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Imagine dedicating your life to a craft, mastering it, then one day retire thinking you’ve done all you can for it. That was the case for Hayao Miyazaki, and when he announced his retirement, it sent shock waves throughout the industry. His peers felt it, inspiring animators felt it, but most importantly, his fans felt it. How could one of the best animators in the world call it quits? In a new documentary, fans will get a personal look into his retirement where at one point he calls himself a “weak, used-up old man.” And when you think he’s down for the count, watch as new life is blown into him as he works with younger animators through a new medium in Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki.

Here’s a look at the trailer:

Alright. Which one of you out there is cutting the onions? There’s something about seeing someone as great as Miyazaki in such a vulnerable state. And then to watch as the fire he seemed to put out prematurely is reignited among other, young animators in a medium he once called “an insult to life itself.” It seems the old saying is very true, you don’t realize how much you’ll miss something until you finally stop doing it. In this case, it was animation.

When Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2013, NHK World TV decided to follow him for two years and record the whole experience The documentary is the result of that. During his retirement, he began work on an animated short with young CGI animators which eventually blossomed into a full-length movie. Here is the official synopsis for the documentary:

“In 2013, Oscar-winning film director and animator, Hayao Miyazaki, suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But after an encounter with young CGI artists, the director of Spirited Away decided to embark on a new artistic endeavour. This candid documentary follows Miyazaki as he crafts his first CGI film in an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait filmed over two years. Never-Ending Man is directed by filmmaker Kaku Arakawa.”

That short, now feature film, is called Boro The Caterpillar. It combines the old style animation with the new, and is even said to be the final masterpiece by Miyazaki. However, growing health concerns have people wondering if he’ll be able to finish his film before he dies. There’s no word as to what’s ailing him, it’s just known that people are getting worried. At 76, Miyazaki looks great, but you’ve ever seen any other footage of him, he always has a cigarette in his mouth which could be the leading cause of his health concerns besides his growing age.

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki is out right now, but only in Japan. Hopefully it will make it’s way into the States soon.

Source: slashfilm

Category: Film

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