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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Here’s the very first footage from the new Hayao Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises. The movie, which hits screens in Japan in a few weeks, is Miyazaki’s most realistic to date. It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japan in World War II. Or, the film is at least based on his story; as you’ll see in the footage, there’s an element of fantasy on display.

The teaser below isn’t very long, but it features enough footage to show off just how gorgeous the animation may be. That, in turn, should be enough to make animation fans happy that Miyazaki continues to direct, no matter the pace he sets for himself. Read More »

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The new film from Hayao Miyazaki is Kaze Tachinu (aka The Wind Rises, or The Wind is Rising), based on the manga of the same name about Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the famous Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane. The fighter was extensively used by Japan during World War II, and Miyazaki’s interest in flight is well-documented, making this project seem like a natural choice for the director.

The film will be released in Japan on July 20 of this year, and a trailer should air on Japanese television this week. We’ll have that trailer when it arrives, but in the meantime we can give you three new images from the film, which will be used as posters in cinemas later this spring. They’re pretty tiny, but you can compare one of them to the original manga art seen above to get a sense of how Miyzaki has translated the visual style.

Update: The same images have been released in much larger size. We’ve added them below.

Read More »

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The idea of a live-action remake of one of the movies by animation master Hayao Miyazaki might not be very appealing no matter who wants to make it, even if the project is based on one of the director’s projects that is best positioned for live-action.

But what about the idea of Miyazaki himself contributing to a live-action companion to one of his films?

Both of these ideas are now realities, with Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) confirmed to direct a live-action version of the coming-of-age story Kiki’s Delivery Service, in which a young witch develops her skills and sense of self-worth after moving to a new town. Miyazaki, meanwhile, contributed a kaiju design for a live-action short that essentially acts as prequel to his early film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Read More »

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