Monday, November 29, 2021

Imagination Poetry Mochi and More

Happy Birthday To Our Darling Maria
An ideal opportunity for celebrating Maria's birthday came up when we discovered that "An unprecented retrospective of legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki" is at the Academy Museum. Seven years ago, when she turned 10, Maria was thrilled to celebrate with a "Miyazaki" theme, all things Studio Ghibli and her favorite artist and anime creator, and we were happy as can be to fufill that wish! The exhibit at the Academy Musuem is the first of its kind in North America, and we were excited to have the chance to see it... and now that we've been, we feel even luckier, even more in awe of what this phenomenal artist has accomplished. The Academy Museum, the special exhibit, LACMA, La Brea... are always such worthwhile and inspiring places to visit! Just to be sure the day was completely fun-filled, we added a visit to Little Tokyo.
Smooth sailing driving up to LA, and back home. If you don't know, when traffic is merciful in Southern California, you have to mention it, humbly, thankfully. It's too precious and rare to not appreciate!

I have this feeling of literally catching my breath... seeing these moments from the day, when we were so awe-inspired, so thrilled to be seeing original sketches, concept art, backdrops, paintings, scale models! He is one of our favorite artists, and first-hand glimpses into his imagination, and all in this space where we could be up close, and feel nearer than ever to art and a spirit world that we love was rousing.

Thanks to the smooth sailing, and little traffic, we arrived well ahead of admission time, and so we got to explore the Wilshire Boulevard museum complex that includes Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where First Lady and President Obama's portraits are being exhibited. That is just one more reason we can't wait to get back to Los Angeles! We would also have fun popping back into an old favorite, the Tar Pits! You can have a lot of fun both inside, and outside of the La Brea Tar Pits! It's been too long since our last visit in the museum.

Acorn, Janece, and Paul are big Miyazaki fans, too, and we all got to share in the magic, together. Alas, no photography was allowed in the exhibit, and believe me... it wasn't easy to resist. I am totally respectful of the policy, but I would love to share (at least) quotes, models, ambient elements, the stone spirit sculpture, the... everything! His background paintings are exquisite... the effect of depth, through colors, details, and skillful mastery of perspective are mindboggling. And how beautifully he can make simple sketches, mere lines and curves, evoke whatever he wishes to convey, including action, emotion, is simply breathtaking. All of our photographs are from LACMA, La Brea, and the approach to the Miyazaki exhibit... beyond those walls are some of the works that brings a spirit world of animation and imagination to life.
There is more to the Academy Museum, and we got to enjoy some of it, including the Toy Story Zoetrope! I love the film memorabilia, like scripts, Oscars, costumes, set pieces, and tributes. I was especially impressed, and moved to see not just a few references to racism, sexism, and other injustices; old and current issues that should not be edited out of the Hollywood narrative, and American history. Outside of the Academy Museum, we enjoyed panoramic views, including distant icons, the Hollywood sign, and the observatory at Griffith Park.
We saw a lot, and we missed a lot. We definitely want to return. At the risk of trying to do too much, we headed east, toward old Los Angeles, and the district called Little Tokyo, to get road snacks for the drive home, books, and mochi... birthday mochi, from Fugetsu-Do. These beautiful confections are made at this family owned and operated confectionary since 1903!

This was a special outing, a fitting celebration, and an auspicious start to Maria's new year. We were exclaiming, and sighing with awe, from inspiration.

The Miyazaki retrospective will be at the Academy Museum until June 5, 2022.


Ruth said...

What a perfect gift to Maria for her birthday! Fun times in the Big City. Some of us would never have known the wonders of Miyazaki without you guys. Also (not Miyazaki) but Wallace and Grommet, too.

Ruth said...

Wallace and Gromit.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Oh my gosh... what a happy memory you bring to mind, of Alex and his video cassette! He hugged "The Wrong Trousers" box, carrying it wherever we went, like a doll, or beloved blanket, and whenever he saw a TV, wherever we were, he would interrupt the party, event, gathering with a screening of his favorite: Wallace and Gromit! Then Max chose My Neighbor Totoro one fateful night at a Blockbuster!

Janece said...

That first photo of Maria -- just perfection! And what a gift that you opened the invitation to us to join in for Miyazaki day! What an incredible experience.

It's fun to see the day from your eyes... and feel such a kinship to you when I see that many of the same things that caught my mind and heart did the same in yours. (For example, the Toni Morrison painting!)

I love what a celebration you made of the day - celebrating the most wonderful of individuals. It's a gift to know and be friends with Maria.