Sunday, October 19, 2008

[TIFF 2008 Press Conference] The Shonen Merikensack (少年メリケンサック)

Left to Right: Katsuji, Yuichi Kimura, Aoi Miyazaki, Koichi Sato, Tomorowo Taguchi, Director Kankuro Kudo

It was a toss up between watching Kill and Shonen Merikensack, but I had decided upon the former for the press screening, and the latter for the public one, but alas it was sold out, so the only consolation I got out of it was to be able to cover the press conference, since iti happened at the same time as the screening. Going by the looks of things, I think it's a no-brainer that I'll get the DVD to watch the movie once it's released, given that it sounds like a lot of fun.

The director and cast came directly from the stage greeting with the audience, and almost everyone were in unison in their introduction to the film, which they were honoured to be a part of, and more importantly, the movie has a very feel good element about it, where Kiuura said one will feel energized by it, and Katsuji confirms that everyone will feel positive after seeing the film.

Here's an excerpt of the relatively short press conference which lasted no more than 25 minutes:

Q1: How difficult was it for you to juggle both your TV role in Atsuhime and the making of this film, since both was done at the same time?
Aoi Miyazaki (AM): I don't have to think too much about creating a role, as the makeup and wardrobe for each is different, and I become the character, such as I'm Princess Atsuhime when I put on my kimono and wig. I love the support that I have around me to help create these roles.

Q2: You're surrounded by a cast of middle aged men. How did it feel like to work with them?
AM: Everyone was kind to me, and the small cosy set also helped to create a comfortable atmosphere to work in.

As I hadn't watched Shonen Merinkensack, I couldn't grasp the presumably hilarious explanation that Yuichi Kimura had for his wardrobe in the movie, which consisted of a shirt and a kilt like skirt.

Q3: Do you like punk rock, given that you're too young to have lived in the punk rock era?
Kankuro Kudo (KK): I'm actually 38. When I was in middle school, punk rock had already come to Japan. There is only one other Japanese punk rock movie which was made some time ago, and my interest would be to explore what happened to the fans of punk rock, what would they be doing and have they managed to fit into society now? I'm sure there's something positive out of this wildness.

Q4: You've worked in various media. What is the thing that makes film different?
KK: Directing a film is different from directing for the stage or television, because I can't take things too lightly, as the logistics behind it is tremendous. In preparation for a film, many people are involved, and there is a sense of satisfaction when things go right. You take more time to do it, and you become attached to the work, and finally bringing people together when screened.

Q5: When I look at the poster behind you, it was really a pop kind of image!
KK: I told her to be pop, that's why! (laughter)
AM: It's really the director telling me to do that!

Q6: What do you think of the band members' performance?
AM: As their screen manager, I'd say “Yes, go for it!!” I was so happy to see them look really cool.

Here's the slideshow containing some of the photographs taken during the press conference:

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