Guest in Focus: Daisuke MIYAZAKI – Yamato (California)

In our ongoing Guest in Focus series, we ask a few questions of several of our visiting filmmakers about their careers, influences, films, and what they think about coming to Germany. Today’s guest is the writer and director of Yamato (California), Daisuke MIYAZAKI.  

Daisuke MIYAZAKI, born in Yokohama in 1980, graduated from Waseda University and then worked as a production assistant and assistant director for Leos Carax and Kiyoshi KUROSAWA, among others. His debut feature film END OF THE NIGHT (2011) was a big success in Japan and on the international festival circuit. In 2015 he participated in the Berlinale Talents program, directing the Japanese segment in the omnibus film 5 TO 9.

When and how did you first get into filmmaking?  

I accidentally saw Godard’s film. And like everyone else, I…

What were your first film projects?

I filmed beautiful leaves in my backyard.

Where did you get the idea for Yamato (California), and what story would you like it to tell?

I wanted to film my home town before the next serious earthquake comes and our country disappears. I want to depict the void of modern life in Japan and the world and what hope can come out of that.

Were there any funny or difficult situations you experienced during the shooting?

We were chased by a military police of the US army (I thought our country was independent). There was a serious car accident during the shooting and many crew members got wounded.

What do you think about the current situation of Japanese cinema?

I think it is awful. The worst in history. The big system is wasting money, tax, history and talent. Poor masters and teachers are enslaving young kids whose dreams are in films.

Which three Japanese films from the last decade do you think everybody should see?

Shin Godzilla, Intimacies, Love Exposure

Do you have an all-time favorite film, and if yes, is there a particular reason why it’s your favorite?

I have too many favorites, but L’argent is my faith and religion.

Who is the director/filmmaker that influenced you the most?


Have you ever been to Germany before, and if so, what was your favorite/strangest/funniest experience?

Yes. I was kicked out of the gigantic club in Berlin and went to see soccer with huge dudes wearing skirts.

Yamato (California) will premier on Thursday, 25 May, at 22:15 in the Naxoshalle theater with the director present. The film is eligible for the Nippon Visions Jury Award and the Nippon Visions Audience Award.  

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