2019|Rising Filmmakers Project|Conversations with filmmakers and guests

You can read the transcripts of post-screening talk events with filmmakers and guests on this page.

(Information on the event, films and filmmakers is here)

 

“Saredo seishun no hashikure” (Nevertheless, Claiming to Be Adolescents)  Feb.14(fri)14:00-
Dir. Kazuki Morita & Yu Irie (Film Director)

“Aiutsutsu” (Love in All Actuality) Feb.14(fri)16:45-
Dir. Kosei Hana & Shin Adachi (Scriptwriter, Film Director)

“Mi wa mirai no mi”(F is for Future) Feb.14(fri)19:25-
Dir. Teppei Isobe & Isshin Inudo (Film Director)

“Orokamono”(Me & My brother’s Mistress) Feb.15(sat)11:40-
Dir. Takashi Haga and Sho Suzuki & Shuichi Okita (Film Director)

“Obake” Feb.15(sat)15:10-
Dir. Hiromichi Nakao & Isshin Inudo (Film Director)

February 14, 2020 at B1 Theatre, National Film Archive of Japan
For information on the film and the director, please visit here.

 

Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival Programming Director: Tokitoshi Shiota

There’s a strand of Grand Prix winners of Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival which seem to fall into the tradition of youth films. “Saredo seishun no hashikure” (Nevertheless, Claiming to Be Adolescents) is a youth film too, as you can imagine from its title, and follows the genre of films like Nobuhiro Yamashita’s “Hazy Life”(1999), Keisuke Yoshida’s “Raw Summer”(2005), and Yu Irie’s “8000 MILES: SR Saitama’s Rapper”(2009).

Copying from the title of an older youth film “14 That Night” (2016, dir: Shin Adachi), you could call this one “At Dawn When You’re 16”. It’s the story of a bunch of 16-year-old morons. You should check out the visuals, which are pretty far-out. Look at the still on the backside of the leaflet (of this event). You’ll see a girl standing in front of a wall lined up with unseemly calligraphy with the word “virgin” all across. The filmmakers had sent in another photo for the festival submission but I guess someone gave them the good advice to change their main shot. A totally unknown, untested film can definitely benefit from a striking and enticing still. Please enjoy the film.

 

As a way of introducing yourself Mr. Morita, tell us how you came to make this film.

Morita: I studied at EMBU Seminar for one year in 2008, then when I turned 25, at New Cinema Workshop for another year. I’ve been directing around one film per year ever since. 

 

Mr. Irie, how did you like “Saredo seishun no hashikure” (Nevertheless, Claiming to Be Adolescents) 

Irie: Id heard from Tokitoshi Shiota, Programming Director of Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, that this film was coming from the traditional genre of youth films. Having just seen it now, I found lots of similarities to my own 8000 MILES: SR Saitamas Rapper. I was reminded of the way Id directed it, and about filming in the sticks. It was like going back to my indie days and not easy to watch objectively. The youth film genre has a history, and I can see youve tried to follow it in your own hand. I got hooked when you took me by surprise — I first thought you were going to keep a cool distance with technique and long shots but in the second half it got pretty heated. 

Morita: Thank you. Id watched 8000 MILES: SR Saitamas Rapper so many times, I guess Id unconsciously absorbed something. The film was set somewhere in Saitama, right?

Irie: Fukaya City in Saitama Prefecture, my hometown. Where did you shoot your film? 

Morita: Akiruno City in Tokyo. Id wanted to shoot in Tottori, but the budget didnt allow it. We eventually decided on a boony-ish place nearby. 

Irie: I liked the landscape. The location of that lovehotel was superb, especially how it stood on the other side of the river. Its like the other shore is for the experienced and this side is for virgins. The hero crosses the river at the end, so I guessed that he would be losing his virginity shortly. 

 

Mr. Morita, was that your intention? 

Morita: No, I was just shooting according to my personal experience. We found that location by accident, and I decided to use it when I saw there was enough space for running and was inspired to include the running scene. 

Irie: Running — it created the perfect distance. And the ending, when the hero pulls down his pants and the next guy follows, you filmed it as a wide long shot where we see their buttocks really tiny (laugh). That kind of shot shows good taste. But then the last epilogue, that Stand by Me ish thing. That was unnecessary. 

Morita: You thought it was redundant? 

Irie: I figured this film was a live rendering of the present, with a strong sense of the directors innocence. I was taken aback when, at the end, theres this sudden objective perspective, something like an old man looking back with nostalgia. What was your intention?

Morita: I guess when I wrote it, I was thinking of making it easy to understand. Im not good at thinking about complicated stuff, so I just wanted to do things straight out. I thought itd be better to have that sequence before going directly to the ending. 

 

What were your worries and hesitations during the shooting, Mr. Morita? 

Morita: I had problems directing when actors emotions wavered or dropped. What should you do when that happens? 

Irie: Emotions waver? Like switching back to their real selves after going to their day jobs? 

Morita: When some of the staff dropped out during the production, some of the actors lost focus. I felt it was inevitable. 

Irie: Well, I guess the director just has to nudge them along. 

Morita: When you have this confrontation with the actors, is it enough to keep your motivation strong? 

Irie: When I worked in indie films, I tried to avoid working with people whod create conflict. I remember being caught in debate with an actor when the mise en scene was not going well, and another time when an actor simply disappeared in the middle of a film production. 

Morita: You made it to completion? 

Irie: Yes. I wanted to do retakes, but the actor refused to show up. So after those experiences, I gradually shifted to choosing people who have stamina, those who were certain to accompany me in the filmmaking to the end. For example, you know how film directors of the Showa era wore sunglasses all the time? Kihachi Okamoto never took his shades off because he didnt want people to see hesitation in his eyes. People instantly get cocky when they see weakness in a director. Even the big shot directors of the golden era were concerned, so you have to accept it as a common problem. 

Morita: There are riffs and cracks even if you share a common goal. People want to do stuff but I cant let them do it — Im left with frustrations that I wish we didnt have to have. 

Irie: What about in this film? 

Morita: For example, where the three are hanging out together (eating instant ramen). When we shot that, we almost started a fistfight, with the actors, too. 

Irie: As a viewer, I didnt see any awkwardness, so it must have been fine. The worst outcome would be to drop the whole film. There are lots of indie films that are never completed because they lose it in the midst of filming. Ive experienced that too. In that sense, theres absolutely no problem with this film because it made it to completion. 

