Thursday, I had the honour to attend a screening of Modern Love (English review/Japanese review) in Shinjuku’s K’s Cinema in the presence of the director Takuya and some of the crew-members – a guy responsible for the production design and a female make-up artist.
While I didn’t have the opportunity to ask Fukushima (his recommended top 10) many questions – I do plan to interview him when we meet in the future – I still wanted to share my experience of going to this event (Note 1).
First of all, Fukushima is an amazing personality. He seems like a person with who you can have endless conversations with, while the night progresses and the alcohol in the blood raises. He surprised me when he gave me the booklet of his movie – sold at 800 yen – because the Japanese translation of my review is featured in it. The fact that the people that come to watch Fukushima’s movie can, of course if the buy the booklet, read my review feels amazing.
As it was my second time to watch the movie – now without subtitles, I also want to write about the things that surprised me. First of all, Fukushima’s love for alternative music. I didn’t fully realize during my first viewing how integral alternative music was to the structure of the movie. Modern Love stuffed with great music. It would be interested to ask Fukushima how his love for alternative music influenced the narrative and the progress of writing and inventing the story. It seems logical to assume that music is a source of inspiration.
Secondly, the performance of the Azusa Inamura surprised me in a good way. As I did not re-read my review, I don’t know if it is a re-discovery or not, but, boy, does she have charisma. I was most surprised by how subtle yet powerful her facial expressions were. And I realized that her talent is most sensible in the scene where Mika, played by Inamura, converses with two other versions of herself.
After the screening, most questions people asked concerned the sudden and obviously surprising change of narrative space in the movie, the fluid transition from Japan to Southern-European scenery. The place featured in the movie is a Spanish (or Catalan) coastal town close to the Pyrenees – and the European actor was Spanish (or Catalan) as well. Fukushima, who is soon travelling to Spain, seems to love Spain in general and its food in particular. It is really interesting and enlightening to realize how his interests shaped the narrative space he wanted to paint. You come to the realization, especially with Modern Love that no one else could have made this movie –this is, in other words, a pure Fukushima movie. So, if we have the chance to meet again, my questions would try to investigate Fukushima’s subjective mission with this amazing narrative.
Last but not least, Fukushima recommended One Cut of The Dead to me and urged me to watch this movie – a movie he thought was very “omoshiroi” – in the cinema. In other words, seeing One cut of the dead in the cinema is the only way to do right by the movie.