It’s a decade since Hayao Miyazaki last made a feature and there probably isn’t another filmmaker whose return from retirement would elicit greater excitement. The man who gave us Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbour Totoro… Who co-founded the legendary Studio Ghibli… He’s back with the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who meets a talking heron and must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.
Released in Japan without promotional fanfare this summer under the title How Do You Live, Miyazaki’s movie instantly became Ghibli’s biggest ever box office smash. Commentators were quick to point out that the film has several parallels with the filmmaker’s story: like Mahito, Miyazaki was born in 1941, his father worked in an airplane factory, and the family moved to the countryside after the fire bombing of Tokyo. Meanwhile the supernatural elements echo and reflect his recurring obsessions in configurations that will surprise and delight fans new and old. At 82, Miyazaki himself is still defiantly young at heart.
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, and manga artist. As a co-founder of the fabled Studio Ghibli, he has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and creator of Japanese animated feature films, and is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished filmmakers in the history of animation. Spirited Away (2001) is regularly cited as the greatest animated feature ever made. Miyazaki announced his retirement from filmmaking after The Wind Rises in 2013, but returns this year with The Boy and the Heron.
Filmography: My Neighbour Totoro (1988); Princess Mononoke (1997); Spirited Away (2001); Ponyo (2008); The Wind Rises (2013)
Galas & Special Presentations
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The Boy and the Heron
Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.
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