YIDFF 2011 New Asian Currents | New Docs Japan
The Shepherd’s Story / Shinjuku 2009 + Ogaki 2010
BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus Vol. 1 “APRIL 2011,” Omnibus Vol. 2 “MAY 2011”
An Interview with Maeda Shinjiro, Suzuki Hikaru (Directors)

Vividness of Voice and Individuality Represented Therein

Q: Why did you think of the project BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus?

Maeda Shinjiro (MS): When you look back at footage you have shot, there are times when you find in it further information about the past and future. I wanted to express that sensation, so I thought up a structure where by overlaying past and future you could see the present. One method for filmmaking is to decide on a set problem and message, and make a piece with the goal of communicating that to many people. On the other hand, I thought it would be good to have an approach in which the piece forms itself as it’s being shot. In this piece, directors include their motives for shooting and report on what they shot in the form of a voiceover. Normally these elements remain outside a film, but with this project I went ahead and put them in.

Q: Why did you have Inoue Shinta appear as the shepherd in The Shepherd’s Story?

MS: I thought that if I shot Inoue’s “Shepherd Project,” I could record cities at the same time. However, I didn’t just want to record cities, but also the voices of the people who lived there. So I decided to make a simple story. When I decided that, a moderately abstracted shepherd story seemed a perfect fit for the world view of the piece, which moves forward in cinematic time together with the audience. I managed to record many peoples’ voices. In today’s society the Internet has become widespread, and images permeate our lives. I think that in this kind of world individuality is represented not by what you see, but rather through tone of voice. I have become ever more aware of its vividness. This was also the reason I directed that voices be recorded  for BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus.

Q: Mr. Suzuki, after receiving directions from Mr. Maeda, how was actually making the piece?

Suzuki Hikaru (SH): For The Shepherd’s Story I made Ogaki 2010, and I first started by watching Shinjuku 2009. I looked back at the directions, and thought about what new I could do in Ogaki. However, the more I watched Shinjuku 2009, the more I became close to it, and my originality waned a little. That’s something I reflect on. When I saw the directions for BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus,  I thought it seemed easy to go too close to documenting. When making the piece, I thought that if I put too much importance on documenting I would lose expressive potential, and that if I put weight on expressing something, I risked the documentary element. That balance was difficult.

Q: These two pieces have contrastive viewpoints. While The Shepherd’s Story features impersonal looks, I felt BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus was a piece made of personal looks in and of themselves.

MS: For the cuts in Shepherd’s Story, I didn’t particularly incorporate any of my preferences. When I shot it I tried my best to exclude my habits and make it, in a matter of speaking, general or impersonal. On the other hand, BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus is a piece made of five minutes in the time of individual recordists. Most used their own voices, and I thought there was an introspective feel to their work. Each recordist demonstrated their particular tastes, and the development of those tastes into a film is the main characteristic of this piece. 

(Compiled by Suto Hanae)

Interviewers: Suto Hanae, Tanaka Kayako / Translator: Kyle Hecht
Photography: Horikawa Keita / Video: Hirose Shiori / 2011-10-08