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-- Juror-- Nogami Teruyo


Born in Tokyo in 1927. As one of the 'seven samurais' of the Kurosawa entourage, Nogami has worked on almost all of Kurosawa Akira's films. Entered the Daiei Kyoto studio in 1949 as a scripter and took part in Kurosawa's Rashomon the following year. When Kurosawa returned to Toho, Nogami followed him to work as a scripter on all of Kurosawa's films in his Toho period including To Live ("lkiru," 1952), Seven Samurai ("Shichinin no samurai," 1958), and The Hidden Fortress ("Kakushi toride no san akunin," 1959). Joined Kurosawa Productions when it was founded. After Red Beard ("Akahige," 1965), however, Kurosawa was to make only one film every five years, which led Nogami to join the advertising agency Sun Ad in 1966 and become a producer for films at the Osaka Expo and for TV commercials. In the meantime, she worked with Kurosawa on Dodes-Ka-Den (1970), and on Dersu Uzala (1975) which was produced in the former Soviet Union. Retired from Sun Ad in 1979, after which she worked as assistant producer for Kagemusha (1980) and production manager for Ran (1985), Dreams ("Yume," 1990), Rhapsody in August ("Hachigatsu no Rapusodii," 1991) and Madadayo (1993). She presently writes film columns, and beginning this year she is a board member of the National Film Center.

Juror's Statement

A few seconds of an old man's face in a documentary film can show the truth of life more than any number of fiction films rolled into one. Wrinkles that have weathered many hardships have a history of their own and are infused with their wearer's social environment.

In the search for truth, the fiction film director must use all their expressive abilities to reproduce life whilst expelling its randomness. The fiction film remains far from truth: no matter how actors speak, their lines cannot help but echo with a certain emptiness.

In a similar manner, the director of a documentary must also use all their expressive abilities. No matter what astonishing truth presents itself before the eyes, it will never reach others unless the director captures it. Hats off to the directors who captured the unique moments like the face of the adolescent hijacker in the reform school as he plays the piano accompaniment in Once There Were Seven Simenons (YIDFF '91), or the deaf children sending a letter together in the scene from In the Land of the Deaf (YIDFF '93).

A spectator up until this year, I am nervous about taking up the serious responsibility of being a juror. However, I will truly enjoy finding "truths of life" in these works from all over the world.



Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee