Guest in Focus: Kensei Takahashi

“MeToo Japan” – A Young Filmmakers Perspective

Kensei Takahashi, born 1996 in Hokkaido, already dreamed about making films when he was still a child. Takahashis debut feature Sea was his final work for university and was presented at the Tokyo International Film Festival. We are very pleased that Mr. Takahashi will attend the 19th Nippon Connection Filmfestival for the international premier of his film and that he also found the time to answer a few questions for us.


When and how did you first get into filmmaking?

I made my first film when I was 10 years old. Well, it was more a fun video than a film. It was about a trapped chimpanzee escaping from a lab. My cousin played the chimpanzee and my sister the head of the laboratory. Filming was simply the most awesome game for me; and in playing this game, I started making films.

Where did you get the idea for your latest film?

The idea itself originated from the many cases of sexual violence in Japan. The motivation to continue the film came because of the Me Too movement.

NC19_visions_sea_director.pngDirector Kensei Takahashi

What was the biggest challenge while making your latest film?

With a budget of barely 500.000 Yen, each single scene and each cut was a challenge. And the biggest of them was the last scene.

What do you think is a characteristic quality of current Japanese cinema?

Japan being a closed country. Anti-diversity. Too well-behaved.

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

My favourite Japanese film is Battle Royale. I’m not trying to flatter Germany, but my most favourite film is Das Experiment (directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel). These two showed me how awesome cinema could be when I was a teenager.

NC19_visions_sea_02

If you weren’t making films, what profession would you pursue?

I still can’t call myself a director… I’m making a living working somewhere as a part-timer. In Japan it is really tough to make a living with the job of a film director, so if possible I’d rather not become one 🙂


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?

──10歳で始めて映画を撮りました。でもアレは映画というより、おふざけビデオ。捕らえられたチンパンジーが実験施設から脱走するという内容でした。チンパンジーを演じたのは従兄弟で、研究所所長は姉でした。単純に、映像を撮ることが僕にとって最上の遊びで、遊んでいるうちに映画を作るようになりました。

 

新作のアイディアはどこで得たものですか。

──アイディア自体は、日本で起こっているあらゆる性暴力事件から。撮影を進める原動力になったのは、metooの運動があったからです。

 

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?

──制作費が50万円弱、全シーン全カットチャレンジの連続でした。その中でも一番は、ラストカットです。

現在の日本映画の特徴は何だと思われますか?

──鎖国状態。反多様性。大人しすぎる。

 

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?

──邦画なら「バトル・ロワイアル」。ドイツにおもねるわけでなく、一番好きな映画は「es」(オリヴァー・ヒルシュヴィーゲル監督)。映画って面白え!と、10代の自分に教えてくれた2本です。

もし映画監督になっていなかったら、どのようなお仕事をしていたと思いますか?

──まだ映画監督とは名乗れませんが…。今はアルバイトしながら生活しています。日本で映画監督という仕事をするのは生活していく上でとても大変なので、出来れば映画監督にはなりたくありません笑。


The International premiere of Sea will be presented at May 29th. 2019 in the Naxoshalle cinema at 19:45. The director a will be present.

Click here for tickets


 

Check out the trailer

 

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