I had read some rumors regarding the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki earlier this week but didn't want to post anything until it was confirmed from the man himself. Well, this morning he announced that, yes, he is definitely going to be retiring this time. From what I've seen of The Wind Rises, it looks to be the perfect capping point for a wonderful career in films. Even though the film is a more realistic look at Japanese aviation genius Tatsuo Hori, the wide berth of history it will cover combined with the epic sweep that animation grants to flight make it look sublime.
But even that statement carries some qualifiers. He's not directing any feature films from this point on, but his son Goro has been continuing in the family tradition and Hayao helped out a bit with Goro's first feature film. Goro's first film was Tales From Earthsea, which I did not like at all, but I have not seen his much better received follow-up From Up On Poppy Hill. So Hayao will still have his director hand felt through Goro, and said that he plans to do restorative work for the Ghibli museum amongst other projects. The ideas he has for his retirement make most people's daily workload look tiny by comparison. I suspect we'll still be feeling his influence in animation for years to come, but it looks like the credit, "Directed by Hayao Miyazaki," will be put to rest.
In the meantime, some lovely tributes have started popping up on the internet. If you know of more, please feel free to share.
For trailer chat today, I was caught off-guard by The Double. Jesse Eisenberg, apparently not wanting to be one-upped by Armie Hammer from his double-role in The Social Network, stars in a story adapted from Dostoyevsky about a man driven insane by his doppelganger. It's directed by Richard Ayoade, who did the excellent Submarine a couple of years ago, and is billed as a comedy. Based on some of the creepy angular facial hair and demonic lighting it looks to be a nightmarish comedy in the vein of Scorsese's After Hours. It's screening tomorrow at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and while I'll do my best to avoid straight reviews, I'm definitely curious what kind of buzz will be coming off of it.
Also, in time for the holiday's, is All Is Bright. I'm not quite sold on the premise, and as much as I love Paul Giamatti I've never quite captured the Paul Rudd fever, but I got a few smiles from the trailer so that's worth a bit.
I'll be reviewing Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster tomorrow and another In Appreciation piece will be up Sunday. Stay healthy and go watch some movies!