Oscar-winning Japanese director Miyazaki to retire, studio head says

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki of the animated movie "Ponyo" smiles as he poses for a picture in Los Angeles. Credit: Reuters
Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki has spent five decades in the movie business.
Credit: Reuters

Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese director known for animated films like the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away,” plans to retire from filmmaking after a five-decade career, his production company said on Sunday at the Venice Film Festival.

“Next week Miyazaki will have a press conference held in Tokyo to announce his withdrawal from active working,” Koji Hoshino, head of Studio Ghibli, which was co-founded by Miyazaki, said at a festival news conference.

Hoshino gave no further explanation for the decision by the director, who is sometimes described as the Walt Disney of Japan.

“I cannot accept any questions on this because there will be an official press conference on this. He wants to say goodbye to all of you from the bottom of his heart,” Hoshino said.

Miyazaki has made 11 feature films. His latest, called “The Wind Rises” in English, is already a box-office hit in Japan and had its premiere on the Venice Lido on Sunday, although Miyazaki was absent.

Based on the story of the man who designed Japan’s feared Zero fighter plane used in World War II, the film’s themes about the dangers of nationalism and war set up the animator for unprecedented criticism.

Commentators see it as a veiled warning that Japan may again be heading in a similar direction. Miyazaki, 72, emphasized that warning in a scathing essay in mid-July about proposals by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution.

Many of the director’s films have an environmental or feminist slant.

Among his best known films are “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” “The Castle of Cagliostro” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” His 1997 film “Princess Mononoke” received the Japanese equivalent of the Oscar for best film and was one of the highest-grossing Japanese films domestically at that time.

His “Spirited Away” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature of 2002 and also was a huge hit internationally.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.