Animator Hayao Miyazaki Retires from Filmmaking

October 21, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. feature film [FEE-cher film] (n. phrase) – a full-length film or a film long enough to be considered as the principal film for a program at the theater
Example:  The director prefers to do feature films because short films are not long enough to tell a good story.

2. have one’s way [hav wuhns wey] (idiom)  – to get what one wishes for or to do what one wishes to do
Example: If I could have my way, I would keep the video less than twenty minutes.

3. prominence [PROM-uh-nuh ns] (n.) – the condition of being famous or important
Example: The director first came to prominence when he made a film about the queen.

4. wear someone down [wair suh m-wuhn doun] (phrasal v.) – to cause someone to feel tired or exhausted due to continued work
Example:  All the demanding assignments and projects are wearing some of the students down.

5. skeptical [SKEP-ti-kuh l] (adj.) – having doubts about something
Example:  The producers were skeptical of the young director’s ability to make a good film.


Read the text below.

Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki announced in a press conference last month that he is retiring from film directing.

The announcement came after his most recent feature film, The Wind Rises, was chosen as one of the competing films in the Venice International Film Festival. Miyazaki stressed that if he would have his way, this film would already be his last.

Miyazaki, who came to prominence for films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, revealed to reporters that his real passion is drawing and not directing. He said that the stress that comes with directing films was starting to wear him down.

According to the multi-awarded director, being an animator and a director has already given him enough happiness. He added that he can no longer handle the difficult tasks of being a director, which may not be good for his present health.

When asked about his future plans, the 72-year-old animator admitted that he will take a bit of a breather, but that he will continue to work for the next ten years or so. Pressed for details, he revealed that he is considering many projects, including reopening the exhibits at the Ghibli Museum in Japan that displays his studio’s works.

However, some industry observers are skeptical, noting that Miyazaki has retired several times in the past only to return to film directing after some time. Nonetheless, Miyazaki insists that his retirement is final, adding that his dream is to be able to rest on Saturdays.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think Hayao Miyazaki’s films are so successful?
·         What characteristics do you think make a good film director? Please explain briefly.

Discussion B

·         If you were given a chance to retire early, would you take it? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some people still continue working despite reaching the retirement age?    


October 21, 2013