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Hayao Miyazaki How Do You Live

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #17. How Do You Live? – Hayao Miyazaki

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #17. How Do You Live? – Hayao Miyazaki

Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka / How Do You Live?

With 2013’s The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki, arguably the most influential anime director of all time, announced his retirement. Luckily, this as a short-lived sentiment, returning in 2018 with the short “Boro the Caterpillar,” and actively coming out of retirement for his latest feature How Do You Live?, announced in 2017. Though active since the early 1970s, Miyazaki has experienced his greatest successes later in his career, particularly with his seminal 2001 film Spirited Away, which nabbed an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Since then, he’s averaged a new narrative feature every four to five years. The film is adapted from the 2017 manga by Haga Shōichi, itself based on the famed 1937 children’s story by Yoshino Genzaburo.

MUBI World Cinema

Gist: Miyazaki’s latest focuses on Honda Junichi, a middle school aged boy who begins a lengthy exchange of letters with his uncle following the death of his father, which challenge the boy to embrace the unexpected.

Release Date/Prediction: Miyazaki announced the project back in 2017, stating he’d need 3-4 years to complete it. In early 2019, Studio Ghibli announced there would be no deadline for Miyazaki, but his expressed sentiment has been to have the title ready for Summer of 2020 to coincide with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo (which begins near the end of July). If completed in time, one would expect Miyazaki to compete for a Golden Lion in Venice for the fourth time (following 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle, 2008’s Ponyo and 2013’s The Wind Rises. GKIDS previously announced an exclusive US streaming deal with HBO Max for the Studio Ghibli library starting in May 2020 – so everything is lining up.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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