Review: 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill)

…down from Poppy Hill.

Year: 2011
Language: Japanese
Director: Miyazaki Gorō
Production Studio:
Studio Ghibli
Screenplay: Miyazaki Hayao (宮崎 駿), Niwa Keiko (丹羽 圭子)
Adaptation from: the 1980 manga 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill) by Sayama Tetsurō and Takahashi Chizuru
Animation: Yamashita Akihiko, Yamagata Atsushi, Kousaka Kitaro
Character Design: Kondo Katsuya
Soundscore: Takebe Satoshi
Theme Song: Japanese versionKorean version
Voice Actors: Nagasawa Masami, Okada Junichi, Kanzama Sunshuke, Fubuki Jun, Takeshita Keiko, among others.
Runtime: 91 min
Trailer: on YouTube (not subtitled)
Film’s official website: (in Japanese/日本語)
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival in London. UPDATE: The film is being released in UK cinemas on August 2, 2013

In the US Studio Ghibli’s 2010 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (Karigurashi no Arrietty/Arrietty) is two months into its cinematic release – more than half a year after it screened in the UK and a good 19 months after it originally opened in Japan. The situation is no different with the animation studio’s most recent production, 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill), which premiered in its country of origin in July 2011, but, except for three showings during the Toronto International Film Festival and cinema runs in Taiwan (November 2012, as 來自紅花坂) and France (January 2012, as La Colline aux coquelicots) has not been seen internationally. How the Terracotta Film Festival managed to bring the film to the UK, I do not know, but it was no surprise that the screening was sold out (something I fortunately foresaw, buying a ticket the day they became available :-D) and that viewers were cheering before the reel started rolling.
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