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Hayao Miyazaki releases mystery final film How Do You Live

The script is based on a coming-of-age story about a young boy whose mother is killed in a fire

Peony Hirwani
Friday 14 July 2023 08:43 BST
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Hayao Miyazaki has released his final film How Do You Live in Japan today (Friday 14 July).

The film reportedly takes its title from the 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino, but its story is completely original, written by Miyazaki himself.

The script is based on a coming-of-age story about a young boy whose mother is killed in a fire.

Last month, Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli announced it won’t be releasing commercials or trailers for How Do You Live.

In an interview with Japanese magazine Bungei Shunji, Ghibli’s lead producer, Toshio Suzuki, confirmed that the studio will remain quiet about the film until it comes out.

“As part of company operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come see the movies we’ve made. So we’ve thought about that and done a lot of different things for that purpose – but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t need to do that,’” he said.

“Doing the same thing you’ve done before, over and over, you get tired of it. So we wanted to do something different.”

Suzuki also compared Miyazaki’s approach to that of Hollywood’s marketing plans.

“There’s an American movie – ah, I almost said the title out loud! – coming out this summer around the same time [as How Do You Live?],” he said.

“They’ve made three trailers for it, and released them one at a time. If you watch all three, you know everything that’s going to happen in that movie. So how do moviegoers feel about that? There must be people, who, after watching all the trailers, don’t want to actually go see the movie. So, I wanted to do the opposite of that.”

According to BBC, How Do You Live is “full of Miyazaki’s signature obsessions, quirks, and thematic concerns”.

“There are the usual visual treats, like cute yet eerie creatures, great-looking food and gravity-defying flights of fancy - primarily hand-drawn and moving with the fluidity and sense of weight that mark the master animator’s work,” the publication reported.

US and UK release dates for How Do You Live have yet to be announced.

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