Viennale 2000

Roland Domenig roland.domenig
Thu Nov 2 08:59:58 EST 2000

> Did Sakaguchi say anything about older directors' influences on his film
> "Ao no to"?  Your comments brought to mind Shimizu Hiroshi who also used
> amateurs, including war orphans, in his films about children.  Even the
> title is evocative of Shimizu's 1944? "Mikaeri no tou" and his 1948 film
> "Hachi no suu no kodomotachi" (and the 1950 sequel) which apparently
> made quite an impact on other filmmakers in the immediate post-surrender
> years (perhaps Markus can elaborate on that?).

As far as Sakaguchi is concerned there is little influence from older
filmmakers like Shimizu Hiroshi. The resemblance of the titles is merely a
coincidence (Sakaguchi hasn't seen Shimizu's films). Both may have used
amateurs for the same reason, however. Sakaguchi says that first he wanted
to use professional actors but soon dropped the plan because their play
seemed too artificial to him. That's why he decided to use people who
themselves had experience with hikikomori (mother and son in the film).
Sakaguchi worked as director of documentaries for television for more than
10 years before making 'Ao no to', which - Aaron pointed it out - still very
much shows him as documentarist.
Whether he knows Hani Susumu's films, I don't know.

Roland Domenig
Institute for Japanese Studies
University of Vienna

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