought-provoking ideas, all wrapped up in a gorgeously detailed style. Can Miyazaki be usurped as the king of Japanese animation? It’s debatable, but Shinkai might be the one to do it.

As well as big-name movies, there’ll be a pair of “long-lost masterpieces”. Trippy ‘70s experiment Belladonna Of Sadness, a “psychedelic, erotic” production from the makers of Astroboy, will be showing on 17 November. On 19 November will be 1945 propaganda flick Momotaro, Sacred Sailors — Japan’s first-ever full-length anime.

1997’s legendary thriller Perfect Blue is the final marvel being shown as part of the season. This vital work, said to inspire reality-bending classics such as Fight Club, Requiem For A Dream and The Matrix, is a must-see.

It’s not all deep, dark and mysterious though — two features for families will be airing too! Eye-popping fantasy Wolf Children and nautical musical Lu Over The Wall will be shown on 18 and 19 November respectively.

As well as all the silver screen delights to look forward to, the Watershed is hosting a free family drop-in event which looks closer at the themes of Wolf Children — families and children can create their own plushie beasts, whip up origami creatures and try their hand at animation! Head down to the Harbourside between 10am and 12.30pm on 18 November to discover more.

Louise Milson, who splits her time between UWE and the Watershed, curates this season. Find the full details and listings on the cinema’s website.

When: 16–19 November Where: Watershed Website: www.watershed.co.uk

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