Iconic director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, will retire from feature film directing, according to an announcement that has been issued at the Venice Film Festival’s press conference room. The statement was not made by Miyazaki himself but by Studio Ghibli president Koji Hoshino. Miyazaki’s latest and last film, The Wind Rises, is currently competing at the festival.
There has been no additional information released about Miyazaki’s retirement besides Hoshino’s statement, which reads:
Miyazaki has decided that “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) will be his last film, and he will now retire.
Hoshino did however say that Miyazaki will be holding a briefing to further discuss the situation later this week in Tokyo. One can only hope that the living legend will change his mind, like so many other directors who’ve claimed “retirement” have done before.
His latest, The Wind Rises, is based on a fictionalized biography of the designer of a WWII fighter aircraft. The film has been featured at various film festivals and has received a mix of political controversy, with many angry at the decision to make a children’s film where the protagonist creates war machines. Regardless, the film has been cited as maintaining Miyazaki’s signature charm.
Miyazaki’s brilliant career has lasted for over fifty years, with titles such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and the recent From Up On Poppy Hill to his name, though Miyazaki’s contribution to filmmaking and animation hardly need to be noted. The list of awards and praises received by Miyazaki is seemingly unending, and the value of the magic he has created for generations of children (and adults) around the world cannot be understated.
While I’m truly disappointed to hear that Hayao Miyazaki has decided to retire, I am encouraged to know that he made the decision while still near the top of his game.
Do you think it’s time for Miyazaki to retire? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.