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Roger Ebert once called Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli collaborator Isao Takahata “arguably the greatest directors of animation in the world.” The two first worked together in the 1960s at the animation house Toei Animation, and founded Studio Ghibli in 1985, where they would go on to make such classics as My Neighbor Totoro (1988); Princess Mononoke (1997), which won the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year and briefly became the highest-grossing film in Japan after its release; and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away (2001). Before any of those though there was NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, the 1984 masterpiece that, while not technically a Ghibli film, launched the studio. Considered by some their finest film, it is a visually dazzling post-apocalyptic epic about a warrior princess and her fight to save a toxic jungle and its giant mutant insects from an ancient weapon of unimaginable power. Think Star Wars meets Avatar, but smarter and more fun than both.
The otherworldly Brooklyn-based guitarist KAKI KING sets the stage for the fantasy. King, who made Rolling Stone’s 2006 list of “The New Guitar Gods,” on which she was the sole woman and youngest artist, has collaborated with Eddie Vedder, the Foo Fighters, The Roots, and The Mountain Goats. She also works as a multimedia artist, notably on the 2014 project that premiered at BRIC, The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, in which the guitar is used as a projection screen to tell a story.