The director of Oscar-nominated 'The Wind Rises', Hayao Miyazaki, has confirmed that he will not be making any more films, contrary to what people around him have suggested.
In a recent interview after his final ever feature was released in the US last week, the Studio Ghibli legend denies the possibility of returning to filmmaking and acknowledges how risky his final feature was in terms of alienating its audience and also displeasing others with a controversial subject matter.
Set during the Second World War in Japan, Miyazaki's true tale of a fighter plane designer is penned as the film's protagonist, which could ruffle feathers both within Japanese audiences as well as American ones. That said, the film has recently opened in the US to a warm reception, even though Miyazaki claims he was taken aback by its English-speaking popularity: "I actually knew it would raise controversy, I knew that some people would be against these kind of protagonists, engineers making fighter planes. In another way I'm surprised and grateful to the people of the U.S. - we once fought the Second World War, but the people in the U.S. generously accepted the film."
Based on Truth
Miyazaki's story wasn't only based on history -- an idea he expressed concern over to producer Toshio Suzuki --but also on people he knew, for added character authenticity. "The staff that we hire at Studio Ghibli , they don't know that much about history. I thought it would be difficult to teach," said the director, as he voiced concern over how they'd handle the subject matter. But it's not like they haven't incorporated history into their narratives before (see 'From Up on Poppy Hill'.)
Without naming names, Miyazaki reveals the inspiration behind his story: "I usually think about one or two persons very close to me. For 'Wind Rises' it was one boy. I can't tell you who, because he himself does not know that I made the film for him".
Even though the film is far more niche than their previous efforts, 'The Wind Rises' still seems to have attracted massive audiences and attention. Having missed out on winning an Oscar to 'Frozen', it still remains a hugely popular choice with the critics and is the most anticipated anime film on my list for the coming year.
'The Wind Rises' will hit cinemas in the UK on 9 March 2014.
Do you find the themes of 'The Wind Rises' controversial? Do you intend to see it upon its UK release?
Mike indulges in all genres, with a particular affinity for animation -- specifically Studio Ghibli. His favourite films include ' My Neighbour Totoro' , 'Lost In Translation' , 'The Shining' and 'Jurassic Park' . For more thoughts on movies and other such frivolity, follow him on Twitter.
More anime articles from Mike P Williams:
Short Peace anime collection to screen in cinemas
Saint Seiya film announces its cast
Magi manga creator reveals character deaths
The Wind Rises misses out on Oscar glory
Blood-C: The Last Dark gets UK home release