Guest Article: Claudia Bertolè

It seems that I cannot do without this “pink explosion” once a year… What can I say? I always enjoy myself a lot at Nippon Connection. Meeting friends (after all the years…), watching great films, listening to cinema discussions (I was, for example, able to talk with director Okita Shuichi – I like his poetic and eccentric characters so much – interviewed by Maggie Lee), drinking lots of coffees between one screening and the following one…

The Japanese Film festival never leaves me unsatisfied, and the Friday program was a further confirmation of this.

Kore-eda first of all. He’s my favorite film director, and I’ve been studying his work for a long time. The Third Murder is a legal thriller telling a story of a man accused of murder, found guilty of a crime 30 years before. A dark film about the conception of truth in a judicial system full of contradictions. Kore-eda here builds his film on the noir classics, but at the same time he returns to his common theme: families and the relationships between parents and children. Great performance by Yakusho Koji (I met him at Nippon Connection last year, so that was nice).

Another film I loved was Hanagatami, by director Obayashi Nobuhiko, an eccentric psychedelic reflection about war. He’s such a nice person (I met him in Udine few years ago), a genius, no doubt for me. I was moved by the video message he sent to the public to introduce his film.

Other two films during the day, Ando Hiroshi’s Moon and Thunder and Tominaga Masanori’s Pumpkin and Mayonnaise. Both depicting interesting feminine characters, confronting themselves within a male world.

I finished my day drinking (a little bit of) sake at the djset in Mousonturm…

The only problem for me with Nippon Connection is that it lasts only a few days and there’s so much to do, to see, so many guests, so little time… As the painter Kumagai Morikazu says in Mori – The Artist’s Habitat by Okita, «I’d like to live more. I love to live my life». But it’s ok.

See you (hopefully) next year!  

Claudia Bertolè

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