 

Losing staff sounds like a bigger issue. 

Morita: Thats true. The camera person and the sound person both wrote me saying, You have no talent as a director. I cant work with you anymore. That was one day before shooting. So we had no camera for the next day. But the actors were ready and I thought we would lose momentum if we rescheduled. So I thought, just use an iPhone and we did. For two days, I guess. So the last long shot in the field was shot on a handheld iPhone. 

Irie: Whew. I lost assistant directors a few times, but maybe because of personality differences. In indie films, its not about the pay, so the decisive factors could be whether you are a good match with the director, or if you are really into the film itself. In any case, most film directors I know are all pretty strange characters. I myself wasnt skilled in communication until I worked hard on it when I started doing commercial films. So its actually not a big deal.  

 

Is there anything else, Mr. Morita, that youd like to ask Mr. Irie? 

Morita: What was your move after winning the grand prix at Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival? 

Irie: I immediately started my next project. The grand prix came with a grant, so I used it as collateral. I also carried my own script with me where ever I went, so Id be ready to show it at any turn. I made sure I always had a screenplay or project ready. 

Morita: Always in your bag? 

Irie: Thats right. If I were asked You wanna try writing something for me? and if its something a pro would do in four weeks, Id promise to finish it in two or three weeks and work real hard. Thats the kind of thing I tried to do. 

Morita: And did you start getting these offers after the release of 8000 MILES: SR Saitamas Rapper?

Irie: In Hollywood, an independent filmmaker can make a commercial film debut after one film, but Japanese producers avoid risk-taking. The thinking is, How could you hand it over to a youngster like this. Thats why I think it was crucial that I made the trilogy of the SR Saitamas Rapper films. Because I made each film with a different look and filming style, people thought This dude has the adaptability to be able to work in the commercial industry. So if I were to humbly offer my advice to you Mr. Morita, Id suggest that you could show heres a director who can do this, too this director wants to go here through your next film or the next three films. That way, youll find your path opening up. 

Morita: I see. 

Irie: I was on the jury of Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival the year before you won, where I encountered ED OR (THE UNEXPECTED ERECTION OF YOU) (2017, dir: Hikaru Nishiguchi), which I loved. I guess it was shown here last year. I told the director Hikaru Nishiguchi to hurry up and make his next film. Theres a grand prix awarded at Yubari each year — this year its you Mr. Morita but next year therell be another winner. Every year the competition is stiffer.  

 

You are saying that directors should have their distinct style and yet be able to show that they have multiple pockets of different ideas. 

Morita: I do like the youth film genre and have been making films about high school kids all along, but Im finding that youth films in the commercial industry are kind of… beautiful? 

Irie: True (laugh). 

Morita: I dont want to make films like that. Teenage men are full of fret and gawkiness and all sorts of stuff. 

Irie: I think you should just pave that road yourself. If you like stories about virginity, keep making films from different angles. I went to an all-boys school, so I didnt even have the co-ed opportunities that the boys in your film have. There was no way I could direct those beautiful teenager flicks. I spent ten years after Yubari (Film Festival) determined not to make that kind of stuff. And Im sure there are audiences who want to see stories from the perspective of frustrated boys, so theres a market for you to chase.  

 

What is the state of cinema today from your perspective, Mr. Irie? 

Irie: I do feel that a bigger percentage of the audience goes to see films that are more or less approved by social media, kind of like to confirm what is being talked about. At the time of 8000 MILES: SR Saitama’s Rapper, social media wasnt around yet. It was just about when Twitter started getting big. In contrast, if you look at “AI Amok” (2020, dir: Yu Irie) that’s in the cinemas now, people who haven’t even seen it are bashing it online. A commercial film has to be able to take that, it’s inevitable. 

Morita: AI Amok was great. 

Irie: I was reminded of something while watching your film. When I was a 21-year-old student at Nihon University College of Art, I went to see the director Kinji Fukasaku to get him to come lecture at our school. At the time, I disdained indie film because it seemed like a directors masturbation. And I told Mr. Fukasaku, I want to do commercial films. Then he got really mad saying, Whats wrong with cinema being masturbation! It was just after the release of Battle Royale (2000, dir: Kinji Fukasaku) and I was at a loss to what he meant. In the end I managed to persuade him to come speak at Nihon University College of Art. Once I got into the commercial industry, I finally understood that his words were no mistake. You could suck up to the mainstream public and make a beautiful youth film, but that film wont be any good. In contrast an independent film like this one, with lots of scenes of dudes jerking off, is all out, full throttle. As a director, youd be happiest if you could simply take that into commercial films. As I was watching your film today, I was reminded of Mr. Fukasakus words, and thought, hmmm. So I think theres a potential audience out there whod feel what you are doing is new if you can follow through with this idea of a youth film about thwarted high school kids. Ive come to like indie films now, and go to see them often — probably because I am hoping that these filmmakers would break open the lethargy in the current commercial film industry where the same kind of films keep getting churned out. So I do hope that you will daringly take on the challenge. Do you have something up your sleeve now? 

Morita: Im working on a film with a production house using the grant from Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Were in post production now, currently working on the sound. Hopefully itll be done by March. Its another high school piece, but more like a splatter with a lot of killing like Bonnie and Clyde”(1967, dir: Arthur Penn)

Irie: That sounds great. Your staff didnt disappear this time? 

Morita: No, they didnt. Though there were really all sorts (laughter). 

Irie: Oh, a splatter. Thats something to look forward to.  

 

Moderator: Naoki Motomura
Translator: Asako Fujioka

 

 

Kazuki Morita (left) and Yu Irie (right)

February 14, 2020 at B1 Theatre, National Film Archive of Japan
For information on the film and the director, please visit here.

 

Kanazawa Film Festival, Director: Ikuya Onodera

“An emotional drama about love and sex — a man who can’t do it because he loves her, and a woman who wants to do it because she loves him. Written from first-hand experience of the director himself.” — This was the promotional text written for the 2019 Kanazawa Film Festival when this film was nominated for the Expected New Film Director award. I found it to be an exceptional love story and decided to show it in our festival. The lead actor Gaku Hosokawa does a great job acting out the complex role of a man who can’t have sex with his girlfriend but prostitutes himself to women he doesn’t care for. This was one of the reasons the film was acclaimed by our jury. The audience also praised this film. It made us want to see another love story by Director Hana, possibly something developing from this work. With a scholarship attached to the Expected New Film Director award, his new work is currently in production. It’s scheduled to premiere after autumn 2020. I hope you’ll look out for it.

