Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary director and animator of Studio Ghibli, is set to release his final film, How Do You Live?, later this year. But unlike most movies that rely on trailers, marketing and promotion to generate buzz and attract audiences, Miyazaki’s farewell film will have none of that.
The film, which is loosely inspired by a 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino, is a coming-of-age story about a young boy’s emotional and philosophical development after the death of his father. The film is considered a “grand fantasy” by the studio and has an original story that is not a direct adaptation of the novel.
The film will be released in Japan on July 14, 2023, without any trailer, marketing or promotion, as the studio wants to offer a pure experience to the moviegoers without any preconceptions. Producer Toshio Suzuki said this decision was also a reaction against the oversaturation of marketing materials by Hollywood, which reveal too much about the movies before they are released.
“Deep down, I think this is what moviegoers latently desire,” Suzuki said in an interview with Japanese magazine Bungei Shunji. “Doing the same thing you’ve done before, over and over, you get tired of it. So we wanted to do something different.”
Suzuki also contrasted Ghibli’s approach for How Do You Live? with the usual marketing methods of Hollywood. “There’s an American movie — ah, I almost said the title out loud! — coming out this summer around the same time [as How Do You Live?], and they’ve already released three trailers for it. If you watch all [the trailers], you know everything that’s going to happen in that movie. So how do moviegoers feel about that? There must be people, who, after watching all the trailers, don’t want to actually go see the movie. So, I wanted to do the opposite of that.”
How Do You Live? marks Miyazaki’s 11th feature film and 10th film with Studio Ghibli. The film has been in production since 2016 and is expected to be Miyazaki’s last directorial venture after six decades and numerous acclaimed projects to his name.
Miyazaki has previously announced his retirement twice before, but decided to come back for one last film. He said he wanted to make a film that would surprise his fans and challenge himself as an artist.
“I want to make such a movie that those who have seen my films so far will say ‘This is something different,'” Miyazaki said in a 2017 interview. “I don’t have any confidence at all. But I’m doing my best.”
Miyazaki is widely regarded as one of the greatest animators and filmmakers of all time. He has won an Oscar for Spirited Away in 2003 and was nominated two more times for Howl’s Moving Castle in 2006 and The Wind Rises in 2014. He was also given an honorary Oscar in 2015 for his lifetime achievements.
How Do You Live? is eagerly awaited by fans and critics alike who are curious to see Miyazaki’s artistic brilliance one last time. The film has no international release date yet, but it is likely to land in the United States soon after its premiere in Japan.
– Studio Ghibli to release Hayao Miyazaki’s final film with no trailers or promotion, The Guardian, Mon 5 Jun 2023
– Studio Ghibli to Release Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Film ‘How Do You Live?’ With No Trailer, No Promotional Marketing, The Hollywood Reporter, June 4, 2023
– Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘How Do You Live?’: What to Expect, Collider, June 8, 2023
– Miyazaki’s Film ‘How Do You Live?’ Opening Without Any Trailer/Info, FirstShowing.net, June 5, 2023