An Interview with Terashima Mari (Director)
Translating a Photographic World into Moving Image
Q: The beautiful images that do justice to the actors was impressive. Why did you want to make this film?
TM: The beginning was a flyer with photos by Nakamura Kyo, particularly those of Rose de Reficul et Guiggles (Rose family). My first impression was just, “Wow, amazing,” but when I saw the live performance of the Rose family, I was struck with the desire to recreate the photographic world into moving images. Rose et all had just published a book of photos, and they were thinking of a movie next. That’s how it began, quite smoothly.
Q: What did you find most important in making this film?
TM: I wanted to carry over the world I found in the pictures to the world of moving image. The photographic image came first. The Rose family has a charismatic status in the gothic scene, so as one who had fallen in love with their photos, I had to respect their opinions in my filming. For example, I had at first thought of casting a sweet goth-lolita girl as Alice, but couldn’t find the right balance with the other characters. When they suggested Mame Yamada (Mame-chan), I thought, right on! They also asked that stills be by Nakamura Kyo, who they’d worked with for long, and the war scenes were also their suggestion. Rose has quite a sensitive and innocent side to her, and says that their performances are an act of requiem for all the bad news around the world. That’s the background of including that scene, and through it I hoped to express the humanist side of her. By including their requests and ideas, I felt I could translate their world into movie. In other words, my role was to interpret the Rose family’s world of still photography into moving image.
Q: When you participated in YIDFF ’99, what kind of impression did you get from the alien genre of documentary? Did it change your film style at all?
TM: There is a staggering importance to social films that enlighten. But when I myself start working on a project, I never go in that direction. Princess Plum P-udding, the work that was invited last time, was just coincidentally documentary in approach. Having said that, I have to admit that I did try to make a more immersed work by following up to that film. But it didn’t work out. There are many reasons to that, but the bottom line is that I love to film visually beautiful things. So, whether I was influenced by the last YIDFF, I can’t say yes . . . The stronger influences on me were Terayama Shuji’s experimental films which I saw as a student, and other such striking encounters in my past.
(Compiled by Nomura Yukihiro)
Interviewers: Nomura Yukihiro, Hanaoka Azusa / Translator: Fujioka Asako
Photography: Hirose Shiori / Video: Okada Mana / 2011-10-12