 

【Kanazawa Film Festival|Official Website】https://www.eiganokai.com/ (in Japanese)

 

Mr. Hana, as a way of introducing yourself, tell us why you aspired to filmmaking and how you came to make this film.

Hana: Hello everyone. During my studies at a film school called New Cinema Workshop, I wrote the 30-minute version of “Aiutsutsu” (Love in All Actuality) but never got to shoot it (in the workshop program). But I was so full of spunk and energy, I set my mind to film what I wanted to, regardless.

 

Mr. Adachi, what’s your impression of the film?

Adachi: This is actually the second time I’m seeing it. The first time, it was the main character who struck me as being an uncommon sort. Unable to have sex with someone he’s in love with? What is that? And as I watched on with interest, I saw that the counterpart, the girl, wants to do it quite naturally, since she likes him. I was drawn into the narrative wondering what’s going to happen to this couple, and was engaged throughout the film.

 

Mr. Hana, what has the audience reaction been like?

Hana: It’s like he (Mr. Adachi) said. Only one or two men told me they can feel for the Jun Nitta character, and most people are empathizing with Yui, the heroine.

Adachi: Empathy is not a big issue when you’re watching films. Obviously it helps you sustain emotional connection with the characters. But one of the pleasures of watching movies and dramas is discovering people who are unfamiliar to you. In that sense, I was quite enthralled.

 

Do you mean the characters are well depicted?

Adachi: This was the first time I saw the actor Gaku Hosokawa on screen, and I felt a slight sense of dissonance. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it stayed with me. In the scene where the escort host job is first mentioned, the older friend says something like “You were in a total muddle back then.” So I imagined that he’d started the escort job around the time he started dating her, probably because the friend suggested he “try out escorting” when he confided in him about not able to have sex with her. In other words, I could see in the acting that the character was carrying this uncertainty around.

Hana: I didn’t really make it clear to Mr. Hosokawa. Stuff like the order of events around his relationship with her. I always find it difficult to explain scenes to actors, actually all the cast, because I want to avoid tying them down. In this film, I didn’t want dialogue or looks to let out, for example, why is this guy doing this escort job? Is there some dark family backstory? Does he suffer from a traumatic love affair in the past? and so on. At the time I was more adamant than now about not giving away answers. I’d tell the actor, “If you think that’s the backstory, let’s say it’s true. But don’t show it off to the audience.” As director, I don’t want to be telling the audience, “This person’s life was like this, and this is why he is like that, and he can’t have sex, and then when he meets Yui and have their first first kiss, this is the memory they share, and so on.” Maybe that’s why you (Mr. Adachi) were able to imagine things freely.

 

Mr. Adachi, what do you think? Is there a balance you need to strike when writing a script or directing?

Adachi: Sure. Talking about exposition… I don’t think you need to explain things. In this film, too, there’s no right or wrong. But a movie viewer can’t help imagining things, and if you find yourself getting carried away, that actually means the film is engaging.

 

Mr. Hana, what were your worries and hesitations during the writing of the script or production of the film?

Hana: The toughest part was writing the script. Trying to figure out how much to explain or not explain — what we just talked about. Also, I would suddenly find myself riding the surf, capturing momentum, but it was so excruciating to get there. It’s not like you can follow a routine to catch the wave. Mr. Adachi, is there anything you do regularly to empower your scriptwriting?

Adachi: It’s true, every film runs on different waves, and each time you are forced to ask yourself, “Hey, how did I used to write?” Usually that’s how you feel at the beginning, and then at some moment you get it — “I see it!” So for me, I’ve always started out differently, film by film. But when you sense you’ve captured the characters, that’s when you know somehow “I got it!”

 

Is there anything you do in creating characters?

Hana: I never wanted to “create characters”. For example, “Jun Nitta should have a nerdy side so let’s say he goes out of his way to eat Yu’s favorite sweetcake Yukimi Daifuku just because she likes them.” That would be creating a character. Doing that makes the person flat or just two-dimensional. I tried to write the script so that the characters were multi-dimensional and not tied down to anything, but it was really hard… And because that meant demanding something from the actors that was not yet completely gelled within me, the actor would say, “In my opinion, Jun wouldn’t behave like that.” “Yes, he would.” “How do you know?” — The discussion was not easy. I’ve seen in your books and films, Mr. Adachi, how you set up characters so that new sides to them are uncovered at certain points in the story — it’s like betraying the audience, but in a good way. How do you manage to wrap it up in the end?

Adachi: In my case, I find myself feeling like “Hey, I really know this guy.” even when I’m creating a totally fictitious character in my script. I know him so well that I can’t describe him clearly on paper, but there’s a confidence that he exists as a physical being. How long does it take for a character to get to that stage? It really depends, and sometimes I’d been incubating a personage over years, and finally find a story where he fits.

 

Do the characters change as you write?

Adachi: Yes indeed. But the root of the person won’t move much. You know how characters change over the course of the two hours of a film — that’s just like, what do you call it — scriptwriting know-how. People actually don’t transform that easily. It’s just that everyone lives their life hoping to change just a bit. Whenever I’ve discovered a way to BANG! visualize that subtle moment, I can tell it’s going to turn out well.

Hana: People never change entirely. And sometimes your character takes me by surprise by showing how he’s still the same person. For example, you wouldn’t be surprised or betrayed if the protagonist does something new in a success story, because it’s about his growth. In “100 Yen Love” (2014, Dir: Masaharu Take) which you wrote, the heroine is crying because she lost the (boxing) match at the end, but she at first keeps her distance to the guy. She is drawn to him, she hesitates, and then you are taken by surprise when she goes with him. I really like how there’s a conflict between the old her and the new her, and then that moment of “Oh, so that’s her decision.”

Adachi: I see what you mean. A lot of people told me she should have given the guy a couple of punches and walked away alone. But for me, that would have been the worst way to end the film. For the protagonist to grow up by herself and walk away from the audience — that’s the dullest ending from the viewer’s perspective. From basic common sense, a girl who trained hard for half a year and got totally flattened in a game — would she have changed immensely as a person? No, probably not much. So that was as much as I was thinking of depicting. Sure, there were people telling me “No, she should have slapped the guy and left,” but I just ignored that advice.

Hana: I also got that “that’s wrong” response to the ending of “Aiutsutsu” (Love in All Actuality). How do you decide on how to end a film? I always have trouble with that.

