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Twenty-five years ago Studio Ghibli’s second major release was the double feature of My Neighbor Totoro from Hayao Miyazai and Grave of the Fireflies from Isao Takahata. This year we’ve already seen Miyazaki’s latest, The Wind Rises, arriving to acclaim (and some controversy) in Japan, and we’ve now got a poster for the US release.

At the same time, Takahata’s latest film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, is soon to be released in Japan, and we’ve got a new three-minute trailer for the film. We’ve seen some footage from that already, but this offers a lot more to take in.  Read More »

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Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from directing feature films, but don’t fret: Studio Ghibli will continue to make new movies. The next film from the studio reportedly will be from The Secret World of Arrietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

And for Miyazaki fans, the interesting factor is that an anecdotal piece of information suggest that the film might be the long-rumored sequel to Porco Rosso. That’s Miyazaki’s film about a bewitched human pilot who, trapped in the form of a pig, engages in aerial battles over the Adriatic Sea after WWI. Read More »

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Disney has finalized release plans for what’s likely to be the last film Hayao Miyazaki will ever direct: The Wind Rises.

The Studio Ghibli film will get an Oscar qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles from November 8-14, a limited release on February 21, 2014 and then expand on February 28, 2014. It’ll screen in the original Japanese with English subtitles. After the jump, read the full press release. Read More »

Hayao Miyazaki Retires From Feature Directing

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Briefly: We’ll have to wait for more info, but Twitch reports that Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement from feature directing was announced at the Venice Film Festival, where his new film The Wind Rises is in competition. He didn’t make the statement himself; rather, Studio Ghibli president Hoshino Koji announced it. There were no further details.

Long-time fans of the director will recall that this is not the first time the director has announced his intention to retire. Only time will tell whether or not he will truly stay away from features now; the fact that the announcement specifically mentioned feature directing does leave the door open for the filmmaker to craft other work, which will be some consolation to fans.

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Briefly: The flirtation between Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli and a smaller distributor didn’t last long. For many years, Disney had the US distribution rights to all of Studio Ghibli’s movies. A couple years back that deal ended, however, and in 2011 rights to the Ghibli catalog went to the small company Gkids. The outfit mounted revival screenings of most of the studio’s animation slate last year, and distributed From Up on Poppy Hill, from Goro Miyazaki. (That film hits DVD next week.)

But Ghibli has gone back to Disney for US distribution of Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest film, The Wind Rises. The movie tells a dramatized version of the biography of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Zero fighter plane that became the iconic image of Japanese air power in WWII.

The film has already opened in Japan (to some controversy) but we don’t have US release info yet. Borys Kit of THR tweeted the info that Disney will distribute. The film will have its North American premiere at TIFF in a couple weeks.

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There’s a good bit of “maybe, eventually” sequel news today; I’ll let readers decide whether the best story is Hayao Miyazaki saying that a Nausicaa sequel directed by Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion) would be OK by him, or whether the top spot goes to Chris Carter saying that he still wants to make a third X-Files film, and that he’d like Simon Pegg to appear in it, too.

In addition to those items, after the break you’ll find:

  • A few details on The Raid 2: Berandal,
  • Joy Ride 3 gets (an actor who played) Jason Voorhees,
  • A Haunted House 2 traps Jaime Pressly,
  • and new Insidious: Chapter 2 images.

Read More »

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Hayao Miyzaki‘s new film The Wind Rises has been a box-office monster in Japan, coming in at number one for a month straight. We’ve seen a trailer, but now thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival, which will soon host the film’s premiere outside of Japan, we can get a subtitled version of the footage.

Check it out below. Read More »

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The best way to learn about Japan’s famed animation house Studio Ghibli is simply to watch Ghibli’s films, especially those made by co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Barring that, a visit to the Ghibli Museum in Japan will give you a good look at the studio’s history; cheaper but also far more limited is the selection of “making-of” clips that accompany some of the company’s films.

How about a better middle ground? A documentary called The Kingdom of Dreams & Madness is in the works now. The film will look at the making of two new animated films, among them Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises.   Read More »

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