Is Isao Takahata's Planning His Next Movie?

Buried in the lede of this AP story about Isao Takahata and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a short description of his next film project.

Takahata has his mind set on his next work, a story about exploited girls, forced to work as nannies with infants strapped on their backs. Most lullabies in Japan were not for parents singing babies to sleep, but for such young women, crying out about their suffering, Takahata said.

All the stories he wants to tell, including "Kaguya," he said, urges everyone to live life to their fullest, to be all they can be, not bogged down by petty concerns like money and prestige.

One should bear in mind that Takahata has spent the last decade working on various film projects, all of which were put back on the shelf or abandoned for one reason or another. But this is a positive step from his previous statements made a few months ago, where he was resigned to the probability that he wouldn't have another opportunity to create another feature film. Many factors have to come together, most notably financing and a hands-on producer with the stamina to endure the legendarily slow-moving director. "Isao Takahata is descended from a tree sloth," Hayao Miyazaki once sarcastically intoned.

Perhaps the Academy Awards nomination has influenced Paku-san, and Studio Ghibli, for the better. Now we're really hoping Princess Kaguya wins the Oscar this Sunday.

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