Adachi: I sometimes decide on the ending as I’m writing, but actually more often than not I already know deep down. I hear lots of writers start writing without knowing how to end, but I tend to think that’s pretty risky. How was it with this film?

Hana: I had made a decision for myself. But when I showed the unfinished screenplay to people, they all kept telling me “I know it’s a happy ending.” I knew that wasn’t right, at the least. But I struggled — would that mean he’d be dumped? What does it mean to be dumped? — I went back to my own experiences of being rejected, and finally found the point of landing.

Adachi: Oh, I’m glad he was dumped. But I did wonder a bit about how the girl was feeling. Did she know that she’d break up with him before having sex, or did she decide after doing it? I’d think she would want to continue with a sexual relationship once it’s started, but did she decide to leave it because she was afraid of hurting him even more?

Hana: When I was first writing the story, I felt really disgusted by Yui — like, girls just want to satisfy their lust. But as I discussed the role with Nagoho Yamamoto who plays Yui, I realized that what she did would leave a mark on the guy, and he’d probably be unable to forget her for the next four or five years. So I needed something with impact, and that’s how the ending turned out. So I’m afraid I can’t explain why Yui’s feelings shifted after making love.

Adachi: Before the sex act, Yui was talking about some pretty dumb stuff, like the beret. And in the morning she’s going on about some rocket as they stroll along the street… What is she talking about at this crucial moment, I thought. But that’s what made it work. You can’t help getting chatty at moments like that, and then you get dumped. I loved how you did that.

Hana: I asked Ms Yamamoto to mention the beret and the rocket five minutes before the takes. “Could you talk about the beret?” I said. She was like, “Seriously?” so I wasn’t sure it would work. I’m glad it did.

 

Moderator: Naoki Motomura
Translator: Asako Fujioka

 

 

Shin Adachi (left) and Kosei Hana (right)

February 14, 2020 at B1 Theatre, National Film Archive of Japan
For information on the film and the director, please visit here.

 

SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL Programming director: Toshiyuki Hasegawa

The film you are about to see today is “Mi wa mirai no mi”(F is for Future), a funny yet wistful picture of youth. A group of high school boys, all in their final year before graduation and facing major decisions whether to go to college or join the workforce, decide to launch a plan to defend the honor of a friend killed in a traffic accident.

The Osaka-based director Teppei Isobe is known for his hilarious and loving portrayals of loser-type characters. This feature follows “Who Knows about My Life”(2018), Best Picture in the Short Length Section of the Japanese Film Competition at SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL in 2018. It won the SKIP CITY AWARD in competition among all Japanese films in the program, regardless of length. The award gave the director the right to apply for production support from SKIP CITY Sai-No-Kuni Visual Plaza for his next film. The script was co-written by Kazuo Nagai of “Who Knows about My Life”. The collaboration of director Isobe and writer Nagai as always gives a special shine to the laughs we see throughout the film. Lead actor Yasuyuki Sakurai is an up-and-coming talent appearing in many popular independent films. He performed in “Sacrifice”(2019, dir: Taku Tsuboi), Best Picture in the Feature Length Section of the Japanese Film Competition at SKIP CITY FESTIVAL in 2019.

Finally I’d like to promote the theatrical release of this film that’s just been announced. It will open at UPLINK Kichijoji from July 10th 2020. On July 17th, “Who Knows about My Life” will also be launched there. I hope you will keep a look out for Teppei Isobe’s future work.

 

【SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL|Official Website】http://www.skipcity-dcf.jp/en/index.html

 

As a way of introducing yourself, Mr. Isobe, tell us why you aspired to filmmaking and how you came to make “Mi wa mirai no mi”(F is for Future)?

Isobe: Thank you for being here today. I’d been a movie fan since childhood but chose to be a cook in my twenties. At around 30 I realized that I did want to try out filmmaking, and studied for two years at the night school of Visual Arts Osaka after my day job hours. After graduation, I was planning to make a self-financed film, but found six or seven years passing by as I lazed around with my daily life. Whoops! I thought, and started churning out films from 2016 onwards. I made like eight shorts in a row. When I was thinking of going for a feature, I was awarded a grant of around 300,000 yen from the Hachioji Short Film Festival. I added some of my own money and made a 60-minute film, even though the regulations asked for a 20-minute film and I was afraid I might be in trouble. The people at Hachioji Short Film Festival kindly laughed away my concern and so I submitted a 20-minute version to Hachioji and a 60-minute one to SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL where I won a prize.

 

Mr. Inudo, what did you think of “Mi wa mirai no mi”(F is for Future)?

Inudo: I can see that you are technically adept from the many shorts you’ve been making, and noticed that the film has an established originality in the filming and directing methods. How old are you now?

Isobe: I’ll be 41 shortly.

Inudo: You can see from the film that the director may have started recently but has lots of experience.

 

Where did the idea of this film come from?

Isobe: The base is my own experience as a high school senior. A friend passed away. It took us totally by surprise, and a few of us decided to tell each other where we stash our porn. This was the story I wanted to tell when I’d make a feature. But in fact it’s kind of a low key subject and I had to think hard how to develop it into a feature. I worked with a co-writer and the main crew of four shared lots of personal stories from high school and brainstormed. We ended up adding the girl who’s the protagonist’s unrequited love interest, and so on. It wasn’t easy.

Inudo: I did think the film’s fictional properties were weak, maybe because it is based on first hand experience. Say the basic idea is that the group wants to get rid of pornography and stuff that you don’t want to be found after your death. I would like to see, on top of that premise, moments that surprise me or take me off guard. In that sense, I think this film would have worked better if it took place in an elite school.

Isobe: An elite school?

Inudo: For example, the scene where everyone’s playing around having fun. If this were in a top academic type school, time like that would be rare and special. A moment emerges for these guys who are usually busy studying and never talking to each other. But in this film, the kids look like they have lots of time on their hands and maybe they spend time like that every day. There’s no “emerging” of a scene. — Not that it’s no good.

 

You think a sense of drama could be enhanced?

Inudo: If I were you, I’d have been a bit bored during the shooting. I know that there’s desire to recreate the youth that you experienced, and since it’s a familiar feeling for any viewer, the audience can remember and indulge in that sensation. So in that sense it’s a good film, but I personally wanted to see something more unpredictable. For your next film, I think you should keep to your own idea but make sure to rework it as fiction and then check back with your vision of youth. You can benefit from going through that kind of cyclic thought process.

