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?

1983年に非常に大きな交通事故に遭い、生死の境を彷徨った経験があります。その時に、通常の世界とは異なる、別の世界の存在を強烈に垣間見ました。僕が映画制作を始めたのは1997年です。白昼夢や夢想や夜に見る夢という存在を無視する事が出来なかったからです。映画という存在そのものに、自分が「幻想」と呼ぶ別の世界に近いものを感じていました。その後映画だけでなく多くの美術表現を学び、現実と幻想を結びつけるという手法は1920年代から超現実主義という名において存在する事を知りました。彼らに影響を受けながら、僕は現実に現在存在する光と音を採取し、それらを多層化して有機的で混沌とした光と音の塊を創り出します。


新作のアイディアはどこで得たものですか。

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。


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?

この世に「もしも」という事は存在ましませんので具体的な事は言えません。しかし僕はこれから映画制作を始める若い作家たちに力と勇気を与えるような存在でいたいと思っています。スペインのEQZEという新しい映画学校の講師を始めたのも、そういった想いがあったからです。自分は作家ですので、どうしても作り手を支援する以外の立ち位置に自分がいる事を想像する事が出来ません。それは自分がどのような人生に生まれてもそうだったし、これからもそうであると思います。


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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