監督作『楽園の船』が選ばれた「Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival」でインタビューを受けました。普段SFをあまり意識せずに映画を作っておりますので、私にとってはなかなか難しい質問でした。
MEET THE FILMMAKERS: TAKAAKI WATANABE
Part 6 of The Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival IN CONVERSATION Series, hosted by Festival Director and Screen-Space Managing Editor, Simon Foster.
See Takaaki's film THE PARADISE SHIP here:
VIRTUAL Festival (AVAILABLE NOW; until November 25): https://bit.ly/3nUwZqs
Plot: The world was dying because of an unknown virus. Legend speaks of "The Paradise Ship", a mythical vessel that saves people from the pandemic by taking them off-world. Having barely survived the plague as children, a brother and sister grow strong and decide to undertake a journey to find The Paradise Ship.
SSFFF: What have been the science-fiction works – books, films, art of any kind – that have inspired your work and forged your love for the genre?
TAKAAKI: The Russian great, Andrei Tarkovsky. The theme that he utilises in many of his films - "Saving the World" - is an important basis of science fiction films. He is one of the filmmakers who have inspired me in many ways.
SSFFF: How did the original concept for your film take shape? What aspects of your film’s narrative and your protagonist’s journey were most important to you?
TAKAAKI: During the coronavirus crisis, a state of emergency was declared in urban areas of Japan. Under such circumstances, I had to ask myself, “what can we do as filmmakers?” I made this small film with my family and friends as the actors. The theme is "flow”; no matter what the situation, our days flow by. Therefore, the river became an important element in this film.
SSFFF: Does the ‘science-fiction’ genre have deep roots in the art and cultural history of your homeland?
TAKAAKI: Japanese people love science fiction films. In the field of science, I think Japanese technology is in a very high position. However, there are not many good science fiction movies being made in Japan today. One of the reasons for this is that there are fewer and fewer big budget films. However, I believe that there are many Japanese indie films that have great science-fiction elements in them. Please look forward to them.
SSFFF: Were the resources, facilities and talent pool required to bring your film to life easily sourced?
TAKAAKI: This is a very small short film, so there was no need to overdo it.
SSFFF: Describe for us the very best day you had in the life cycle of your film…
TAKAAKI: The best time is when I make a film with my children. I also made this film with children. I would like to continue to make films with children, as long as they are willing to go along with me.
SSFFF: Having guided your film from idea to completion, what lessons and advice would you offer a young science-fiction filmmaker about to embark on a similar journey?
TAKAAKI: Continuity is the father of success.