Guest in Focus: Soshi MATSUMOTO

In the 2021 edition of the Nippon Connection Film Festival’s NIPPON VISIONS section, we are presenting Soshi MATSUMOTO’s feature film debut IT’S A SUMMER FILM!

Soshi MATSUMOTO was born in Saitama in 1988 and started his career by directing numerous commercials, music videos, short films, and series for TV and the web. His feature-length debut IT’S A SUMMER FILM! (2020 / NC ’21) had its world premiere at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival. Thanks to Soshi MATSUMOTO for this interview.


The main character in IT’S A SUMMER FILM! is a hilarious young girl aspiring to become a director. Why is she called Barefoot (Hadashi)?

I wanted the three main characters to represent summer. I gave her the name Barefoot, because it makes you think of children running barefoot in the park or other places during the summer. The name simply means not wearing shoes on your feet.


(Nippon Connection 2021 – Nippon Visions: It’s A Summer Film! by Soshi MATSUMOTO)

The protagonist Rintaro stumbles into Hadashi’s life and changes it forever. If you had a time machine like Rintaro, which time would you like to travel to and who would you like to meet?

I would visit the time right after my own death (maybe around the year 2090?). There I would watch the popular films, read the popular manga and listen to the music of that time. I would love to experience with my own eyes and ears the pop culture of the near future that I’m unlikely to see for myself.

Hadashi loves jidaigeki (period drama). What is your favorite jidaigeki film?

THE MILLION RYO POT (Tange Sazen yowa: Hyakuman ryo no tsubo) by Sadao Yamanaka. It is a daring period drama with good rhythm and pacing. It has a dry sense of humor. I just love how light-hearted the storytelling feels. It is a masterpiece filled to the brim with things that make its characters loveable.


(Nippon Connection 2021 – Nippon Visions: It’s A Summer Film! by Soshi MATSUMOTO)

In your film, you talk about the future of cinema. Do you think teenagers should watch more films and less short clips like on TikTok? And do you think in the near future long films will completely disappear?

Until some years ago I was excited that the era of short clips would come for sure. But in the last few years I saw that both long and short films have their own merits. I hope that people will continue to be able to equally enjoy both long and short films. In the same way I don’t want cinemas to disappear from our cities and towns. Sitting in a cinema without touching your smartphone for two hours works like a kind of detox. Cinemas are very necessary places in our age. I hope they will be treasured even more from now on.

IT’S A SUMMER FILM!
Japan 2020, 97 min
Watch the film from June 1 to 6, 2021
at the 21st Nippon Connection Film Festival
Check out the trailer here!


本作『サマーフィルムにのって』の主人公の女の子はとても魅力的な人物で、監督を目指しています。彼女を「ハダシ」と名付けたのはなぜですか。

メイン3人の女性陣の名前は「夏を感じるもの」にしました。夏、公園などで靴をはかずに裸足で走り回る子供たちの姿を連想して、主人公には「ハダシ」と名付けました。「ハダシ」とは靴をはかない素足という意味です。

主人公の凛太郎は、ハダシの人生に偶然立ち会い、その人生を大きく変えてしまいます。もし凛太郎のようにタイムマシンがあったら、どの時代に行って、誰にお会いしたいですか。

自分が死んだすぐ後くらいの時代(2090年頃?)に行って、その時代で人気のある映画や漫画、音楽を観たり聴いたりしてみたいです。自分は生きていなそうな少し未来のポップカルチャーを今の自分の感覚で感じてみたいです。

ハダシは時代劇の映画が大好きですね。松本監督の一番好きな時代劇映画は何でしょうか。

『丹下左膳百萬両の壺』(山中貞雄監督)です。大胆でリズムのいいテンポ感、カラッとしたユーモア、軽快な語り口に惚れ惚れする大好きな時代劇です。人間の可愛らしさがこれでもかと詰め込まれた傑作だと思います。

本作『サマーフィルムにのって』では「映画の未来」が一つのテーマです。若者はTikTokのようなショートクリップよりもっと映画を見るべきだと思われますか。また、近い将来、長編映画は完全に消滅すると思われますか。

「これからはショートクリップの時代が来る」と数年前までは思っていました。しかし、ここ数年でどちらの良さも見えてきたので、最近は考えが変わり、どちらも等しくすべての人が観賞できる世界であり続けてほしいです。映画館はこれからも街から消えないで欲しいですね。映画館に行けば2時間スマートフォンを触れないので、デトックス効果的にも現代に必要な場所なので、今まで以上に重宝されていくことを願ってます。

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