For our first interview, we sit down with the director of Bamy, Jun Tanaka. Throughout the interview, we talk about his decision to make a fiction movies, the difficulties of working with a small budget, the importance of fate and ghosts, his influences, … etc. This interview proves to be a very interesting read into the mind of a promising Japanese director.
First of all, thanks to Jun Tanaka to have taken the time to answer my questions. The interview was conducted bilingually and the English translation of the interview will be published in the coming week. The decision to publish the Japanese version has a simple reason; the signifiers he uses are his own. As such we can only a fully appreciate Tanaka’s answers in the language he was born in.
Our review of Tanaka’s first feature film Bamy can be found here.
“Kurosawa’s masterful formal approach to cinematography shows vividly that creepiness lurks at the surface of society (…) Creepy is a masterpience and trulylives up to its name. And yes, you will think twice about getting cozy with your neighbours”.
In 1997, 14 years after he started directing feature films, Kiyoshi Kurosawa appeared with a bang on the international scene with Cure (1997), a subtle and creepy serial killer narrative, while regaining his place – a place he lost in the eighties under influence of Nikattsu – in Japan as well. He confirmed his position with Pulse (2001), considered by some as his most successfully realized horror narrative to date.
“Bamy is a fresh and compelling narrative, […] framing the unsettling unheimlich so sensible on the silver screen. […] we can’t wait till Tanaka’s cinematographical style comes into full bloom.”
Even though one might say the golden age of J-horror is already behind us, as features like Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998), Ju-on (Takashi Shimizu, 2000), and Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001) seem to have been made in a distant past, the genre will never die. For some, the genre needs a new injection of creativity, instead of rehashing the same tropes. With Bamy, the directorial debut of Jun Tanaka, Tanaka provides his own take on the J-horror genre, approaching it from the angle of the red string of fate (unmei no akai ito). Can Bamy be considered a fresh wind in the genre?