Guest in Focus: Takashi Makino

Between two worlds – “A chaotic mass of light and sound”

Director and artist Takashi Makino shares his personal motives for making Memento Stella, featured at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival. With its flashing lights and psychedelic music, the film creates an ecstatic experience completely out of this world – yet so close to human reality. Since studying at the Nihon University College of Art, Makino has been working as a freelancer film colorist. He has demonstrated his talent several times as an experimental filmmaker at festivals in Rotterdam, New York, and Vienna. In 2016, Nippon Connection featured his work for the first time by screening his films Cinéma Concret and Action Direct. Mr Makino was kind enough to answer some of our questions before the special screening of his film at the 19th Nippon Connection Festival.

When and how did you first get into filmmaking?

In 1983, I was in an extremely bad traffic accident, and afterwards I was hovering between life and death. At that time, I caught very intense glimpses of a world different than our normal world. I started making films in 1997 because I just could not ignore my daytime imaginations and the dreams I saw at night. For me, films feel close to this other world, which I call “fantasy”. After that, I studied not only film but many other ways of artistic expression, and I learned that this style of joining reality and fantasy has existed under the name of surrealism since the 1920’s. Drawing inspiration from the surrealists, I collect lights and sounds which exist presently, in reality, then I turn them into multiple layers, and create an organic and chaotic mass of light and sound.

Where did you get the idea for your latest film?

While I was making this film, many of my friends passed away. These personal tragedies, as well as all the cruel and violent news that I see everyday while travelling the world with my films – all these were calling me to make a film. So, I collected an immense number of lights, where it’s not possible to distinguish where in the world they were shot. I turn them into multiple layers, crystalizing them into one film, and send them back to the world. This is the concept of the project. This is Memento Stella: Remember that this here is a star. In the middle of these desperate situations, I tried to depict lights that are shared all over the world. You could say I was influenced by desperation.

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

There is no “if” in this world, so I cannot give a concrete answer. Yet, I want to give strength and courage to the young artists who will start making films from now on. For this reason, I also started teaching at a new film school in Spain called EQZE. I’m an artist, so I cannot imagine myself in any other position than supporting other artists. No matter which life I had been born to, this would be the same, and will also be so in the future.

NC19_visions_memento stella_director

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?



この作品を制作していた時期、多くの親友がこの世を去りました。そのような身近な不幸だけでなく、世界を旅しながら映画上映を続ける中で、毎日目にする陰惨で暴力的なニュースは僕に何か一つの映画を制作する事を指示しているように感じました。つまりこの世界の何処で撮影されたか判別のつかない光を膨大に収集し、それらを多層化して一つの映画として結晶化し、再び世界に還していくというプロジェクトです。それが[Memento Stella]ここがひとつの星である事を忘れてはならない、という映画です。つまり僕は、絶望的な状況の中で、この世界に共通の光を描こうとしました。僕は絶望に影響されたと言えるかもしれません。



Memento Stella at the 19th Nippon Connection Filmfestival:

Memento Stella
Japan / Hongkong 2018, 60 Min., no dialog
Thursday, May 30, 20:30 Deutsches Filmmuseum
German premiere with Takashi Makino


Click here for tickets

Check out the Trailer:

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