Miyazaki Golden at Venice

With his latest animated feature, Howl’s Moving Castle, in release, critically acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is set to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 62nd Venice Int’l Film Festival (Aug. 31-Sept.10). This will be the first time the honor has gone to a director of animated films. In addition, Friday, Sept. 9 will be named "Miyazaki Day" with screenings of several of his films planned at the festival.

Venice festival director Marco Müller comments, “Hayao Miyazaki is the giant who pulled down the walls which had been erected to contain Japanese animated films and reduce them to Western categories. In Hayao Miyazaki is embodied the filmic pop art of the new millennium, one of the components that are increasingly present in the research work of the Venice Film Festival.”

Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli have produced a string of critical successes and Japanese box office hits, beginning with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds (1984) and continuing with Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away (2001). Howl’s Moving Castle had its world premiere at the 61st Venice Film Festival in September 2004, and has gone to great box office success in Japan and France.

It’s reported that Miyazaki is planning three new films. He is also being honored with a major exhibition at the Musée de la Monnaie in Paris. Titled “Miyazaki & Moebius,” the showcase illustrates the reciprocal influences of the two artists.