Youth films are nostalgic. You indulge in your experience and flow of time. So instead of just falling into that rut, why not try a totally opposite approach? Movies are fundamentally lies. In the end, it’s suspense, surprise, and unpredictability that moves the film forward, so you should try to think of how those elements work the best for this subject. I’m just telling you that your next film could be better if you follow that cycle of thought, and I’m not saying this film is no good.

 

The planetarium scene left an impression. It’s a scene that is not essential to the story, but it’s symbolic for the film’s theme.

Inudo: I agree, the planetarium scene was very good. I know a bunch of movies with great planetarium scenes. For example, “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955, dir: Nicholas Ray) and “Waga machi” (1956) directed by Yuzo Kawashima. These films have scenes that make you gush “Planetariums are so magical in the movies.” The planetarium scene in your film was nearly as good as those.

But forgive my repeating but it would have been better if it were a rare occasion for the guys to get together. An impossible meeting taking place in the dream planetarium… That’s a “Wow!”

You are shooting that scene obviously because you love it and you want it to work. You should be ready to change even the fundamental premises in order to make the planetarium scene shine as bright as possible. Change the setup to make the scene be at its best. Highlight it so it’s about a group of disconnected people who come together just once during the film, and that’s in the planetarium.

If your film is based on a novel or something, you don’t have the freedom to do this. But with an original screenplay, you can do anything.

If you’re making a film for yourself, think of how you can take the audience by surprise whenever the film heads for closure. At the end of the film when he’s going to burn the porn mags, you see his buddies waiting for him at the bridge. Wouldn’t it be awesome if that was totally unexpected?

 

I see. Mr. Isobe, what do you think?

Isobe: Really great insight, amazing.

Inudo: For example, “American Graffiti” (1973, dir: George Lucas) is another film that revisits a personal youth story. But the difference is that George Lucas is a super otaku. It may seem to be an ordinary youth story, but when an extreme fanatic of cars and music directs it, it becomes a very special film. And it’s not easy to do it well. I’m not criticizing your film, because I really think it’s done well. Everything seems to be complete, so to speak. But this level of technique could be used for a different aim, I felt. That’s why I say you should first try looking at it from different angles, and only then go shoot it.

 

Mr. Isobe, is there anything you’d like to ask Mr. Inudo?

Isobe: I hear it all (laughter), but I guess… I’m always making films with three or four people in the crew, and I’d like to know what will change for me as director if my crew gets larger.

Inudo: When I first started filmmaking at age 17, it was just me and my classmate Ikeda. We both acted and filmed, so you could say my career began with a team of only two. But it’s the same with a team of 100. You only increase the number of people because it is necessary for whatever you want to shoot.

It’s the same with the cast. My first film starred Hara, a junior of mine in the art club. For me, there’s no difference in filming Hara and filming Gen Hoshino in “Samurai Shifters” (2019). You may think commercial films shoot actors acting, but actually we are shooting the people themselves. Gen Hoshino plays the role of a samurai, but we are shooting Gen Hoshino himself. Or Miki Nakatani herself. It’s the person. Consider the actor is half acting, half being himself — it’s to your advantage to think of shooting the real person. Even if you need to film a character in role, the person who is acting is no less who he really is. It’s better to think about capturing that side of the person attractively.

Perhaps I turned to this kind of thinking because I did a lot of commercials. Actors who appear in commercials can’t not be themselves, no matter what role they play. Clint Eastwood is like that in his movies — he is Clint Eastwood, the man.

Coming back to your film, it feels like you are trying really hard to get your actor to play the role you wrote for him. It’s like you are afraid the actor will fall out of character and back into the person he is in reality. But I think everyone in this film was really good. Compared to our indie days, when the actors were just our friends, you are lucky. Your actors act well and are so attractive, it’s a pity if you’d pushed them into molds.

 

Mr. Isobe, what was your casting process?

Isobe: I asked Yasuyuki Sakurai to play my protagonist, but the rest were chosen through audition.

Inudo: And you chose the people you liked in the auditions.

Isobe: That’s right.

Inudo: Maybe you could bring across your sense of desire of “liking” someone more strongly in the directing. It will turn out differently. Each time you ask the actor to do something, check to see if whatever you “liked” in that actor is there or not. If you go about it like this, every time this actor is on screen, at each screen appearance, you’ll see a sense of joy. Movies are documentaries after all.

The opposite is also true — movies are fictional. But because the camera is made to record fact, we can never escape that. Cameras are fundamentally not made to lie. So maybe that backs up what I said earlier about directing actors for who they really are. If you shoot actors half as documentary and half as fiction, the balance will match what the camera does and create a persuasive character.

Isobe: I’m currently writing the script for a new feature film to be shot in March. Your ideas are very helpful.

Inudo: You should make sure at an early stage to reread the script from an outsider’s perspective.

Isobe: You’re right. Thank you for your important advise.

 

Moderator: Naoki Motomura
Translator: Asako Fujioka

 

 

Isshin Inudo (left) and Teppei Isobe (right)

February 15, 2020 at B1 Theatre, National Film Archive of Japan
For information on the film and the director, please visit here.

 

Tanabe-Benkei Film Festival Special Jury Chair: Yoshio Kakeo

Selection meetings for the festival program each year are full of debate, but the decision to include “Orokamono” (Me & My brother’s Mistress) was without contest and got endorsed by winning many prizes. The story unfolds mysteriously at first — there’s a brother and sister whose parents have died, and the boy’s fiance moves in with them. When the sister who’s in high school finds out that her brother is actually having an affair behind his fiance’s back, she is disgusted and secretly follows him to find out who the other woman is. But once she gets to know her, she finds herself strangely attracted. The film is masterful in drawing the psychology and shifting relationship between the three women — the teenager, the woman, and the fiance. I’d say that’s the highlight of the film. At 96 minutes, it’s longer than the typical indie film, but I am sure you will be so captivated you won’t find it slow at any point.

 

【Tanabe-Benkei Film Festival|Official Website】http://www.tbff.jp/ (in Japanese)

 

As a way of introducing yourselves, could the two co-directors tell us when you started filmmaking and the process leading to the making of “Orokamono” (Me & My brother’s Mistress)?

Haga: Thank you all for coming today. Suzuki and I were fellow students at Nihon University College of Art. I studied in the cinematography course and Suzuki was in the directing course. We were really tight and made three films together, all the way to graduation. Then I went on to camera assistant work in movies and commercials for several years, with the hidden desire to make my own film some day. Then my buddy Numata, now sitting over there with the audience, handed me a script he’d written, saying: “Here, what about this one?” I read it and went “Wow, I really want to direct this!” So we made it, and that became “Orokamono” (Me & My brother’s Mistress).   

Suzuki: I hadn’t filmed anything for ten years after my school thesis film. I had tried a few times, but some things weren’t right and the projects fell through. I acted as assistant director on films by Yui Murata and Marina Tsukada, working on at least one film per year, when Haga came to me saying “Let’s do one together again.” That’s how the film began.

 

Mr. Okita, you’ve seen the film. What did you find striking in “Orokamono” (Me & My brother’s Mistress)?

Okita: Striking? The scene where the woman brings yokan sweets to the sister and gets yelled at. That was amazing, very funny. I’m also interested to hear that two of them directed a script written by someone else, this Mr. Numata. It’s a rare type of collaboration, because they often say too many boatmen will run a ship aground. It’s hard to imagine how this film will run its course. That’s what I find interesting. I bet the actors also thought like that.

Haga: On the shoot, we didn’t decide beforehand who’ll be in charge of what. It’s like, when I get all excited going “Hi-Ho Silver!” Suzuki would say, “Let’s take it easy here.” Or when Suzuki is going top speed, I would be cool and suggest “Why don’t we do this instead.” It’s like we have each other’s backs. This may sound strange, but it feels like our DNA structure is the same. When we were in university, we were one day talking about the M. Night Shyamalan film “The Happening” (2008). Everyone was saying it was a flop, but when I mentioned “I really liked that film,” Suzuki responded “I get it.”

Okita: You liked “The Happening”?

Haga: Yes, and when I said “I also liked “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003, dir: Andy & Larry Wachowski),” Suzuki said he did too. So it was like, “So what is your favorite film?” and it was “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991, dir: James Cameron). Both of us were inspired by that movie to start making films.

Okita: But the looks on your faces now are so very different… (laughter)

Haga: Our scriptwriter Numata has really similar taste, too. We are not related by blood, but it’s like we are brothers. We worked together like triplets, and that’s why there was no confusion among us.

Okita: The screenplay is good, and that allowed a lot of positive things to ride along. That was the first victory, I think. Didn’t you directors feel pressured by that?

Haga: It’s true, first the script itself was amazing. Adding to that were the hidden messages between the lines that got to me — “You’d better shoot this scene beautifully or else!” or “Now it’s your job to think up how to visualize these complicated emotions.” I’m the type who comes up with lots of visual ideas when reading scripts — I’d use this lenses here, or this high speed shot will be so-and-so frames per second. So in fact I get psyched up by Numata’s pressuring, that I want to grow the child into an even more monstrous work.

 

What were your worries during the making of “Orokamono”(Me & My brother’s Mistress)? Did you have hesitations or things you found difficult?

Haga: I can’t think of anything. We were swimming non-stop like tuna fish, with mental adrenaline flowing full blast and didn’t hesitate much. Oh, but there’s one thing I regret. We had to shoot the wedding scene, like close to 100 shots within a short time. When we looked at the rushes, the continuity of the extras didn’t match. It hurts me to watch that even today.

Okita: That’s nothing to worry about. People don’t watch that scene concerned with the continuity. When you are filming with a lot of people, you often find that continuity doesn’t match. As long as you can capture the sense of liberation coming from everyone moving freely around, it’s usually okay. Was it too much for you?

Haga: Yes.

Okita: I thought the two actresses were very good. It’s like first you had the challenges posed by the script, and then you got the good judgment of the actresses added to the mix. Really, amazing. The women were all so attractive. It’s so interesting to know that you were the one on camera, Mr. Haga.

 

How did you choose Nanami Kasamatsu as the sister and Yui Murata as the brother’s lover?

Haga: I was in love with them and a big fan of theirs. Numata and I were always imagining them to be our heroines. We were constantly talking about making a film with them until Numata came to me one day with the script. The characters were obviously written for them, and also for Hachi Nekome who played Kaho. So throughout the shooting it was like being in love.

 

Mr. Suzuki, did you have worries during the production?

Suzuki: Yes, though not that many. I was often thinking about how not to get in the way of the acting. I was also concerned about the balance between directing and not directing.

 

Mr. Okita, how do you deal with this issue?

Okita: Well, it’s case by case. But usually it doesn’t turn out well when the director is being stubborn. When the director tells the actor, you have to do it like this, the footage often comes out with the scene all stiff and tensed up. But then again, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Suzuki: Is it hard to find an objective place between zeal and a balanced outcome?

Okita: Well, you’d be thrilled if the acting surpasses your imagination, wouldn’t you? So you go ahead hoping that would happen, and yet there’s always something you can’t give in to. It’s hard to judge which side to walk. It depends on your relationship with the actor, too. If you are in love when you are shooting, well, you don’t really have a say, do you.

 

Mr. Okita is a senior of your alma mater Nihon University College of Art. Mr. Haga, you even studied in the same course.

Haga: When we were in school, the whole cinematography course went to see “The Chef of South Polar” (2009) together, and we were like, “It’s the best film in my life.” Then someone said, “Mr. Okita is a graduate of the cinematography course.” — But why did he choose cinematography? I’ve been pondering this question for the past ten years… well, that’s not true, but I did want to hear why.

Okita: Tuition was so high, I thought I should at least learn a trade. So I chose the course that for the same money I’d get the most out of. But it wasn’t that I wanted to be a cinematographer, so I wasn’t really motivated. I didn’t know what I should do and just watched from behind as the others seriously tackled with the equipment, thinking “Wow, these people are getting on with it.” I later regretted not simply joining the directing course. But then I was really lucky to have lots of people good with technology around me when I first decided to make my own film.

Suzuki: It was a while before you made your commercial film debut. Were you working in the film industry until then? Did you work in other fields to make a living?

Okita: I was taking my time while working part-time doing design layouts for real estate advertisements. I didn’t aspire to feature length films much, so I would do short films that would take just two or three days to make, and friends would come help out. So once I’d saved enough I’d make a short, and then repeat. After a few cycles of showing and filming, there came an urge to make a longer work.

 

What was on your mind during those years?

Okita: I was always thinking about projects. Someone gave me a template for writing film proposals and I came up with lots of different ideas, but none of them bore fruit. Later when I started getting commissioned work, I was able to pick some ideas for TV dramas from those old cupboards. I made sure to keep thinking what were the kind of films that should be made. I always kept at least three projects ready just in case someone asked me “Is there anything you have on your mind?”

 

Mr. Haga, Mr. Suzuki, what kind of directors do you aspire to be?

Haga: I’m not thinking about being this maverick director or an action flick specialist, or whatever. I do have lots and lots inside me that I want to say, not only to people in this country but to the world, to speak to individual people about different sorts of rage and sorrow and joy and all. And it’s true I am angry, and I want to keep expressing that together with Numata for the rest of my life. The project I’m developing now is a very delicate and exciting film. Like a horror film with no ghosts.

Okita: Fantastic.

Suzuki: As for me, this is lowering the threshold a bit, but I want to make at least one shark film before I die. That I feel strongly about.

 

Will you work together again?

Haga: If it’s a shark film, I’d love to do it.

Okita: You should do it. A good idea, the shark film.

 

We’ve run out of time.

Haga: May I say something to Mr. Okita before we close? I just want to tell him how I feel. When I started working as camera assistant on film shoots, I was yelled at a lot because I’m not very deft that way, and I was close to quitting this industry so many times. Each time, I reminded myself of the film “The Woodsman and the Rain” (2011). I really think that movie was the reason I was able to get by. As for “A Story of Yonosuke” (2012), I went to see it together with Numata. After the film, we both couldn’t say a word until we got back home and after an hour I burst out bawling. How can life be so beautiful, was the question that gave me hope, that encouraged me. I want to take this opportunity to thank you very much, Mr. Okita.

Okita: Gee, likewise. There’s a kind of movie that I like, the kind that makes you feel good through really subtle things, like a small friendship. “Orokamono” (Me & My brother’s Mistress) has that quality. It’s an ironic twist of storyline, but you find yourself hoping for the two to become friends. I felt a warm familiarity in the irony. I’m not sure whether you will go on working as a duo, but if you continue on this path upgrading what you do on every turn, I feel confident that one day there’ll be the birth of an amazing Japanese film that will certainly be celebrated with a big bravo. I wish you all the best.

 

Moderator: Naoki Motomura
Translator: Asako Fujioka

 

 

Shuichi Okita, Takashi Haga and Sho Suzuki (from left to right)

February 15, 2020 at B1 Theatre, National Film Archive of Japan
For information on the film and the director, please visit here.

 

Pia Film Festival PR: Reiko Ibaragi

This film dazzled the jury members of PFF Award 2019 — Takumi Saito (actor, film director), Kazuya Shiraishi (film director), Asako Nishikawa (film producer), Sakiko Nomura (photographer), and Nobuhiro Yamashita (film director) — and was unanimously awarded the Grand Prix.

The director Hiromichi Nakao chooses to tread the road of creation alone. Motivated by a pure urge to “do the thing I want,” he works without deadline until he is content.

Claiming that his filmmaking is more “the act of looking for cinema” than “creating cinema,” Mr. Nakao proceeds to film phenomena and landscapes that he discovers in the streets and in nature quite randomly. His previous film “The Ship” (2015) depicted the adventure of the everyday connecting with grand Mother Nature. His following film “The Balloon” (2017) captured the eternal outer space through a microscope set up in his room. Both films were nominated to the PFF Awards. And in 2019, “Obake”. This presents a comprehensive look at the filmmaker himself making independent films alone as stars in the sky watch over him protectively. Twinkles and rapture that catch his eye in his daily life are swept into the film, rendering it a compilation of life and creation.

I hope all of you in the audience will keep an eye out for the future of this talented director, Hiromichi Nakao.

 

【Pia Film Festival|Official Website】https://pff.jp/en/

 

As a way of introducing yourself, tell us why you aspired to make films and how you came to make “Obake”.

Nakao: Thank you for watching the film. Around seven or eight years ago, a friend of mine was making an independent film and I sometimes helped out. I said, “This looks like fun. I want to try it out too,” and my friend went, “Sure, I can lend you the camera.” That was the beginning. I started making one film every two years or so, and this “Obake” is my fourth. The early ones are shorter films of 20 – 40 minutes. The first one was nominated to the Image Forum Festival, and the second and third to Pia Film Festival, but none of them won prizes. I submitted to festivals aiming for prize money, because I knew that would allow me to make the next film. But I also had the feeling I’m not the type to make films that would win prizes. Nevertheless I decided that for one last time before I gave up, I’d get serious and work hard at making something that could be a winner. That became “Obake”.

 

Mr. Inudo, what did you think of “Obake”?

Inudo: Seeing Mr. Nakao’s film and how he confronts the act of filmmaking “man-to-man” so to speak, it feels like, uh, going through ritual purification under a waterfall. I realize that nowadays I’ve not been facing up to cinema as seriously as Mr. Nakao.

 

Can you tell us why you choose to make films completely by yourself?

Nakao: I work alone because I don’t have friends. Even if I did I’d get into fights. Also, there are all sorts of things I can only do alone. I mean, I’ve never been able to see the big picture from the start — each step is like fumbling in the dark. So I wouldn’t be able to give precise instructions or show leadership even if I had staff to work with. Being able to do things impromptu and to move forward while improvising — this is one of the advantages of working alone.

The other thing is to be able to spend time thinking. Working alone takes time. It’s not efficient, but the time spent doing it is necessary to clear my mind. So even if takes two or three years doing it, I’m content going through with it because perhaps that’s the pacing I need.

Inudo: I was all alone when I started single-8 filmmaking in high school, so I see what he means. He said it “clears his mind” but I can add to that. Doing everything alone allows you to “discover”. In my experience, a teenager who’s never made a film, nobody is around to teach you, you don’t know how the professionals do it, you have no idea where to start, you don’t understand montage. But when you approach it alone, you get to find out how it works by yourself. Like using a telescopic lenses and discovering how the background goes out of focus. As a kid you’re not sure how it works, so you zoom in to film someone and discover that the background blurs. Or say you take a few shots of someone flipping the pages of a book. You edit two shots together and see it’s not smooth. You try it again matching the timing of the page-flipping motion and discover action continuity! It’s fun filming alone and deepening your relationship with cinema. There are definitely benefits to it.

 

Mr. Nakao, did you also encounter discovery?

