HIROKAZU KOREEDA AT CA’ FOSCARI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL TO PRESENT HIS “THOUGHS FROM THE SET” AND TO TALK ABOUT HIS MOVIES AND SOME ASPECTS OF JAPANESE SOCIETY
Among the most awaited guests of the thirteenth edition of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is Hirokazu Koreeda. In connection from Japan, Koreeda talked about his autobiography Pensieri dal set (Thoughts from the Set), recently translated in Italian in the edition curated by Francesco Vitucci for Cue Press. Vitucci dialogued with the Japanese director from the Santa Margherita Auditorium’s stage, retracing his long career.
Koreeda made his debut in cinema with a documentary, preserving minimalism and realism while at the same time tackling recurring themes that are particular and universal at the same time, such as memory, non-traditional families and children’s innocence. Starting from his debut film Maborosi (1995) that premiered and was awarded at Venice Film Festival, he shot a long series of critically acclaimed feature films that were screened at prestigious international film festivals, such as Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Air Doll and the recent Broker. Koreeda won various awards, among them worthy of mention is the Palme d’Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival for Shoplifters, that was also nominated for an Oscar, and the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival for Like Father, Like Son.
The meeting touched not only on the Italian release of the book, but also on his vision of cinema, his influences and his experiences abroad. Starting with the latter, Koreeda spoke about the deep connection with Italy: “My debut on the international stage took place at the festival in Venice with a great opportunity that came to me on the advice of a colleague,” adding how his thoughts often return to our country. The director also pointed out that he was often pleasantly surprised by the interpretations his films received from international audiences because he was thus able to rediscover his works through the eyes of others, finding elements in them that he had not initially thought of. However, the director hopes that, regardless of their interpretation, his films will be able to stimulate something in the consciences of the spectators and become able to create a kind of chain reaction that can have a positive impact on society.
It would be impossible not to mention the role of the contemporary Japanese family, one of the main themes of his cinema. Koreeda reminded that the low fertility rate is leading to a severe demographic decrease in the Japanese population, with people who often do not marry, generating a completely different situation to the one he was raised in. Moreover, despite often representing alternative families, which are hardly ever linked to blood ties, they are still not recognized by the state, such as the same-sex couple. He went on to talk about how his view of family relationships also stems from the birth of his daughter, which has led him to question what unites people and whether there is a real need for blood ties to create a family, which is also why he portrays a non-traditional family in his films.
Finally, Koreeda commented on the difficulty in different countries but also the uniqueness of being able to interface with people whose backgrounds are very different from his own and concluded by claiming: ‘’Even though I have just turned sixty, I realized that I can still give a lot to the cinema, while cinema can give a lot to me.”