Venice Film Fest: ‘Love Life’ Director Koji Fukada Talks Japanese Film Industry And Family Narratives

Venice Film Fest: ‘Love Life’ Director Koji Fukada Talks Japanese Film Industry And Family Narratives
Hollywood & Entertainment Venice Film Fest: ‘Love Life’ Director Koji Fukada Talks Japanese Film Industry And Family Narratives Sara Merican Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I write about Asian cinema, new and old, fresh and bold. Following New! Follow this author to stay notified about their latest stories.
Got it! Sep 10, 2022, 03:36am EDT | New! Click on the conversation bubble to join the conversation Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Director Koji Fukada's latest film, 'Love Life,' stars Fumino Kimura. Kento Nagayama and Atom . .
. [+] Sunada. c2022 LOVE LIFE FILM PARTNERS COMME DES CINEMAS A gently-handled portrait of family, love and loneliness, Love Life debuted in the Venice Film Festival’s main competition on September 5.
Perhaps best known for Harmonium (2016) which won the Jury Award in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard program, director Kōji Fukada has made 12 feature films and Love Life will be his first in Venice’s main competition. The film stars Fumino Kimura, Kento Nagayama and Atom Sunada. Inspired by a 1991 song by Akiko Yano that he listened to in his twenties, Fukada wanted to translate some of the song’s themes into a film.
“I wanted to introduce this song,” Fukada says. “It’s been a long time, but I was waiting for the right moment. ” Love Life tells the story of Taeko, her husband Jiro and young son Keita.
However, a tragic accident suddenly brings Keita’s long-lost father, Park Shinji, back into her life. Shinji is a deaf Korean citizen living in Japan and he communicates with Taeko using Japanese Sign Language. The film enters the company of other recent works by Japanese filmmakers — like Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker and Shoplifters , as well as Kei Ishikawa’s A Man ( also in Venice ) — which have attempted to subvert traditional notions of family.
“It's a feedback of what the family is, which these days is not the traditional family that you think of,” Fukada says. “Family is a little bit more complicated. ” Fumino Kimura, director Koji Fukada and Atom Sunada at the world premiere of 'Love Life' at the .
. . [+] Venice Film Festival.
c2022 LOVE LIFE FILM PARTNERS COMME DES CINEMAS Atom Sunada plays the role of Taeko’s ex-husband, Park Shinji, “When I heard about the story at the beginning, I was perplexed because I usually do comedies,” Sunada shares his thoughts when he was first offered the role in Love Life . While he was initially hesitant to portray a Korean character, discussions with Fukada shaped the character into one who was half-Korean and half-Japanese. “It would be easier for me to interpret a [bi-racial] national,” Park shares.
“Sign language in Korea is different and difficult but I have Korean friends and we talk in sign language. I have been also to Korea and talked at a conference there, so I was able to do this role. ” MORE FOR YOU ‘Dune’ Tops Foreign Box Office With Promising $77M Cume ‘Shang-Chi’ Box Office: Marvel Movie Tops $360M Worldwide 4 Series Coming To Netflix In October That Are Worth The Binge In a few sign language conversations between Taeko and Shinji, Love Life does not offer any translation or subtitles for viewers.
This places a hearing audience in the shoes of Jiro. “When they talk in sign language, Jiro doesn’t understand, which is where his jealousy comes from,” Fukada elaborates. “The people who are in the majority become the minority.
I wanted to express this conversion. ” Fukada is proud that Love Life reached the main competition of the Venice Film Festival. “It's very important to be able to come to a festival and to present the film properly,” Fukada says.
“Asian films are not often introduced in Western countries so it's very important for me that the film was chosen and presented here. ” “I have seen the red carpet on television but I never thought that I would be able to walk on it,” Sunada says. “Now for the first time, I was on the red carpet.
It was very impressive and I’m very happy. ” Follow me on Twitter . Sara Merican Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions.