Guest in Focus: Kosai Sekine

The Art of Anthropology –
Kosai Sekine cinematically explores what truly moves people.

Director Kosai Sekine studied Philosophy at the Sophia University in Tokyo. Always finding images that emotionally speak to the audience, Sekine directed not only short films but also commercials and music videos. He was awarded the Young Director Award Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Nippon Connection will present his outstanding first two feature films, Love at Least and Tower of the Sun. 


When and how did you first get into filmmaking?

“The festival will show two of my films: Love at Least, a drama about a woman suffering from hypersomnia; and Tower of the Sun, a documentary about the tower built by artist Taro Okamoto for the Osaka World Expo 1970. They are my first feature films. Love At Least was born when I ran across Yukiko Motoya’s novel on which it is based, and met my producer, Kai, who supported my ideas on how to film it. For Tower of the Sun, I actually sent an application when they posted the job as director.”

 

   What was the biggest challenge you had while making your latest film?

“In Love At Least, more than anything else, I was passionate about exposing the protagonist Yasuko’s emotions – she’s eccentric, but still has the same feelings hidden deep in everyone’s heart – and expressing these raw emotions, making it feel real. This is what I was most passionate about when writing the script and directing. And then, the actress Syuri played her brilliantly!”

 

NC19_cinema_Love At Least_07


“Tower of the Sun asks what this gigantic artwork, built for the Osaka Expo, can mean for modern-day Japan – an era in which many people are living in a state of blockade after the nuclear accident – and for the world. For this, I researched areas as diverse as possible, from philosophy and anthropology to Tibetan Buddhism.”

 

NC19_docs_Tower of the Sun_01


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

“I’m not just saying this because NC is a film festival in Germany: Paris, Texas changed my life. I watched it in high school for the first time. The simple, yet deep story and the mood permeating everything shocked me. Thanks to this film, I started dreaming about making films myself one day. Triggered by the film, I even visited the eponymous Paris in Texas… There really was nothing…”

 


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?

今回、「生きてるだけで、愛。(Love At Least) 」という過眠症の女性を主人公に描いたヒューマンドラマの映画と、「太陽の塔(Tower of the Sun)」という岡本太郎(Taro Okamoto)というアーティストが1970年の大阪万博の折に建てた塔についてのドキュメンタリーを監督しましたが、長編映画を監督したのはこれが初めてです。「生きてるだけで、愛。」は本谷有希子(Yukiko Motoya)さん原作の小説に巡り合い、プロデューサー甲斐(Kai)さんと出会って映画化の方向性について意見が一致したこと。「太陽の塔」はなんと監督を公募しており、それに応募したことがきっかけでした。

 

今回の映画制作・撮影中での一番大きいなチャレンジは何でしたか?

「生きてるだけで、愛。」は何よりも主人公の女性、寧子(Yasuko)のエキセントリックでありながら人間誰でも心の底に隠し持っているような感情をさらけ出し、むき出しの感情を表現できるか、そしてそれがリアルに感じられるかどうかに脚本と演出の情熱を注ぎましたが、主演の趣里(Syuri)さんがそれを見事に演じ切ってくれました。

「太陽の塔」では、大阪万博で造られた巨大なアート作品が、原発事故以降に人々の生き方が閉塞していった現代の日本、または世界においてどんな意味を持ちうるのかという問いかけをするために哲学や人類学、チベット仏教など出来る限り広範なトピックを研究しました。


一番好きな映画がありましたら教えてください。また、その理由は何ですか?

ドイツでの映画祭だから言うのではなく、「Paris, Texas」が自分の人生を変えてくれた映画です。高校生の時に初めて観てそのシンプルだけど奥深い物語と全体にわたる「ムード」にショックを受け、いつか自分も映画を撮れるようになれたらと夢見るようになったきっかけを与えてくれた映画です。触発されて映画のタイトルでもあるテキサス州のパリに行ってみました…本当に何もありませんでしたが…

 


Films by Kosai Sekine at the 19th Nippon Connection Filmfestival

Love at Least
Japan 2018, DCP, 109 min.
Friday, May 31, 16:45, Mousonturm Saal
Saturday, June 1, 20:15, Mal Seh’n Kino

Tower of the Sun
Japan 2018, 112 min.
Saturday, June 1, 16:45, Naxoshalle Kino

Click here for tickets


 

Check out the trailers

 

 

 

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