Makoto Shinozaki and OKAERI

Aaron Gerow gerow
Mon Aug 31 01:09:47 EDT 1998

Roger asked,

>Do anyone have some information about film critic and director Makoto
>Shinozaki. As his film "Okaeri" was made in 1996, I think you have already
>discussed it. Maybe there is still some material available. Or do you have
>some www-address, where I can find something about him in english, french
>or german?

Unfortunately, I don't have any publication sources for him other than 
ones in Japanese (check out most any issue of _Cahiers du cinema Japon_), 
but having spent a week traveling through New England with him last fall, 
I can say a few things about him from a personal angle.

>Does he have other film projects? 

His next project (though when it will be completed or if, I don't know) 
is about a group of old people.  It will star Aoki Tomio, who starred in 
prewar Shochiku films as Tokkan Kozo and who appeared in _Okaeri_ as the 
old man on the park bench.

One thing he did finish last year is a 30 minute episode for a TV Tokyo 
series.  The series, if I remember, gave several directors the freedom to 
construct whatever story they wanted, as long as they all featured 
Taguchi Tomoro as a bartender.  Shinozaki's focused on a woman who 
contemplates suicide after breaking up with her lover.

>How is he as a film critic? 

Having gone to Rikkyo and taken Hasumi Shigehiko's courses there, he is 
definitely influenced by Hasumi as a critic.  Writing in _Cahiers_ also 
puts him in the same line.  WHile I have not read a lot of his criticism, 
what I have read is very perceptive.  Recently, he has been doing more 
interviews than criticism.  His interviews of Kitano Takeshi are the best 
I have read because Shinozaki really reveals a deep knowledge of Kitano's 
work when formulating his questions.

>Would see his OKAERI in a line with films like MABOROSHI, SLEEPING MAN etc?

I doubt he would see the connection.  Shinozaki disliked both films (as 
did Hasumi).

>How do you see the comparison with Ozu?
>Ozu made OHAYO, a kids film, and Tony Rayns says that by casting Tomio
>Aoki, known as Ozu's belligerent child-star Tokkan-kozo, there is a
>connection between Shinozaki and Ozu even if it's not a formal one.

That's really the only direct connection.  One can make an argument that 
any director influenced by Hasumi looks at cinema through the conception 
of film Hasumi developed by discussing Ozu.  In some cases, like Suo 
Masayuki and Takenaka Naoto, this reveals formal similarities to Ozu.  
But in most other cases, it is more a matter of their interpretation of 

Aaron Gerow
Yokohama National University
KineJapan list owner
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