Studio Ghibli’s 1991 Slice-of-Life Film Only Yesterday Gets First U.S. Theatrical Release

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What better way than to start 2016 than with some vintage Ghibli? GKIDS has acquired the North American rights to Only Yesterday, a 1991 Ghibli film. Dev Patel, Daisy Ridley, Ashley Eckstein, and Alison Fernandez will lend their voices to the English dub. Only Yesterday, written and directed by Isao Takahata, centers around 27-year-old unmarried Taeko, who works at a company in Tokyo. She takes a trip to visit her family in the countryside, which makes her recall her childhood memories as a schoolgirl and forces her to reevaluate her life decisions. You can watch the Japanese trailer (subbed) here.

Ok, now I’m going to gush about how much I like this movie and how I think everyone should watch it. It’s a fantastic but easily overlooked Studio Ghibli film, possibly because Miyazaki and Hisaishi weren’t involved in the film, or because its slice-of-life genre style was overshadowed by the more fantastical and magical films (though Only Yesterday did very well the year it came out in Japan). The film really stands out as a drama to me, because while it’s similar to other Ghibli slice-of-life stories like Whisper of the Heart and The Wind Rises by incorporating dream sequences that are characteristically Miyazaki, the combination of the older protagonist and her younger self give Only Yesterday a different twist. I love the childlike wonder of those other stories, but they make the slower narrative and mature protagonist of Only Yesterday stand out for me even more. I haven’t seen this film for quite a while, and I’m curious to see if my perspective will change now that I’m right between the age of adult Taeko and her schoolgirl self (I like to think I’ve matured in that time).

Basically, I’m really excited not only because I can watch the film on the big screen, but also because I’ll have an opportunity to introduce friends to it. Ocean Waves is another similar Ghibli project (realistic drama, not Miyazaki) that I’d also like to see get some more exposure. Only Yesterday will start at NYC’s IFC Center and expand nationwide on February 26th. Are you going to give it a watch?

(via Indiewire)

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