Nakao: Yes. I was elated when I first found how the background blurs when I zoom in. I discovered this at the very end of my second film. The out-of-focus image looked just like what I’d seen at the movies, and I announced the discovery to the few friends I had.

Inudo: It’s like uncovering the history of cinema by yourself. When I first showed my one-hour film at the school arts festival, I had to change rolls in the middle of the film. The film’s dull so the whole audience gets up and leaves during the roll change. That night, I re-edited the film so it’s 30 minutes shorter for the next screening the following day. It was then I discovered something Jean-Luc Godard had done. It’s the jump cut. In the first version, each scene was pretty long because I didn’t understand montage. But then I took it and jump cut all over the place so that the final version was 30 minutes. That got nominated for the Pia Film Festival. How many years after Godard was that? When you are making films alone, you discover things by yourself.

 

That’s an interesting experience.

Inudo: When I saw “Obake”, it reminded me of myself in those days. And how I was making films properly then. In this film it’s about entering the frame and exiting the frame. You’re discovering Robert Bresson on your own. If you’re running the camera by yourself and you have to be in the picture, you end up entering the frame and exiting the frame. How cool can you get, doing this Bressonian thing! It’s really a great film.

Nakao: It was done without knowing.

Inudo: Really? I saw the posters on the wall in your film. Your favorite film directors are François Truffaut and Woody Allen?

Nakao: Yes.

Inudo: The film is totally unlike Truffaut or Woody Allen!

Nakao: I’m doing my best. I guess I’m just not there yet.

 

Mr. Nakao, is there anything you would like to ask Mr. Inudo?

Nakao: I find that your films use music really effectively, and that the score carries you away. I’m impressed with how you know the exact moment the music should come in. I’m sure the timing is different film by film, but how do you know? Do you decide before you write the script, after the script, or during the shooting?

Inudo: Sometimes I think of who to ask to write the score during the scriptwriting phase. Sometimes I can’t come up with any ideas. For example I thought of Koji Ueno from the band GUERNICA for “Zero Focus” (2009). When I was thinking of asking someone to write the end music for “JOSEE, THE TIGER AND THE FISH” (2003), the producer suggested Quruli because he’d worked with SUPERCAR successfully on a previous film. I knew Quruli from watching their music videos a lot, and figured if they could arrange music as I saw they did, they could probably do film music too. And so we asked Quruli for a track. So the process is always case by case.

 

What do you mean, if they could arrange music, they could do film music too?

Inudo: You don’t need to write lots of melodies for every scene. You have one melody line and arrange it differently for each scene. The art of arranging music is crucial in film scoring. So I decided on Quruli only after I asked Mr. Kishida “Does your band arrange all the music by yourselves?” and he said yes. For “La Maison de Himiko” (2005), I asked Haruomi Hosono. He’d done the music for the animation film “A Night on the Galactic Railroad” (1985, dir: Gisaburo Sugii), and it’s this music that with one note puts you inside the world of the film. “La Maison de Himiko” needed not a melody but the power of one note, I thought, and so it was Mr. Hosono I invited. So every film is different, but recently I’ve been working with Koji Ueno a lot. Mr. Ueno’s master is Akira Ifukube, the composer for films like “Godzilla” (1954, dir: Ishiro Honda). Mr. Ueno studied film music really seriously, and teaches film music at Nihon University College of Art. He mainly works with commercial films. So ever since I got serious about film music I’ve always chosen Mr. Ueno to work with. Did you have original music composed for “Obake”?

Nakao: It’s all music made by friends.

Inudo: Did you choose and use music that’s already written or did you have it written for the film?

Nakao: In some cases I used written music and in other places I asked for a bit of rearrangement. All of the string music was already composed. The composer is Atsuko Hatano who also plays the music. She’s been playing with Jim O’ Rourke’s band for a while, and more recently has been arranging music for Yuta Orisaka, if you want famous names.

Inudo: The scenes without music are really strong in “Obake”.

Nakao: Yes.

Inudo: There’s this illusion that films without music look very cinematic. I know the difference between a film that’s powerful because it chooses not to use music, and a film that just looks strong because it lacks music. In this film, I think the scenes without music are strong, so the moment the music comes, it works marvelously. Music is good because it can pull you in, but in films like “Obake”, it’s more about that moment. It’s because of a strength in the absence that you can acknowledge the note when it hits you.

 

So the timing of where to place the score becomes crucial.

Inudo:Yes, that becomes very important, really for any film. “Obake” is made with an understanding of that. No music, no music, no music, no music, and YES HERE! The pulse is really great.

Nakao: It was trial and error, many times. I’m really honored to hear you say this, because I thought, hey, when I saw how you’d placed the music in “La Maison de Himiko” and “JOSEE, THE TIGER AND THE FISH”.

Inudo: Actually in my case, I don’t do that anymore. With Mr. Ueno, we decided to get out of the old deception that scenes without music look cinematic, and just put on score after score. If you look at American films from the 1940s and 50s, they are using music lavishly, as do recent good American movies. So instead of being servile to the idea that no music is good film, we just try to do it normally. Maybe it’s just a passing fad, and we’re bored of a method and want something new. In any case, I do use music liberally these days.

 

Mr. Inudo, is there anything you want to ask Mr. Nakao?

Inudo: Why does he make films like this? Why does someone who likes Woody Allen and Truffaut movies make films like this one? Uh, well, you could say he has something in common with Woody Allen, if you think of Mr. Nakao as Woody. Or maybe he’s Jean-Pierre Léaud.

Nakao: Truffaut fans would kill you for that (laughter).

Inudo: In that sense, I guess the similarity lies in an aspiration for personal films. Like here are films from Paris, films from New York, films from Osaka.

Nakao: Yes, I guess I like films that feature the same characters throughout, who talk this and that to the camera, and show growth over the course of several films. Woody Allen and Truffaut films are like that.

Inudo: That means, you have intention in your method. That your life and art overlap. That you will continue following this course hereafter.

Nakao: Yes, I think I’ll keep going with this method, but I’ve also started something new under another style. I’m not sure how that’ll go.

Inudo: In the end, it’s whether there’s any justification in making a Nakao film without your Jean-Pierre Léaud or Woody.

Nakao: You’re right.

Inudo: Films where you don’t appear.

Nakao: Yes, in fact I would prefer not to be in them. It’s just that I don’t have anyone else (laughter).

 

Moderator: Naoki Motomura
Translator: Asako Fujioka

Isshin Inudo (left) and Hiromichi Nakao (right)