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“Are we really done?” : Creators of Spirited Away and Totoro, winners of the Palme d’Or at Cannes

After Meryl Streep and before George Lucas, another honorary Palme d’Or was awarded at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. And it honors not one person, but the group of artists who created and continue to bring to life Studio Ghibli, founded in 1985 by Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki and Hayao Miyazaki.

And it was the son of the latter, Goro Miyazaki, who received the honorary Palme d’Or at the Grand Theater Lumiere, the Palace of Festivals, the entire name of this famous and legendary Japanese studio, to which we owe especially my neighbor. Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Soul Far Away or Tomb of the Fireflies, but also the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and Ghibli Park.

A moving tribute to Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli, thanks to the recent Oscar winner for best animated film, The Boy and the Heron, was celebrated for the first time with a ten-minute video montage reflecting almost 40 years of work that shook and amazed the entire room of the Grand Théâtre Lumière. .

And with thunderous applause, Goro Miyazaki took the hand of one of the jury members of the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Juan Antonio Baiona, and told a funny anecdote about the Oscars:

“We won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for The Boy and the Heron and the Ghibli representatives went to the United States to accept it. And when they came back with the statue I realized that Oscar is not in the box. They had to wrap it in hotel towels so it wouldn’t get damaged in the suitcase.

After thanking the entire studio team and artists, but also the public for their support and love for Studio Ghibli films, Goro Miyazaki shared a humorous video message from his father and Toshio Suzui, who unfortunately couldn’t make the trip. In their own way, they thanked the Cannes Film Festival for the honorary Palme d’Or.

New short films from Studio Ghibli presented at Cannes

Four new short films, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, were screened at the ceremony. And three such works, straight from Mitaka’s Ghibli Museum, have never been outside of Japan!

Although it is only shown to visitors to the Ghibli Museum, the first short film Mei and the Kitty Bus, a mini-sequel to My Neighbor Totoro, celebrating the reunion of Mei and Totoro, enhanced by music by Joe Hisaishi. A screening honoring John Laster and his team at Pixar during the American release of Spirited Away.

Three other mischievous, magnanimous and above all punctuated short films with sound effects, In Search of Home, Mr. Dough and Princess Egg, and Boro the Little Caterpillar, all written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Brand new outside of Japan and they were specially chosen by Goro Miyazaki for the occasion.

“France is a really special country to host Ghibli films”

In addition to the work of Studio Ghibli, this prestigious Palme d’Or awards the museum, the park and all Ghibli activities over the years, but especially Japanese animation, recognized by the profession. But this award, which Ghibli sees as more of a tribute, is questioned by Goro Miyazaki:

“The Palme d’Or is awarded to someone or a subject that has perhaps completed its mission. So I’m more interested in saying to myself: are we really finished? And at the same time, I’m talking about this maturity of Japanese animation. I think the peak of maturity has passed and that maturity has passed , what should we do today? I think this question was asked more like this.

Either way, festival goers were in for a treat with this tribute to Studio Ghibli. Goro Miyazaki admits that the French community has always been there:

“France is really an outstanding country in terms of receiving Ghibli films. It is one of the countries that has responded very well to our films since the 90s. And it was only in a very short time that other countries followed this trend. I don’t know why it’s weird, France.

So can the French public hope for a new Hayao Miyazaki film in the coming years when the man continues to announce his retirement on a regular basis? Answer from his son: “I get the impression that he has an idea… it’s an impression, but he’s not saying it.”

Comments collected in Cannes on 19 May 2024 – thanks to Carolyn Wie

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 14 to 25, 2024.


Source: Allocine

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