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Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, who won an Oscar for his 2001 animated film Spirited Away, is set to retire. The 72-year-old’s animation studio announced the news at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday. Koju Hoshino, president of Studio Ghibli, said Miyazaki’s latest project, The Wind Rises, would be his last film. The director is also known for his movies Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. Mr Hoshino declined to take questions on Miyazaki’s decision to retire, but said more details would be given next week at another press conference in Tokyo.
“He wants to say goodbye to all of you,” he said. Miyazaki was not in Venice for the international premiere of The Wind Rises, which is showing in competition. The director’s 11th feature film tells the story about the engineer who designed Japan’s World War II fighter planes. Miyazaki – who is one of the most respected directors in animation – first came to prominence in the 1970s with his work in anime for TV. He previously retired after the release of 1997 film Princess Mononoke, but returned to direct Spirited Away to great acclaim. Howl’s Moving Castle followed in 2004, and was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar. In recognition of his five-decade career, he was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 2005.
Biography Hayao Miyazaki ( 宮崎 駿 Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941 ) is a Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter. Through a career that has spanned over fifty years, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of anime feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park and American director Robert Zemeckis.
Born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Miyazaki began his animation career in 1961, when he joined Toei Animation. From there, Miyazaki worked as an in-between artist for Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon where he pitched his own ideas that eventually became the movie’s ending. He continued to work in various roles in the animation industry over the decade until he was able to direct his first feature film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro which was released in 1979. After the success of his next film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, he co-founded Studio Ghibli where he continued to produce many feature films besides during a ‘temporary retirement’ in 1997 following Princess Mononoke.
While Miyazaki’s films have long enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Japan, he remained largely unknown to the West until Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing film in Japan—until it was eclipsed by another 1997 film, Titanic—and the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. Miyazaki returned to animation with Spirited Away. The film topped Titanic’s sales at the Japanese box office, also won Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards and was the first anime film to win an American Academy Award.
Miyazaki’s films often contain recurrent themes like humanity’s relationship with nature and technology, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women. While two of his films, The Castle of Cagliostro and Castle in the Sky, involve traditional villains, his other films like Nausicaä and Princess Mononoke present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. He co-wrote the film The Secret World of Arrietty, which was released in July 2010 in Japan and February 2012 in the United States. Miyazaki’s newest film The Wind Rises was released on July 20, 2013 and is planned for an international release.
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