Film Club
Screening Dates

Yamada is a master of human observation … This is a film that will resonate strongly with anyone who’s ever been through [school’s] emotional roller coaster.”

Matt Schley, The Japan Times

This August marks the Japanese release of the first new film by animator and director Yamada Naoko in six years—a major event for fans of her work! To celebrate the occasion, we’re presenting her most recent film, a beautifully sensitive portrayal of school-age confidence, in all its halting ups and downs. Mizore is a shy oboist in the school band. When she’s assigned a key part in the fairy-tale inspired musical piece Liz and the Blue Bird,” she can’t help but notice the way its themes—of friends departing for different worlds—seem to mirror the end of the school year and her untested connection to Nozomi, a flutist who she wishes she could know better. Yamada’s style of careful observation privileges both Mizori and Nozomi’s attempts to understand one another. It’s important to not take shortcuts in depiction,” Yamada has said, and her attention to detail makes the slightest change, in rehearsals and conversations, land with enormous impact.

English dubbed version

More muted and intimate than other recent Japanese animated films, Liz and the Blue Bird is no less breathtaking … Yamada’s focus on small gestures and behaviours marks this as one of the most keenly observed [slice-of-life dramas] of recent years, animated or otherwise.”

Sean Gilman, Seattle Screen Scene

Yamada’s approach is disarmingly muted, often prioritizing subtle emotional textures over thrilling narrative climaxes … [Liz and the Blue Birds] undercurrent of sound sparkles and simmers throughout the film’s runtime.”

Ian Wang, Bright Wall/Dark Room

Upcoming in this Series

  • Singin In The Rain 1
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • USA1952
  • Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
  • 103 DCP
  • G
  • Film Club
  • Liz And The Blue Bird 1
  • Liz and the Blue Bird
  • リズと青い鳥
  • Japan2018
  • Yamada Naoko
  • 90 DCP
  • G
  • Film Club