Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Excerpt from Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike's 2003 film Gozu.


MS: You recently went to Cannes with "Gozu." Was the atmosphere different from the other festivals you've attended?
TM: "Gozu" was in the Directors' Fortnight section -- it's not the same as being in the competition. Within the larger festival I was able to find a time and place that suited my film -- a weekend evening screening. I also got a good reaction from the audience. They laughed and enjoyed it in a way that was very heartening.
MS: Before seeing "Gozu" I'd heard that, with its mixing of the horror and yakuza genres, it was another departure for you, but now that I've seen it, I feel that it's very much in line with your other work.
TM: That's right, "Gozu" is not a completely new type of film for me. But it was the first one in which I was involved from the planning stage. "Gozu" was originally supposed to be just another yakuza movie -- the producer came to me and asked me about making it that way. Ordinarily, once I say yes I try to make the film the way the producer wants, but in this case I didn't think the star he had in mind should be doing a yakuza movie. We wrote the script fairly quickly, but we didn't have much money, so we decided to set the film in Nagoya where we could save on costs. Then we shot the film -- it was the father's first film as a producer. That film was a big exercise in self-gratification. First the producer was making it for his son. Second, we were able to raise financing from new sources in Nagoya that gave us a freedom we might not have had otherwise. Third, we were able to go to Cannes and enjoy that experience together. In that way, it was different from my other films. The press materials talk about the film's resemblance to the work of David Lynch, but for me the biggest resemblance was to the manga of Yoshiharu Tsuge (excerpts from a Mark Schilling's interview with the filmmaker).