Guest in Focus: Nanako HIROSE

Nanako HIROSE, director of BOOK-PAPER-SCISSORS, was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1987 and studied at Musashino Art University. She has been working for Hirokazu KOREEDA’s production company Bunbuku since 2011, starting out as an assistant on his films, as well as an assistant director to Miwa NISHIKAWA. In 2019, she gave her debut as a director with the feature film HIS LOST NAME, which received international attention. We are very glad she took the time to answer our questions for our Guest in Focus series.


Where did you get the idea for your latest film?

My late father was a book designer. When I was grown up I took an interest  in my father’s work. In his bookshelf I found books written by Mr. Kikuchi. I read them and was deeply impressed by his spirit of craftsmanship and his attention to the tactile feel of things in his hands. I noticed the obvious: books are paper, books are things.

NC20_DOCS_Book-Paper-Scissors_01

How did the current crisis impact your work as a filmmaker?

The movie was just playing in  theaters when one after the other had to close down. My talk events across the country were cancelled. The situation threatens the existence of mini theaters (small independent movie theaters) and small distributors much more than my own daily life. Filming itself is impossible, so the situation for freelancers is extremely tough right now. We have to show solidarity across the areas, and figure out how we can make use of online options and help save theaters and distributors. As a filmmaker, I’m still at a loss about what I must portray in my movies after Corona.

What are some challenges women especially are faced with in the world of Japanese filmmaking?

When working in movie productions, balancing family and work is highly difficult. In Japan, the majority of female staff in this industry has to quit their job after getting married. We need to reconsider this working environment where also the physical strain makes it nearly impossible to keep up in the long term. As for directing, I can say that we need to free ourselves from the idea of labelling – “because she’s a woman” – and from the image of women which we are required to deliver. In Japan, we are still behind on this.

BOOK-PAPER-SCISSORS
Japan 2019, 93 min
Watch the film HERE
 from June 9 to 14, 2020
at the 20th Nippon Connection Film Festival
Check out the trailer!


新作のアイディアはどこで得たものですか。 

亡くなった父が装幀家で、自分が大人になってから父の仕事を知りたいと思うようになったのがきっかけでした。父の本棚に菊地さんの著書があり、それを読んで、菊地さんの職人の精神と、触感へのこだわりに感銘を受けました。本は紙であり、物であるという当たり前のことに気がついたのです。

今回の危機はあなたの映画人としての仕事にどのように影響を与えましたか? 

公開中だった劇場が休業に追い込まれ、各地でのトークイベントが中止になりました。私自身の生活以上に、ミニシアターや小さな配給会社の存続が危ぶまれています。撮影行為自体ができない状況なので、フリーのスタッフの生活も苦しいと思います。オンラインを駆使しながら、どのように劇場や配給を守っていくか垣根を越えて連携していかなければなりません。作り手としては、コロナ後に描くべきものとは何か、それがまだわからなくて悩んでいます。

日本の映画界で特に女性が直面しているチャレンジは何でしょうか?

制作スタッフで難しいのは家庭との両立です。日本では結婚して、仕事を辞めざるをえなくなる女性スタッフが大半です。体力的にも続けることが難しい労働環境自体見直す必要があります。監督において言えるのは、女性だからというレッテルや、求められる女性像から解き放たれるように発信していくことです。日本はまだそれが遅れているように思います。

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s