For years I've told people about the time that I went to a restaurant in San Marcos that only served hobbit food and was staffed by a barefoot waitress. That story has been pretty universally dismissed, and now I'm not sure if it really happened. Maybe it was a dream. It does seem a little unlikely that I paid $7 for a peanut butter sandwich served by a Tolkien-obsessed hippie, but it's so weird it has to be real. My inability to figure this out creates an unexplainable and surreal fog in my head that I am pretty sure famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki lives in on a day to day basis. Seeing his films creates the same kind of blissful ambiguity--a fairy tale fugue where trees spirits wander about, little girls rule enchanted forests and mankind gets spanked by nature when it mistreats a very sensitive Mother Earth. Miyazaki's most beloved film, Princess Mononoke, is a fantastically visual experience that at once creates its own mythologies and satisfies traditional story telling conventions. And while the experience is a little surreal, at least you'll have a ticket stub to prove that while Princess Mononoke may have fueled your imagination, it was definitely not a figment of it. A new 35mm print of the anime classic plays Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W Lovers Lane, as part of the Midnight at the Inwood series. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Feb. 13; Sat., Feb. 14, 2009