Longtime producing partner confirms legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki hard at work on plans for a new animated feature.
Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki is underway on preparations for a new feature film, according to Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, Miyazaki’s longtime producing partner, who revealed the news at an Academy press event held ahead of Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony.
At a screening of director Michael Dudok de Wit’s Oscar-nominated animated feature The Red Turtle -- a Studio Ghibli co-production -- held Thursday night at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Suzuki remarked that Miyazaki had showed him storyboards for the new work late last year, stating, “Right now in Tokyo, he’s putting all his effort into making it.”
While outlets such as Anime News Network are speculating that the new film could be a feature-length version of Miyazaki’s previously announced CG-animated short, Boro the Caterpillar, Suzuki revealed no additional details about the project. “All I can say is that it’s really interesting,” he said.
Miyazaki’s most recent film, The Wind Rises, was nominated for the Oscar for best animated feature in 2014 and received more than 20 other awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for animated feature and an Annie Award for writing. Produced by Suzuki, Miyazaki wrote and directed the anti-war themed film, announcing upon its release that it would be his final feature.
In 2015, Oscar-winning Spirited Away director revealed that he was experimenting with CG animation with a new short film based on the character of Boro the Caterpillar from his 2006 short, Monmon the Water Spider. Then, in 2016, Miyazaki proposed that Boro the Caterpillar be adapted into a feature and, although the project has yet to be officially green-lit, reportedly has been working on it ever since.
Animated feature film nominee Toshio Suzuki, producer of ‘The Red Turtle,’ during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Week: Animated Features event on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Every Tuesday, Chris Robinson digests and dissects (relatively) new indie animation short films.
Sorry, I just like saying that word. Did Sylvester the cat ever say, “Serendipity?” I imagine that would sound splendiferous.
The word, of course, means a fortunate happenstance or a timely surprise.
You see, last week I screened a film called The Wound, which was about people who never learned to minimize the bumps and scrapes of their past. This week’s film, 38-39˚c (2012) by CalArts grad, Kangmin Kim, shows you a way of dealing with those wounds: taking a piping hot soak in a tub.
Me? I prefer to box or run and even walk it out. If that fails, there’s always a stand-up comedy special. But, a good steamy soak in water that’s just above the average body temperature is also a pretty good way to burn those bruises right off.
I love the deceptive simplicity and beauty of this film (aesthetically, it has some weird paradoxical fusion between artifice and realism. Go figure.). The story is pretty straightforward on a one level. A man swings by a bathhouse to soak in a hot tub. That’s pretty much it, on the surface. But, as he enters the tub, the heat penetrates his whole body causing his mind to drift to what appears to be a dream-like memory featuring a small man and a larger man. Although they both have identical marks on the lower right side of their backs – suggesting they are related - there is a clear disconnect between the two. Eye contact is never made. Is the bathtub protagonist the son (is that spinning top that falls out of his pocket, a memento from childhood? trying to bust through the hardened walls of the large father’s back (Has the father just died?) or is the guy just re-stitching two unreconciled sides of himself?
The violent rage that seems to possess the smaller man is really more a reflection of the hot temperatures boiling away a lingering emotional pain and allowing the man to rediscover that peaceful – or at least bearable - existence zone that enables him to carry on – for now.
Taking a momentary time out from life so that you can step back, take a breath and reconstitute yourself; this is how you keep wounds from turning into mind-crippling monsters.