This weekend, before Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There screens throughout the UK from June 10th, the BFI Southbank in London has a few more anime movie treats lined up. From Friday June 3rd to Sunday June 5th, you’ll be able to catch up with the other cinematic spectacles Japan has brought to us this past year, starting with the late Project Itoh’s Harmony and a live Q&A with director Michael Arias.
After this launching event, you have chances to see Harmony‘s Project Itoh partner Empire of Corpses, Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie and its spiritual successor Psycho-Pass: The Movie, Mamoru Hosoda’s Japan Academy Prize-winning The Boy and the Beast, and finally, Mamoru Oshii’s sci-fi live-action Garm Wars: The Last Druid. This is all packed in with an early screening of When Marnie Was There on the Sunday.
Here are all the films as scheduled in either the main screen NFT1, or the smaller screen NFT3:
Friday June 3rd
Harmony, plus Q&A with director Michael Arias, 6:00pm in NFT1
Medical advances have brought the world to a safe but oppressive ‘utopian’ state. The world balance finds itself threatened when a sudden crisis erupts. Directors Arias (Animatrix, Tekkonkinkreet)and Nakamura (A Tree of Palme) team up to bring Satoshi Ito’s sci-fi novel to the big screen – one of three Project Itoh works animated in 2015.
Empire of Corpses, 8:50pm in NFT1
Our second Project Itoh adaptation in this anime weekend is set in a parallel 19th-century Europe where human corpses have been re-animated to provide military muscle and slave labour. In London, John Watson is set upon discovering the missing component – the soul – and restoring humanity to these creatures.
Saturday June 4th
The Boy and the Beast, 3:30pm in NFT1
When Ren runs away he finds a secret entrance to a town of beasts and becomes apprentice to Kumatetsu, a self-centred creature who wants to become the new Beast Lord. This unlikely duo struggle at first, but when Ren leaves, Kumatetsu finds himself in danger and needs his young friend’s help. Hosoda’s follow up to Wolf Children proves he’s an anime force to be reckoned with.
Ghost in the Shell (1995 film), 6:15pm in NFT1
We celebrate the 25th birthday of distributor Manga Entertainment with a screening of this anime classic, itself 21-years-old. Beautifully animated and disturbingly prophetic, Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic tale centring on Public Security Section 9’s hunt for supreme hacker The Puppet Master.
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, 8:45pm in NFT1
In this next edition of the popular franchise, it’s 2029 and Major Motoko Kusanagi returns with Public Security Section 9 to investigate a group of cyborg ex-soldiers who have taken a number of hostages!
Sunday June 5
When Marnie Was There, 12:40pm in NFT 1. This English-dubbed screening isn’t technically part of the Anime Weekend, but is linked to the event as a BFI Families screening.
Anna is a sickly girl who’s sent to live with relatives near the seaside, where she meets Marnie. Marnie claims to live in the mansion across the marsh, which at times seems dilapidated and at other times not… This Oscar®-nominated film from Studio Ghibli is an exquisitely hand-drawn treat.
Garm Wars: The Last Druid, 5:20pm in NFT3. Original version, in English.
A clone war has overtaken the world with three tribes battling for air, land and technology. When one clone finds herself lost and on the run, she falls in with an unlikely group. This visually stunning live-action tale has a cyberpunk aesthetic and is the first English language outing for Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii.
Psycho-Pass: The Movie, 8:00pm in NFT3
Inspector Tsunemori has an attempted terrorist attack to deal with and what’s more – her chief suspect is her former partner, who now lives within a dictatorship zone with some very dangerous people. This anime action-adventure will please fans of the TV franchise but is also self-contained.
Update: Tickets are still on sale via BFI Southbank’s official website for their three-day season of anime screenings, running from this Friday, June 3rd until Sunday, June 5th. So, if you missed out on ticket sales opening back in May, you still have a last-minute chance to grab your seats.