Guest in Focus: Go SHIBATA – Gui Aiueo:s

We return to our Guest in Focus series, where we learn a bit more about the filmmakers featured in Nippon Visions. Today’s first interview is with Go SHIBATA, the director of Gui Aiueo:s A Stone From Another Mountain To Polish Your Own Stone. 


When and how did you first get into filmmaking?

The task for the graduation exam at my university was to make a film. I started making it in 1997 and it took me the two years until my graduation to finish.

What were your first film projects?

The story of a 5-year-old child who develops interest in music with the exploding sound of the atom bomb on Nagasaki, and then spends all 60 years of his life trying to recreate that sound.

Where did you get the idea for Gui aiueo:S, and what story would you like it to tell?

The Idea of 「Gui aiueo:S」first came up from a discussion about if we formed a band, how to name it best. There the name 「Gui aiueo:S」came up.

That was more than 10 years ago, so it was not about a fictional film title but rather a playful mind-game about the name best to be given to a fictional band. So it was the title that stood in the beginning. “Aiueo” are the vowels of the Japanese language written in letters. Behind it is the wish to be a film / band team that only slightly exceeds this basic level. Under this title, as a director I wanted to express a Report from the Scene of a Battle of Wits. This is the real main story: a live report about how the whole film crew – actors, camera,  production designers, and just all others – from the beginning till the end, somewhere between consciousness and subconsciousness have this question on their mind: Will we finish the film? Will we really make it?

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

It was all great: Listening first-hand to the stories of people who encountered Pegasus or a giant snake, or when they guessed what I had for lunch by clairvoyance. From the first day of location hunting until completion of the film, we saw “mysterious illuminants on the sky” flying in front of our eyes, or talked to people we had only just met about “tricks how to see mysterious illuminants”. The only difficult thing was to continue and complete the film production in this wondrous time.

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

I think the situation is getting more enjoyable.

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


They are all films from me.
Three Japanese films everybody should see!

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

I still don’t have a single favorite film. Probably because I love so endlessly many, different films.

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

It would be so embarrassing to answer this question honestly that I’d rather play dumb – I won’t answer this one. Because of course, as a filmmaker, there is at least one director / filmmaker that influenced you most. I’ll continue making films until I can answer this question honestly!

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

I’m in Germany for the first time.

Translated from the Japanese.  

Gui Aiueo:s A Stone From Another Mountain To Polish Your Own Stone will premiere tonight in the Naxoshalle theater at 22:30. The director will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.  


映画作りを始めたのはいつ頃ですか。どのようなきっかけでしたか 。




『ギ・あいうえおス 他山の石を以って己の玉を磨くべし』のアイディアはどこで得たものですか。また、その映 画の中で、監督が表現しようとしているのは、どのようなストーリ ーですか?

「Gui aiueo:S」のアイディアは、『もしもバンドを組んだらどんな名前を付けるか』というお題のやりとりのなかで「Gui aiueo:S」という名前を浮かびあがったのがそもそもの発端です。いまから10数年前の事なので、そのときは架空の映画のタイトルではなく、架空のバンドに名前をつける遊びをしたとき得たアイディア、というか名前だけが先にありました。名前の由来は、「aiueo」という日本語ローマ字の母音を超えるくらいベーシックな映画バンドチームになりたいという願いで付けました。








一番好きな映画がありましたら教えてください。また、その理由は なんですか。




ドイツに来られたことはありますか?もしありましたら、一番好き な・変な・面白い経験はなんでしたか。


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