Japan’s Studio Ghibli revealed late last week that Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, How Do You Live?, will get an Imax release when it opens in Japan on Friday. It will be the first of Miyazaki’s films to release simultaneously on Imax, as well as other premium formats including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Cinema and DTS:X.
Miyazaki’s first film in a decade, How Do You Live? is easily the most anticipated movie coming to Japanese theaters in years. The great animation master, now 82, insists it will be his last feature — a pledge he previously made, and later broke, during the run-up to the release of his most recent film, The Wind Rises.
Despite the worldwide excitement surrounding the imminent launch of a new Miyazaki and Ghibli movie, remarkably little is known about the film itself yet. Earlier this month, Ghibli’s lead producer Toshio Suzuki, considered Miyazaki’s right-hand man, said the studio would release no trailers and no promotional materials whatsoever ahead of the release, asking fans to instead see the film with no preconceptions.
“Deep down, I think this is what moviegoers latently desire,” Suzuki said, contrasting his approach with the multi-trailer marketing methods of Hollywood, which often reveal much of a movie’s plot and surprises.
Ghibli previously described the film as “a grand fantasy” loosely inspired by Japanese author Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same title, a coming-of-age story about the emotional and philosophical development of a young boy after the death of his father. The studio released just one inscrutable poster for the film in December (see it below), but it has revealed nothing else about the movie since — no plot summary, no voice cast, nothing about the film’s setting or characters.
Thanks to last week’s Imax announcement, when some Japanese moviegoers blindly enter the cinema on Friday, they will get to experience How Do You Live? afresh in the biggest format possible. Global viewers will have to wait a little longer, though, as the film still does not have a release date outside Japan.
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