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Hayao Grumpy-zaki

Hayao Miyazaki

The Japan Times has details about a press conference that Hayao Miyazaki held in Tokyo a few weeks ago. The article describes him as a “cranky 67-year-old” which is not too inaccurate a description considering what he said at the conference. Then again, anybody who makes films as well as Miyazaki does deserves to be as cranky as they want.

Miyazaki seemingly has an opinion about everything, from Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso’s apprecation of manga (“It’s an embarrassment. He should do that sort of thing in his private time.”) to how classic films don’t work for today’s audiences (“[A]udiences today can no longer enjoy films that are more than 30 years old, save in a historical sense…If Casablanca were released now, it wouldn’t be a hit.”). He also thinks that today’s kids shouldn’t use so much technology (“It takes away their strength.”) and that the world is ending (“I’m not confident that we can stave off the collapse of civilization, though we must make the maximum effort.”)

That latter statement is actually more positive than he was about the fate of humanity in this 2005 The New Yorker profile (a highly recommended read by the way):

“I’m hoping I’ll live another thirty years. I want to see the sea rise over Tokyo and the NTV tower become an island. I’d like to see Manhattan underwater. I’d like to see when the human population plummets and there are no more high-rises, because nobody’s buying them. I’m excited about that.”

(via Harvey Deneroff)