Wasn't Princess Mononoke supposed to be his final film back in 1997?
Well, in any case, if this truly does herald the man's triumphant ride into the sunset, then awesome. He deserves it. And if it is not, and he chooses to make another final film or three down the line, then that would be awesome too. He deserves it.
I finally watched Goro's Earthsea movie btw. After years and years of hearing people shit on it, I decided to finally do what I should have done all along and form my own opinion on the thing and watch it for meself. I'm pretty mixed on it after watching to be honest - like, as a Dark Tower fan who saw the entire saga get butchered and processed into a single movie, I can slightly imagine how an actual Earthsea fan would feel after they crammed so many plotlines into it . I can say with absolute positivity tho that the film is absolutely gorgeous. Background work on it was absurdly phenomenal. I still can't believe it. It's worth a watch for the visuals alone. No lie. Also, Willem Dafoe as the evil effeminate warlock of doom is probably the greatest casting choice in a Ghibli movie since Bale as Howl. The casting back then was on fire. And then there was this point where it felt like it was going to take a turn into what Hayao the Elder did with Shuna no Tabi, but that kinda got flipped on itself lol.
Speaking of, I wouldn't mind seeing Miyazaki animate Shuna no Tabi. its a beautiful and fantastic little epic he drew in the early 80s (all in watercolor). You see a lot of his later works like Nausicaa and Mononoke incorporate elements of it into themselves, so it'd be neat to see that all come full circle with that being brought to life.
I can picture him hanging out for like half a week at home, picking up trash and putting his little stuffed goats in the window for kids, then lighting a cigarette and calling his producer. "I must make another film. It can't be helped. Just can't be helped at this point." *both laugh as the old man is already sketching out characters with pen and paper*
He's a curmudgeonly Boomer socialist auteur. He's fascinating and contradictory in many ways, as are many creative/influential people. He's definitely not always nice or easy to be around by many accounts, but he's also well-regarded and has left a huge positive mark on animation.
I didn't mean it in that way, honestly. I meant it in a way that almost feels like therapy for him. This movie seems to convey all of Miyazaki's personal struggles as a person and creator. If I didn't have this information on hand after reading about him and watching his documentary, I'd probably have enjoyed this movie in a more conventional way but it was impossible for me to think "Huh, this man is going through some shit". The title "How do you live?" seems aimed at himself.
I didn't love it or anything but it feels like a very personal project, I'd say. Man's about to croak so I don't chalk it up to narcissism, just very introspective. The animation is fucking astounding so I definitely got lost in the movie in that sense.