The fun thing about filmmaking is taking the fascinating things you come across in films like people and landscapes, making sense of them in your own way and sharing them with your audience in the form of a new reality on the screen. Not that this always happens . . . I think if a filmmaker wants to take an autonomous approach, you can’t communicate your ideas unilaterally in a predictable way. Of course, I have an idea of the kind of film I want to create, but I also like being influenced by the people I interact with while making a film, and by the characteristic “smell” produced by the landscape.
But, filming is usually a daily reminder of just how little you can achieve. Perhaps this is because I get obsessed with the image I conceive from the screenplay and my ideal image takes on a mind of its own and wanders away from the original storyline. Or maybe it’s my overactive imagination catching up with me? I’m not sure.
It’s not like I’m trying to do something hugely ambitious through film. I want to savor the enchantment of movies and have my audiences feel the same. I’m not a difficult person. I’m just a little man with a lot of gray hair for his age who makes movies. My greatest wish is to become possessed by the mabui (soul) of cinema.
Born in 1948 in Kabira Village on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. Lived in Naha through high school. Entered the Kyoto University of Education on a national scholarship for exchange students (Okinawa was still under American control at the time), at which time he began shooting 8mm movies. His directorial debut was Okinawan Dream Show (1974), a close look at the scenery of Okinawa around the time of its reversion to Japan. Thereafter he continued to shoot films about Okinawa. Paradise View (1985) was his first narrative film. Untamagiru won a number of domestic and international prizes, including the Caligari Film Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Other works include Tsuru-Henry (1998) and Private Images of Ryukyu: J.M. (1996-), inspired by Jonas Mekas’ visit to Okinawa. At present he teaches courses at professional schools and universities, and is working on a new narrative film, Queer Fish Lane. The Okinawa program in this year’s festival features his works in the World of Takamine Go.
JAPAN / 1989 / Okinawan, Japanese, English / Color / 35mm / 120 min / Japanese and English subtitled version
Director, Script: Takamine Go
Photography: Tamra Masaki
Editing: Yoshida Hiroshi
Sound: Kawashima Kazuyoshi
Music: Ueno Koji
Executive Producer: Masuda Tsuji
Producer: Yamada Akiyoshi
Co-producers: Ito Junichi, Hariu Natsuki
Cast: Kobayashi Kaoru, Togawa Jun, Aoyama Chikako, Hazama Yoshiko, Taira Susumu, Teruya Rinsuke, Miyasato Eiko, Taira Tomi
Production Company, Source: PARCO
Representative work by Takamine Go that opens up the possibilities of multiple-voiced narratives and fantasy from Okinawa. Dreams and reality, this world and worlds beyond, man and spirits all mingle in this story set in Okinawa shortly before reversion to the mainland. The story revolves around a feud between protagonist Giru, who had a relationship with the pig incarnation Mare, and Chief Nishihara, who lovingly raised Mare to be a messenger from the Okinawan paradise niraikanai. Using the circular narrative of a dream stolen/ being stolen, the film probes the place of dreams and the era Okinawa was maneuvering through.