Home > News > Oct. 24 (Mon) The Sound of Light –Q & A with Director Juichiro Yamazaki “As a film maker as a farmer”
News Index back
[Event Reports]
Oct. 24 (Mon) The Sound of Light –Q & A with Director Juichiro Yamazaki “As a film maker as a farmer”

Q&A session of Japanese Eyes section – The Sound of Light with Director Juichiro Yamazaki took place on Oct. 24 (Mon)


©2011 TIFF


Q: Please give us few words on how you are feeling?

Yamazaki: I’ve seen the film with the best screening environment. My feelings are mixed and can’t put it in to words immediately.


Q: You had a test run screening last night and made detailed adjustment. Was there an accomplishment?

Yamazaki: Well, the technicians and the projectionists were wonderful and since I’ve only seen my films at the local caravan screenings in Okayama Prefecture, I’ve never had such a chance to see the film in such a good environment. It made me realize various things in my film that needed to be improved.

Host: Before we get in to the Q &A, I would like to mention that I was informed from your friend 2 years ago that you were making this kind of film. I really wanted to see this for a long time and finally had an opportunity to see it and thought that it was wonderful.


Q: How long did it take you to make this film from planning stage to the completion?

Yamazaki: I met my Producer, Mr. Kuwahara at the screening in Okayama when I just completed the previous film 3 years ago. I had an opportunity to tell him about the plan that I had in my mind and it took 2 and half years to bring this film to it’s completion. Every body had an additional job to take care of and we had to work things over and slowly brought it to the quality that is it is now.


Q: You mentioned that the leading character was in your mind from the start. Can you tell us the reason for your choice?

I lived Kyoto until 6 years ago and moved to the country side in Okayama prefecture, where my father had a land. I met the actor when I was working part time as a farm hand. When I saw him for the first time, it was in deep heart of the mountain and he was 28 yrs old then. He was working on rice paddy, cleaning the milk truck and planting the vegetables. Seeing him was a new discovery for me. To encounter a young man working as a farmer was fresh experience. I decided to use him when I saw the way he moved and the small habits he showed. We’ve been working together ever since the last short film that we made titled Kodo.


Q: I have heard that the women are leaving the country, is this something that is happening in reality?

Yamazaki: This is a problem that all country side is currently facing. The issue that was depicted in the film was informed by my grand mother who I have been living together with. She is 90 yrs of age and has been living here for 60 years old since she moved here. She told me about lots of stories that really took place since she started living here. It is true that lots of people left the country and that there was a case where a person committed suicide or a problem with a widow who couldn’t leave the house in the country side. The issues that were depicted in the film were not dramatized and are all true stories that I have heard from her.


Q: I think you are presenting many issues that are causing problems in farming. Please let us know your view points?

I’ve been working at the tomato farm for past 6 years. I have asked Miura of the Miurua Ranch for a permission of the film coverage. When we were shooting, TPP was not much of a problem and it has only become a big issue recently. I wasn’t going to use this problem to depict the problems that tormented the farmers. They are very down to earth people and I have depicted the feelings of the farmer and what I felt myself. Through the character, Yoshiuki, I portrayed the people who lived in the region. The farming problem is such a big issue and I couldn’t present all the problems in one film but if you felt something by watching this, I am truly glad indeed.


©2011 TIFF


Q: The ending music sounded very altruistic. What were intentions or strategy for using it?

Yamazaki: I listened to various music, until I made the choice for its use the last scene. The main intention for me was to show the cows and cow looking at the people since the cow was featured so big in that picture. Mr. Miura had once told me that the cow remembers seeing you and interacts with you. The energy of the cow and the small light of hope was the reason for my choice of that music.


Q: Were you satisfied with the birth of the calf sequence in the film?

Yamazaki: When we shot the birth of the cow sequence, I knew I couldn’t shoot this over twice. I got the footage that I wanted but if the calf was born a little slower, it could have been even better. The standing by for the birth of the calf was the difficult thing, we just had to wait with minimum numbers of staff. But the cinematographer shot a picture beautifully.


Q: What kind of influence did you get from Tomato farming in Okayama?

Yamazaki: When I was living in Kyoto, I couldn’t make the type of film that I wanted, nothing worked out for me. That was when I wanted to learn how the vegetable that lay on the dining table before me was brought here. I thought that if I couldn’t understand how the vegetable was harvested, I couldn’t shoot the film that I wanted to. That was when I thought of going to the farm that my father had and learn about farming. Tomato was the vegetable that the region was producing.


Q: How did the tomato farming in Okayama influence your film making?

I couldn’t have filmed this type of film with confidence if I lived in Tokyo. There were types of directions that I was able to do because I was handling the soil.


Q: You live in Okayama and most of your cast members are from the Kansai region, do you plan to keep filming in the Kansai area?

I think that there is a difference between filming where you actually live and other wise. Obviously, it is easier to shoot the film in Tokyo and that is why they gather here. But I think that people should film where they live. By doing so, you can film in the mountains and the filming takes place in various places because it makes the whole thing more interesting. I believe that the surplus of the life Like the song of rice paddy, it would be good to portray the customs of the labor should become the means of expression. The song of rice planting originated from the labor and I think the climate or the weather of the region should be reflected in the means of depiction like the way that I made this film.


Q: So are going to continue both directing as well as farming?

That is correct. People should be allowed to do two things. There are many things that the people can do and they should have choice of doing it if they are able to.

When man concentrates on one thing, that should be for the society. Man has lots of things that they want to do. There are lots of people both in country as well as the city.


Q: Please let us know your schedule?

We are scheduled do a caravan tour doing 100 screenings in 50 locations in the Okayama Prefecture from Oct. 29 through middle of March next year. We are publicizing this film as local product local consumption film. This is the film that to realization because of the cooperation of local people. Just like the crops, what has been harvested in the region should be consumed in the region. The publicity is spreading in Okayama and if you have a friend or relative there please let them know about this film.

KEIRIN.JPThe 24th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
23rd Tokyo International Film Festival(2010)