YIDFF 2009 Films about Yamagata
The Apparition of Adolescence
An Interview with Kagami Keigo (Director)

Overcoming the Past by Moving Forward

Q: It takes some courage to reveal yourself in a film. What made you decide to make this film? Did you have any hesitation in dealing with your own relationship?

KK: Before I made this film, I had depicted the same breakup on a few films for four years at my university. I did feel uncomfortable shooting my relationship. It’s not something you show others and I found it very embarrassing. However, since the end of the relationship broke my heart and I wasn’t able to overcome this experience, I tried to sort out my feelings by making a film about it. Also, I thought that what makes a film interesting is how much a filmmaker lets his strong emotions show on the screen. The strongest feeling I had back then was about that breakup so I started shooting a film around the end of my first year at university.

Q: The film is entitled “The Apparition of Adolescence.” Has “the Apparition,” who was in love with his childhood friend, disappeared?

KK: No. I thought that it never goes away. The past still remains, but you usually keep it in the back of your mind and try to move forward. My past films also deal with the same breakup. I tried to forget it every time I made a film, but I couldn’t. I am the kind of person who never lets go and indulges in sentiment unless I start a new relationship with somebody else. I finally got out of that stage of my life by making this film. I’ve overcome my past relationship by moving forward.

Q: The scene in which you were talking about a book called The Cat That Lived a Million Times is impressive. What was your intention in incorporating it into the film?

KK: When I was with my present girlfriend at her home, we started talking about that book and I thought “I need to shoot this!” I found the book when I was in high school. It was when I had a broken heart. I was so moved when I read it. That’s one reason why I put it into my film. The other is that I attempted to make the film more dramatic by comparing myself to that cat and my girlfriend to the white one. My film is basically a documentary, but I also create some scenes and lines. After all, there is no definition of a documentary. As long as it is about me, including my direction, it should be fine.

Q: Can you tell me something you had trouble with while shooting?

KK: I did set up some things intentionally, but mainly shot what and how we usually did things in daily life without any direction. I also thought that it would be difficult to shoot natural conversations between my girlfriend and me if there was someone else as we might feel shy. So, I just shot two of us myself. A lot of shooting was done in front of a camera on a tripod. This film is full of scenes from our daily life which are not very dramatic, so I struggled to make it entertaining.

Q: What kind of film would you like to make in the future?

KK: I feel that I’ve finished with films about love with this film, The Apparition of Adolescence. I hope to make a film with a different theme in the future.

(Compiled by Chida Hiroko)

Interviewers: Chida Hiroko / Translator: Okazaki Ikuna
Photography: Ito Ayumi / Video: Ito Ayumi / 2009-12-21 / in Yamagata