The beauty of anime is that once you learn to enjoy Japanese animation, the work is pretty much over. There don't really seem to be genres to sort through, as anything can--and usually does--happen at any point. Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away is no exception. It floats along without rules or boundaries, shifting from suspenseful thriller to enchanting fable and back. It's a children's story that dazzles and perplexes grown-ups, and it picked up an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2002. The story begins with a young girl, Chihiro, and her parents driving to their new home in Japan. After one wrong turn they find themselves facing a mysterious wooded path and an ominously empty town square with no sign of life but empty restaurants full of delicious food that turns Chihiro's parents into pigs upon consumption. With the help of a young boy named Haku, Chihiro braves a world of faceless spirits, mythological gods and witches with giant heads on a quest to save her parents and return home. Float through the wide-eyed, English-dubbed world of Spirited Away at midnight screenings this Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-764-9106 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Jan. 9; Sat., Jan. 10, 2009