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Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli Director, 1935 – 2018

by on April 9, 2018

Studio Ghibli co-founder and director Isao Takahata passed away on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the age of 82 due to lung cancer. Mr. Takahata was one of the founders of Studio Ghibli in 1985, and while he may not have been as prolific as his partner Hayao Miyazaki, his films are often among the most recognized from the studio. He directed Grave of the Firefiles, with the elegiac drama centering on a brother and his younger sister’s struggles to survive in the Japanese countryside during World War II. It remains one of the studio’s most renowned films for its unrelenting examination of the horrors of war. His other films for the studio include Only Yesterday, which earned accolades for its sensitive and contemplative recounting of a woman’s childhood memories; Pom Poko, an environmentalist fable about a tribe of forest spirits (tanuki) and their conflicts with humans encroaching on their lands; and the Academy Award nominated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which presented a Japanese folk tale with dreamy, watercolor-inspired visuals.

(Additional material via The Guardian, the IMDb, and Wikipedia; splash image via Martial Trezzini/EPA)
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