Hayao Miyazaki explains why he’s retiring

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There was a shock at the Venice Film Festival last weekend when Studio Ghibli president Koji Hoshino announced that The Wind Rises would be Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film. Miyazaki has talked about retirement since 1997’s Princess Mononoke, but this time the 72-year-old director says he’s serious.

“[In the past,] we could make films in four and five months,” Miyazaki explained at a 600-reporter press conference in Tokyo late last week. “But during that time, my staff and I were younger, and we often said that creating these movies was a once in a lifetime event. Now, you can’t demand your staff work at this pace forever, because people get older and they have to choose between work and family.”

As Vadim Rizov at The Dissolve points out, Miyazaki used to be able to work between 12 to 14 hours a day, but can only manage about seven hours these days. It took Miyazaki five years to make The Wind Rises, and it would likely take longer if there were to be a new film.

We’ll be checking out The Wind Rises later this month at the New York Film Festival, so look out for some first impressions and our full review. To close on a hopeful and cheery note, Miyazki intends to remain involved with Studio Ghibli and restated his main goal as a filmmaker: “I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living. This message has not changed.”

[via The Dissolve]