Kawase Naomi's appeal comes from her camera movement
Kawase Naomi, the winner of Cannes Grand Prix this year with her latest film "Mogari no Mori" Mourning Forest, criticized the government for failing to do enough to support movie-makers and take advantage of massive domestic film skills available in Japan.
Kawase is a powerful talent. She has shot amazing amount of various kinds of films. Some of them tell about death, yearning for the lost, Japanese sense of natsukashisa. There is a sensitive magic in her films that move audience and make people think and feel.
My friend had chance to talk with her in her private opening of her film. My friend said Kawase was "powerful" and "sensible" and "levelheaded" woman with a clear artistic sense.
But where does the mystic appeal in her movies come from?
When watching her films, I feel that the camera, and her unique way to move the camera has it's part in it. In BBC interview back in beginning of 2000, Kawase said that one should never tell the obvious in front of camera. If couple is walking on the beach holding hands, there is no need for them to say "I love you". It should be already there.
For example, in Sharashojyu, when the young boy is looking for his missing brother, running on his tracks, the camera runs after him, and the camera is shaking. Kawase's camera moves human way, there is no dolly, no Hollywood steadycam, but a simple human way of movement. Her camera angles are hardly cinematic or dramatic but more rather documentary. Still she has unique style that nobody can copy. She is original.
Kawase doesn't use much dialogue, but rather communicate through the set. She has never been ashamed of being in front of the camera herself, or to talk even about painful topics.
She has the magic to open persons spirits through her works.
I only wish more young directors in Japan could get the chance to get that kind of exposure. Government in Japan should take the responsibility and support the new dawning talents. There are many young talented people out there. Then, we could see more Japanese directors in future Cannes Grand Prix.