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 transcript is first and it is followed by English. Click on a link below to be taken to one or the other.

Japanese English


Japanese

この映画を作ってくださってありがとうございます。ごちゃごちゃしてて面白くて、でもちょっと衝撃的でもあって。ファンタジーっぽくもあり、ばかばかしいユーモアも含んだリアリズム。あの寒空の下、天使の格好の柴田貴哉さんは、さぞかしきつかったでしょうね。でも観終る頃には前向きな気持ちになり、何度でも観返したくなりました。

どういうきっかけで、映画制作を始められたのですか?

映像と演劇が学べる大学に入って、学内政治が強かった為、一言申すつもりで作り始めました。

影響を受けた監督って誰かいますか?

特に影響を受けた監督はいませんが、山田洋次監督、黒木和雄監督、東陽一監督が好きです。

この映画のアイデアはどこから生まれたのでしょうか?

当時、制作会社に勤めておりまして、社会に対するフラストレーションから適当にラフを書き始めました。

この映画では、死から甘い愛の告白まで、雰囲気が目まぐるしく変わります。でも暗い面があるにもかかわらず、楽観的な印象を受けました。観客の皆さんに、この物語から何を汲み取って欲しいですか?

全然気楽に観て欲しいです。気楽に作った作品なので。

今回出演された俳優さんの中には、監督が以前一緒に仕事された方もいらっしゃいますね。『スウィートビターキャンディ』の小川あんさん、『若さと馬鹿さ』の柴田貴哉さん。斎木ひかるさん、原雄次郎さんも含め、この俳優さんたちをキャスティングした理由について話していただけますか?

当時、プライベートで仲の良かった俳優陣をキャスティングしただけです。

各役柄についてですが、監督御自身、そして他の役者さんたちはどのように役作りをされたのでしょうか?

僕の要望を、稽古場でも現場でも伝え続けました。

今回は、いわゆるゲリラ撮影だったのでしょうか?もしそうであれば、映画の後半部分のあの破茶滅茶なシーンを、公共の場で撮影するのって、どんな感じだったんでしょうか?

野外はゲリラ撮影です。止められたり、苦情が入る緊張のもと、撮影していました。

この映画に挿入されている音楽について説明してください。特に、町あかりさんの歌の歌詞についてお話していただけますか?

曲のイメージは、先にありました。歌詞は脚本の延長線上で考えて、僕が書きました。

町さんとの制作は何度も経験しているので、お互いに似たイメージを持っていました。

監督は、カメラの前で撮られる側でもあり、後ろで撮る側でもあります。監督御自身が好まれるのはどちらですか?

僕は撮る側の方が好きです.

また別の作品の企画はありますか?

何本か撮ろうとしている企画はあります。

インタビューにお時間さいてくださってありがとうございます。

こちらこそ、ありがとうございました。


ID05_A-New-Wind-Blows_sub2_resize

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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