×

Tokyo Talk: Mamoru Hosoda, Hirokazu Koreeda on Channeling the Past

TOKYO — What do you get when you put together an animation maestro and an art-house darling?

On Wednesday, following an evening screening of Mamoru Hosoda’s 2012 hit animation “Wolf Children” at the Tokyo Film Festival, Hosoda and fellow director Hirokazu Koreeda took to the stage for a free-ranging discussion. They covered their themes, inspirations and filmmaking philosophies.

The event was a full-house crowd at Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills Screen 7.

Koreeda noted that they had already held a similar talk event at Tokyo’s Waseda University revolving around the theme of family – and focusing on fathers and sons, especially the absence of the former in the lives of the latter. This is also a theme of “Wolf Children,” in which a single mother raises her half-human, half-wolf son and daughter after their werewolf dad dies an early death, and of Koreeda’s new drama “After the Storm,” whose addicted gambler hero longs to establish a relationship with his son following his divorce from the boy’s mother.

The film, said Koreeda, expressed his own relationship with his own often-absent dad. “I couldn’t understand him to the end,” added Koreeda, “And as a father I don’t think he understood me.”

Hosoda also confessed that “I never had the opportunity to have a drink or a meal just with my father — he was hardly ever at home and as a father his existence was ambiguous.”  At the same, both directors said that though often absent in the flesh, their fathers loomed large in their minds – and later in their films, if not as anything resembling role models.

Hosoda, whose work is being honored with a special section at TIFF, admitted that “I was crazy to take up such a personal theme” in a work of commercial animation, “but I just wanted to do it – I’m not sure why.”

With “Wolf Children,” which was based on Hosoda’s own original story, he also wanted to express his feelings toward his mother, who died while he was working on his 2009 hit “Summer Wars.” “I wanted to apologize to her through the movie,” Hosoda said.

Koreeda also said that basing “After the Storm” on elements of his own past “made me nervous.” “I didn’t want to put my own life directly into my movies,” he explained. “In making movies you should change everything (personal) into something else.” But he ended up filming in the same danchi (public housing complex) where he once lived with his family. “I didn’t want to do it,” he said, ”But it was the only danchi that gave us permission to shoot.”

More Film

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. with Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    'Hunchback of Notre Dame' Live-Action Reboot in the Works at Disney

    Disney is in early development on a live-action “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” movie, based on Disney’s animated film and Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “Notre-Dame de Paris.” Playwright David Henry Hwang is attached to write the script, with Mandeville Films and Josh Gad set to produce. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will pen the music. [...]

  • Bill Skarsgard and Eliza Scanlen

    'It' Star Bill Skarsgard and 'Sharp Objects' Actress Eliza Scanlen Join Netflix's 'The Devil All the Time' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “It” star Bill Skarsgard and “Sharp Objects” breakout Eliza Scanlen will star in Antonio Campos’ adaptation of “The Devil All the Time,” which Netflix has officially acquired for distribution. Skarsgard and Scanlen join an all-star cast that includes Tom Holland, Chris Evans, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson and Tony Award winner Gabriel Ebert, who attached themselves [...]

  • READY PLAYER ONE

    How Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process

    In traditional filmmaking, once a script is written, the director and department heads break it down and figure out the costs and logistics of production. But if the screenwriter collaborates during the creative process with key crew members, the entire production can benefit.  Such collaboration offers the prospect of help on many fronts. For example, [...]

  • FICG TV Pitchbox Confirms Fox, Alazraki,

    FICG TV Pitchbox Swells Key Company Attendance

    Fox Networks Group Latin America (FNGLA), Alazraki Films, EndemolShine Boomdog and Fabula have confirmed their attendance at the inaugural FICG TV Pitchbox, the new co-production market of one of Latin America’s biggest film events, Mexico’s Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG). They join previously announced participants HBO Latin America and Turner Latin America (FNGLA). More attendees, [...]

  • Alamode Acquires Lone Scherfig’s ‘The Kindness

    Alamode Acquires Lone Scherfig’s Berlin Opener ‘The Kindness of Strangers’

    Munich-based Alamode has taken German and Austrian rights to Lone Scherfig’s “The Kindness of Strangers,” ahead of the picture’s opening-night gala screening at the Berlin Film Festival next month. Alamode acquired the rights from London-based HanWay Films, which is handling worldwide sales. Entertainment One is distributing the film in Canada and SF Studios in Scandinavia. [...]

  • Voltage Pictures to Produce Airborne Thriller

    Voltage Pictures to Produce Airborne Thriller 'Blackwing' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Voltage Pictures will produce and fully finance screenwriter David Loughery’s latest thriller “Blackwing,” Variety has learned exclusively. The company will introduce “Blackwing” to buyers at the upcoming European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, which opens Feb. 7. Nicolas Chartier and Dominic Rustam are producing, and Jonathan Deckter is executive producing for Voltage Pictures. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content