The Studio Ghibli director and artist will enter into retirement after his latest animated adventure.
Hayao Miyazaki has officially confirmed that he will retire after the release of his upcoming swan song, The Wind Rises, after Studio Ghibli's president, Koju Hoshino, made the initial announcement at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday (1st September). Speaking at a screening of the movie, Hoshino said that Miyazaki would hold his own press conference to confirm the news because "He wants to say goodbye to all of you."
Watch The Trailer For The Wind Rises:
In a Tokyo press conference, broadcast live across the world, Mr, Miyazaki himself announced his retirement from filmmaking. He spoke of how films, such as his previous Ponyo, had begun to take increasingly longer to make "because of his age," reports Den of Geek. "[The next film] might take seven years, which means if I did another film, I'd be 80. I feel my days of feature films are done. If I say I want to [carry on], it would be like an old man saying something foolish," he added to the solemn room.
Though he may appear a sprightly and young 72 year-old, Miyazaki emphasised the strain that being an animator and director had begun to take on him, saying he found the process increasingly tiring and had had to leave the office earlier and earlier due to fatigue.
Although Miyazaki isn't the only director on the Studio Ghibli team, concerns have inevitably turned to the future of the animation studio. "I'm expecting the young staff will want to do something," Miyazaki said. "When I was 30 or 40 years, I had a lot of plans, strong determination. It depends whether the young staff have that determination."
Ghibli executive Toshio Suzuki chimed in to assure the audience that the future was safe for the studio: "I'm 65 years old right now[...]the young animators at Studio Ghibli, they'll decide the future." Suzuki added "[During] this film, The Wind Rises, I'd been interacting with Mr Miyazaki, and I thought he'd be making films until he passed away. Of course, you can't do everything perfectly, but I thought he'd always be involved. But I've known Mr Miyazaki for 35 years, and I thought he'd say he was retiring and that he would just start something else."
The Wind Rises Is One of Several Well-Received Movies To Have Screened At The Venice Film Festival This Week
For fans who are sad to see the director step down, Miyazaki's latest movie The Wind Rises won't be any help to stop them feeling mournful. The beautiful, delicate WW2-set film follows the true story of Jiro Horikoshi - a fighter plane designer for the Japanese army. The film tracks his story from boy to adulthood in a time of great unrest and the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake to add to the tragic film's troubles. The frantic little boy and girl racing their way through a crowded street to avoid an earthquake's destruction in the movie's trailer with its rousing soundtrack song will certainly have your eyes prickling.
In a rather poignant moment, Miyazaki was asked which of his films he loved the most. His response? "Howl's Moving Castle," Miyazaki said, referring to 2005's Oscar nominated film, before adding, "I wanted to convey the message that life is worth living, and I don't think that's changed."