An Interview with Yutaro Nakamura, Director of A NEW WIND BLOWS [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021]

There were two films by actor/writer/director Yutaro Nakamura at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021. They shared actors such as An Ogawa (For Rei) but wildly diverged stylistically. The first, Sweet Bitter Candy, was a standard-issue drama of bad romance and schoolgirls while A New Wind Blows featured a storyline that was wayward and dreamy and clearly shot guerrilla style in the suburbs. It was punctuated with scenes that offer visceral emotions, surprising twists, and a eccentric-cum-humanistic bent that made it stand out.

The film introduces us to a set of characters – Yujiro (Yujiro Hara), Hikari (Hikaru Saiki), Takaya (Takaya Shibata), Anzu (An Ogawa), and Kotaro (Yutaro Nakamura, the director himself) – who are cycled through in a number of stories where they get together and alternately torment and fall in love with each other, first as high schoolers and then as young adults later, before returning to them as high schoolers. Mental illness, prejudice, and literal bed hopping take place and there are extremes of emotions that go from normality to very dark. However, as scenes and sequences slip by, there is a sense of care and comfort and possibility. You can read my review here and also a playfulness as music video sequences and cute on-screen text and images are used. 

A New Wind Blows An Ogawa and Yutaro Nakamura An Ogawa and Yutaro Nakamura at the Premiere of A New Wind Blows

Yutaro Nakamura took time out of his schedule to answer questions relating to A New Wind Blows.

This interview was done with the help of Takako Pocklington, who translated between English and Japanese to help bring director Nakamura’s answers to this blog.

The Japanese-language interview is followed by the English.




























Thank you for making the film. It was chaotic and fun but also a little shocking. It mixed realism with a little fantasy and absurd humour – Takaya Shibata dressing as a fairy on a cold day must have been tough! – but I found it optimistic in the end and felt I could watch it again and again.

How did you get your start in filmmaking?

I entered university where I could study video production and theatre. The academic politics were oppressive, so I started making films to express my opposition to it.

Are you influenced by any directors?

There aren’t any directors whom I was particularly influenced by, but I like director Yoji Yamada, Kazuo Kuroki and Yoichi Higashi. 

Where did the idea for the film come from?

I was working for a production company at the time, and out of frustration with society, I started to write a random rough draft.

There are big tonal shifts in the film, from death to sweet confessions of love but I found it optimistic despite the darkness. What do you want the audience to take away from the story?

I want the audience to enjoy it since I made it with ease.

You have worked with some of the actors before – Ann Ogawa in “Sweet Bitter Candy” and Takaya Shibata in “Wakasa and Bakasa” – could you talk about your reason for casting them as well as Hikaru Saiki and Yujiro Hara?

I just cast them because they are good friends in my private life at the time.

How did you and the actors get into the roles?

I constantly told them what I wanted to do at both rehearsals and at the shoot.

Was this a case of guerilla filmmaking If so, what was it like shooting the chaos in the second half of the film in public?

Yes, the scenes outside were guerilla filmmaking. We shot under the tense circumstance of being stopped or being complained about.

Could you explain about the use of music in the film, particularly the lyrics of the Akari Machi song?

I had an image of the song earlier. I wrote the lyrics as an extension of the script. I have worked with Machi-san several times, so we had a similar idea for the song.

You work both in front of and behind the camera. Do you have a preference for one or the other?

I prefer to be behind the camera.

Do you have another project in the works?

Yes, I have some projects I’m trying to shoot.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions.

Thanks to you too.

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