The newest feature from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli is a sweeping story of friendship, mystery and discovery that delivers stirring emotions and breathtaking animation as only Ghibli can.

When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. Based on the young adult novel by Joan G. Robinson and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty), When Marnie Was There has been described as “Ghibli Gothic,” with its moonlit seascapes, glowing orchestral
score, and powerful dramatic portrayals that build to a stormy climax.

PROJECT INTENT by Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi
“The location of the story is Hokkaido. Anna is a twelve-year-old girl harboring considerable anguish inside her small body. Before her appears a mysterious girl named Marnie, who carries a sadness of her own. In an age when the world seems to concern itself only with adult matters, will it be possible for us to make a film that can bring salvation to these orphaned souls? I don’t intend to change the world with a single film the way Miyazaki-san might, but in following The Wind Rises and The Tale of The rincess Kaguya by the Studio’s master directors, I do want to get back to making a Studio Ghibli movie for children. For all the Annas and Marnies who will come to theaters to see this film, I hope to make a movie that feels like a soulmate ? one who might sit next to them and just be by their side. The year before last, Suzuki-san handed me a book titled When Marnie Was There. It was a British children’s classic that is also on Miyazaki-san’s list of recommended books. Suzuki-san suggested that I adapt it into a movie.I thoroughly enjoyed it as a literary work and was moved by it, but the story seemed a difficult one to tell through animation. What makes the book is the dialogue between Anna and Marnie. It is through their conversations that we see subtle shifts of the heart, and that is where the true pleasures of this novel lie. But how could this be captured in animation? I certainly couldn’t find the confidence to do so in a compelling manner.However, a certain visual image lingered in my mind long after reading the book ? Anna and Marnie standing close together, holding hands, in the garden of a stone mansion that faces a beautiful marsh. Maybe they could waltz in the moonlight? The two hearts will connect, always accompanied by nature’s beauty, a gentle breeze, and a familiar old tune. After drawing several concept sketches, I found myself wanting to give it a try.”

Director:Hiromasa Yonebayashi  (Studio Ghibli)

103min Japanese with English Subtitle   (c) 2014 Studio Ghibli – NDHDMTK

JFFLA2017 Opening screening film

Presented by UC Irvine Japanese Language Program
Sponsored by the Japanese Business Association

May 5th (Fri.)  Door open: 4:30pm and Film Starting at 5:00pm

Venue: UCI   443 Humanities Instructional Building(HIB-100) Irvine, CA 92697

pay parking at UCI.

“When Marnie Was There” Reservation for Free Screenings

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