Japanese Director Kogahara Takeshi to Work on First Feature ‘Nagisa’ in Dark and Silence

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Kogahara Takeshi : “You’ll see something when you start peering in the darkness.” That’s the idea I wanted to show and transmit,” Kogahara Takeshi told Variety after the screening of his debut film “Nagisa,” in which darkness and silences play important roles.Follow For More UPdates Blingsnews

The plot revolves around a young man (Yuzu Aoki) who suffers from guilt over the death of his adored sister (Yamazaki Nanami) and meets her ghost in a haunted tunnel. As a result, he keeps returning to the tunnel to relive his past.

“The main idea came to me while I was studying at film school almost 20 years ago.” The plan was for [a character] to enter a tunnel and see someone else, a ghost of someone wonderful, [someone] you belong to.”

While continuing his career, this concept stayed with Kogahara until he was able to compose the first draught of “Nagisa” eight years ago. When asked how he worked on portraying the characters’ issues and personalities in a film dominated by darkness and minimal language, he replied, “In the [original] script, there were more lines, more exchanges.” However, I let the actors to improvise. […] Once I was in the editing room, I chose whatever worked best for the plot, and that’s how it turned out. So I didn’t intend to shorten most of the lines and emphasise the silence, but it just felt right for me and the story.”

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While quiet was a result of his creative process, the presence of darkness was clearly planned ahead of time: “I didn’t want to make things too ‘clean,’ evident, and easy to grasp.” Even in the darkness, I felt compelled to maintain some indications, sounds, and figures.”

Kogahara’s only film reference is Lee Chang-“Peppermint dong’s Candy.” “I saw this movie a long time ago. Then I just watched it again and again, and it helped me to back up my script.”

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The filmmaker collaborated closely with Aoki Yuzu.

“I showed Lee Chang-film dong’s and discussed each and every scene, even page by page.” We also rehearsed and spent time together before shooting.”

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Kogahara also encouraged him to improvise in order to flesh out his character without necessarily focusing on the scenes in the screenplay.

Aoki is well-known in Japan as one of the main cast members of the Japanese TV drama “More Than Words,” and he appeared in the Johnny Depp film “Minamata.”

For two weeks in late summer 2020, “Nagisa” was shot in and around Nagasaki. Kogahara oversaw the editing process, which lasted nearly a year.

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