Studio Ghibli Reportedly To Quit Making Feature Films

ghibli-collector:

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Those Nasty Fake 20 in 1 Ghibli Film Box Sets On EBay…

This summer, there’s a new Studio Ghibli movie. According to one reported insider, it could be Ghibli’s last.

Studio Ghibli is best known for iconic anime like My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Last year, the creator of many of Ghibli’s best known works, Hayao Miyazaki, retired from making feature animated films.

The purported insider told Japanese site News Cafe that Ghibli’s latest release, When Marnie Was There, “seems like it will be the last [from Studio Ghibli].” The article appeared on Rakuten, one of Japan’s largest web portals. That being said, this is an unconfirmed rumor.

As the insider explained, there was scuttlebutt of the studio’s dissolution last year after Miyazaki retired once completing The Wind Rises. Then, this past spring, longtime Ghibli producer and studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki also stepped down from producing films. He is now Ghibli’s general manager.


“From here on, it appears as though this won’t be a studio that makes new works, but instead, manages its copyrights.”

So, Studio Ghibli won’t be creating new animated works, but rather, making money off the anime its created so far.

The insider added animated films required tremendous amounts of money, so there is pressure for the films to be successful so Ghibli can cover its costly production expenses as well as, I’d imagine, remain healthy and profitable. By the insider’s count, each film apparently needs to make at least ten billion yen (US$100 million) to cover all its production costs as well as, I’d imagine, turn a healthy profit. Even with a relatively small staff, the insider puts Ghibli’s annual labor expenses at supposedly two billion yen ($19.7 million). Note: These numbers are unconfirmed.

Last fall, the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest papers, reported that while other animation studios have shipped jobs overseas to save money, Studio Ghibli had hired more permanent full-time employees in Japan, making the films incredibly expensive to make. Asahi reports that even though The Wind Rises had made 9.23 billion yen ($91 million), the film had apparently yet to turn a profit. The Tale of Princess Kaguya, apparently, cost even more to create.

"The Tale of Princess Kaguya from director Isao Takahata made 5.1 billion yen ($50 million), and for the studio, it was a flop," the source told News Cafe. "There’s no choice but to dissolve the studio, because it’s unable cross the high hurdle of announcing a new film on an annual basis."

A bright point is that Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki’s son, is directing Ghibli’s first animated TV series, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter. The computer animated series is a co-production, however, with Polygon Pictures and will debut this fall. The dark cloud is that back in 2010, Hayao Miyazaki did mention breaking up the studio.

"Suzuki-san is making a dissolution program for Ghibli," Miyazaki told Cut Magazine (via Bleeding Cool and Nausicaa.net). "No joke, we talked about it the other day. For example, Ghibli should be able to continue with about five staff members as a copyright management company even if we smash the studio. So, Ghibli can say ‘We stop film production. Goodbye’. I do not have to be there."

The latest Studio Ghibli film When Marnie Was There was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and recently released in Japan. Let’s hope it’s not the last Studio Ghibli film.

Kotaku has reached out to Studio Ghibli regarding this latest rumor and will update this story should the studio comment.

マーニーがラスト? ジブリが解散?! [Infoseek].

Unpopular Opinion: Alfred Hitchcock.

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Even before I went to university to study Film, I never felt any interest toward Alfred Hitchcock’s films. I knew of him as this legendary creator of suspense in cinema and that he directed Psycho. But my first thought was always: “so what?” Once I started uni I noticed that, and I’m confident this is true in any place that teaches film, Alfred Hitchcock is a big deal and you will see, analyze, deconstruct and figuratively masturbate to his films in class forever. I, like every excited and nervous freshman, was very intrigued at the prospect of studying Hitchcock, especially since professor was finally going to tell me why I should care so much about this director.

The first film I saw of his in one of the classes was Vertigo, which is arguably his finest film according to some people. I was so incredibly bored by Vertigo that I fell asleep. The film’s utter dullness didn’t necessarily come from its pace, which was problematic in and of itself, but more from the palpable obviousness of it all. Vertigo is super predictable and with so little suspense that it almost seemed purposeful. Was this what the master of suspense was all about? Am I seriously supposed to marvel at this forgettable film? There’s more suspense in an episode of NCIS than in Hitchcock’s films.

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I think one of the challenges of cinema in general is that it has become too predictable. The DNA of cinema, in terms of the way it’s told, has become so common that for young people the excitement is hard to catch sometimes because even though they haven’t seen the movie they know the movie. And you have an obligation…to make something that challenges them, because it means you’re actually respecting your audience. For good or bad, it doesn’t matter, because art is not about perfection. Perfection is not art. People are not perfect. Imperfection is beauty. But we try in this kind of strange world to find a formula of perfection in entertainment because there’s so much money at stake. It’s all about the money. We spend too much time talking about money and not enough time talking about all the other things that are actually much more important because money has no/zero value.
Nicolas Winding Refn.

I think one of the challenges of cinema in general is that it has become too predictable. The DNA of cinema, in terms of the way it’s told, has become so common that for young people the excitement is hard to catch sometimes because even though they haven’t seen the movie they know the movie. And you have an obligation…to make something that challenges them, because it means you’re actually respecting your audience. For good or bad, it doesn’t matter, because art is not about perfection. Perfection is not art. People are not perfect. Imperfection is beauty. But we try in this kind of strange world to find a formula of perfection in entertainment because there’s so much money at stake. It’s all about the money. We spend too much time talking about money and not enough time talking about all the other things that are actually much more important because money has no/zero value.

Nicolas Winding Refn.

(Source: a-bittersweet-life)

Interviewer: Give Me the argument, the best argument you know, for the power of cinema.
Quentin Tarantino: Oh gosh, you know one of the things about cinema that I just find very moving, it’s why it’s my favorite art form, is when you go to a movie and you see a certain sequence, and if there is real cinematic power and there’s cinematic flare. There are certain filmmakers that you feel were touched by God to make movies and it would be a combination of editing and sound, usually it’s like visual images connected with music or something, but when those things work and they really connect..it’s just like you forget to breathe. You are really transported to a different place. Music doesn’t quite do that on it’s own, novels don’t quite do it, & a painting doesn’t quite do it. They do it their way but with cinama, especially if you’re in a theatre and you’re sharing the experience with a bunch of other people so it’s this mass thing going on..it’s just truly, truly thrilling.(x)

Interviewer: Give Me the argument, the best argument you know, for the power of cinema.

Quentin Tarantino: Oh gosh, you know one of the things about cinema that I just find very moving, it’s why it’s my favorite art form, is when you go to a movie and you see a certain sequence, and if there is real cinematic power and there’s cinematic flare. There are certain filmmakers that you feel were touched by God to make movies and it would be a combination of editing and sound, usually it’s like visual images connected with music or something, but when those things work and they really connect..it’s just like you forget to breathe. You are really transported to a different place. Music doesn’t quite do that on it’s own, novels don’t quite do it, & a painting doesn’t quite do it. They do it their way but with cinama, especially if you’re in a theatre and you’re sharing the experience with a bunch of other people so it’s this mass thing going on..it’s just truly, truly thrilling.(x)

(Source: femburton)

Those Damn Teenagers.

If there is one thing I hate in life, besides people walking slowly in front of me and yellow peppers, is people speaking while I’m watching a film. I find this to be one of the most annoying things you could ever do, especially in the cinema. You paid $12 to watch a film and you are going to speak loudly with your friends during it. Are you fuckin’ stupid? I’ve noticed that only a certain group of people do this a.k.a. teenagers. If you enter the movie theater and see a group of at least 6 teenagers sitting there, you know that you’re in for a shitty film experience. They will talk, scream and give zero fucks about everyone else in the theater. Let’s face it, I might’ve paid to see the film but isn’t it better to listen to how Britney tells Karen that she is “the penis to my vagina”? Pure poetry, I know. If you are a teenager and do not act as mentioned above, you’ll probably be saying something along the lines of “well I’m not like that” or “give me some context to the Britney-Karen story.” Yes, I understand that not all teenagers are like that but 8 out of 10 are, at least that has been my experience.

I bring this up because last night my family and I attempted to watch Insidious. As soon as I entered the theater I saw it was packed with teenagers ranging from 12-16 years old. They were talking, screaming, clapping, kicking my seat and gossiping. I thought: oh God, this must be how hell feels like. My family thought that everyone would quiet down once the film started but I knew better. If these people were loud now, they were going to be even louder during the film. And guess what? I was right. We left after 10 minutes. There was really no point in sticking around.

We were so pissed off afterwards and I really, really wanted to watch Insidious. This really opened my eyes though, now I understand why shootings happen, why people go insane. I couldn’t think of anything more pleasurable than beating the living shit of all those damn teenagers. (Oh my God, I sound like an old person). But in all honesty, why are people so disrespectful? I’m not opposed to them hanging out and talking, just don’t do it at the cinema. Don’t disrupt the people who paid and actually want to see the film. Because teenagers, that is a one way ticket to hell. Just kidding. I rather you get stabbed Scary Movie 1 style while I just sit there, drinking my coke, chillin’ and savoring the moment.

So please people, do not speak in the cinema. You are there to watch and a enjoy a film with company. Because think about, would you like it if I dropped by your place, started speaking spanish with another 10 people (and you have to understand that we spanish people speak all at the same time and super loud) while you’re watching an episode of Jersey Shore or Glee? That would be really fuckin’ annoying wouldn’t it? Exactly.

Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.

Federico Fellini (via filmblogggg)

My 5 Favorite Performances in Cinema.

Julia Roberts as Anna in Closer.

Closer, for me, is one of the best films in existence. Not only for it’s display of how painful love is and for its brilliant script, but most importantly for its four Oscar-worthy performances. Many people paid more attention to Natalie Portman and Clive Owen’s performances, but the one that I find more engaging and interesting is Julia Roberts’ performance. Anna is a not nice character, even though she clearly looks and acts like one. She is a very destructive and selfish character that surprisingly enough is very self-aware, which makes everything worse. No one would like or show sympathy for this character on paper, but Julia Roberts makes you care. She underplays Anna, speaking softly and showing genuine concern for others even after she has seriously hurt them. But what I love the most is how perfectly you can see her feelings on her face, how vulnerable she makes Anna. She should’ve won an Oscar for this.

Best moment: When Anna confesses to Larry (Clive Owen) that she has been cheating on him for over a year. That scene is one of the best and most honest moments of the film.

Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wear Prada

Let’s face it, Meryl Streep can do no wrong. She gives a brilliant performance in every film she’s in, no matter what. While I loved her in Doubt and Julie & Julia, it is in The Devil Wears Prada that I enjoyed her the most. This is mainly because The Devil Wears Prada was the first film of her that I ever saw and she is, without a doubt, the best thing about that film. Miranda Priestly is such an up-tight, back-stabbing, insulting bitch that it would’ve been easier to play her extremely over-the-top. But since Meryl Streep is great and smart, she played her in completely different manner. Instead Miranda Priestly is a very quiet a direct woman whose stares will frighten you to death. But above all else, she is a hilarious character to watch. She is so mean and unforgiving of everyone that I thought she was soulless demon. But then we get the scene where she just found out that she will be getting another divorce and we see that she’s actually human. That she does feel and is vulnerable, and all of that is thanks to Meryl Streep. Oh and I know she’s old and all that, but in here Meryl Streep is a total milf.

Best moment: When Miranda lectures Andy about fashion and on how her blue sweater is basically shit.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

When Batman Begins ended and we were told who was going to the villain for the sequel, I got extremely excited. I’ve always liked the character of The Joker, but never liked how cartoonish Jack Nicholson portrayed him in the first Batman film. I never even heard that Heath Ledger would be playing the new Joker until the first picture of him in full make-up was released. That picture scared the hell out of me, he looked so creepy and the scars in his mouth were disturbing. And I loved it! That was the perfect way to re-introduce the character and once I saw the film is was literally mind-blown by Heath Ledger’s performance. This was not a cartoonish Joker, it was an menacing, intelligent, psychopathic, engaging and scary Joker. His humor was dark, which I enjoyed a lot and his monologues were cheer genius. I’ve seen The Dark Knight at least 15 times and I never get tired of The Joker. Heath Ledger created a truly iconic character that will never be forgotten.

Best Moment: All of them.

Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2.

These films were my introduction to Uma Thurman and the world of Quentin Tarantino, and they pretty much changed my life. Out of all the people who can deliver Tarantino’s dialogue in the most cool, smooth and awesome of ways, Uma Thurman is right up there next to John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Yes, she was great as Mia Wallace but as The Bride she was a million times better, in my opinion. Not only could she kick and slice you into a million pieces while making it look effortlessly, she created a character that everyone would root for. You wanted and I wanted her to succeed in her search for revenge, and were happy when she finally found peace at the end. Even though I loved her fights, I enjoyed more the moments when she was just talking to Bill. Her moments with him were engaging, insightful and you could tell that they played off each other perfectly.

Best moment: Her intro monologue at the beginning of Vol. 2, her fight against Elle and her depiction of the five-point palm-exploding heart technique.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan in The Departed.

As you may or may not know, Leonardo DiCaprio is my favorite actor of all-time. But that’s not the only reason why he is number 1 on my list. I believe that his portrayal of Billy Costigan is the most fleshed out and involved character he has creates. So much so that now during interviews and preceding performances I see a lot of Billy Costigan in them. What I love about his performance in The Departed is how vulnerable he is and how his face expresses every single thing. Every emotion, every fear, every anxiety is right in display on his face. He makes these subtle expressions and tics that further demonstrate the emotional toll his character is experiencing. I’ll admit, I’m a bit obsessed with that performance and would love to write pages and pages on why it is so great. It is because of Leonardo DiCaprio that The Departed is amongst my 3 favorite films of all-time. He creates such a compelling character that you want to help, and I really connected with him. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Billy Costigan will forever be the performance of his career. I highly doubt he’ll ever top that one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he does. 

Best moment: When Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) confronts him about the rat. Just look at his face, there’s so much fear and terror in it. It’s amazing!

As always, thanks for reading.