Latest from Stardust

From this official interview published by her agency, some details about the shooting of Sayonara Kuchibiru are revealed. The very first scene for instance wasn’t planned in the original script, the actress imagined and suggested it. Most of the time, scenes were filmed in just one take and director Akihiko Shiota doesn’t use a clapperboard to end a take, allowing his actors to let it flow.

There was one noticeable exception with the scene at the vending machine, no one -i.e. the director, the staff and the actresses- was satisfied with what was shown and the level of emotion, it was therefore shot again on the last day of the shooting session with a very satisfactory result then.

Nana Komatsu also develops on how it was to perform in front of a crowd of extras: tension but also fun. The movie hits Japanese theatres on Friday this week.

Cinema Cafe – Cinema Today

Two new reports in the last 24 hours or so, one from Cinema Cafe and the other from Cinema Today. Whereas the former has a strong focus on Sayonara Kuchibiru, the latter goes back to Nana Komatsu’s career as a whole.

In the Cinema Cafe article, the two actresses reveal how and why they complement each other in the film. Nana Komatsu says she felt very secure with a co-star like Mugi Kadowaki, describing her as a calm, strong and reliable person. Mugi Kadowaki returns a few compliments and says among other things that Nana Komatsu is a person full of energy, a helping hand when there’s a problem and a fave actress of hers.

Cinema Today: An actress with a strong screen presence

In the Cinema Today report, Nana Komatsu is asked why she favours films over drama (the count being 17 to 4). The actress develops on how the family atmosphere, the long sessions in different locations meeting lots of different people tend to make her enjoy films more than drama and if it is possible she will continue choosing films over drama.

When she shot The World of Kanako in 2014, she had no experience at all and wondered if she was fit to be an actress in the long run. Then new roles, new films gradually changed her perspective, adding that this led her to work even harder and transformed her as a person.

When she was younger, Hana and Alice (Shunji Iwai) ranked among her favorite films, she says that the kind of relationship she has with Mugi Kadowaki in Sayonara Kuchibiru sort of fulfilled a dream.

Sayonara Kuchibiru hits Japanese theatres in a few days (Friday May 31), next we’ll see Nana Komatsu star in Closed Ward (November) and Sakura (next year).

Otocoto Interview

In a new interview for Otocoto Magazine Nana Komatsu, Mugi Kadowaki and singer songwriter Motohiro Hata develop on the process that led to the making and recording of the theme song Sayonara Kuchibiru and share memories about the shooting of the film, in Japanese theatres next week, on Friday 31.

Nana Komatsu recalls she sometimes felt lonely practising the guitar alone or while recording in the studio booth, co-star Mugi Kadowaki confirms, adding it was more fun when they practised and played together.

At the end of the interview, Nana Komatsu reminds the readers of her peculiar path from model to actress and says how much she enjoys meeting people from different generations and discovering new places at each shooting spot through the films she’s in.

Mothers and Fathers

Filmed in ether has recently published a very interesting essay on the theme of parenthood in two films which seem worlds apart on the surface. It is indeed a very original approach and a worth reading piece exploring how father and mother figures don’t fit either socially and financially or emotionally .

You’ll find below a couple of selected passages, read the whole article there: Limits and love – How Shoplifters and It Comes confront parenthood (it includes spoilers).

Hirokazu Koreeda’s Palme d’Or winning film Shoplifters and Tetsuya Nakashima’s horror blockbuster It Comes appear to have very little in common aside from their 2018 releases.

Koreeda’s beloved drama is a delicate film that uses the director’s trademark subtlety and long-standing fascination with familial relationships to explore the dynamics of an unconventional and impoverished family unit.

Tetsuya’s bloody horror meanwhile carries the filmmaker’s signature frenetic style and tells the story of a young family haunted by a mysterious demonic force.

Yet despite their genre differences, Shoplifters and It Comes share many of the same ideas and question the very nature of parenthood. What makes a good parent? What makes a family, a family? And does society allow for families outside the norm to thrive?

Pink-haired, punky shaman Makoto (Nana Komatsu) is in no way society’s ideal of a mother but she quickly forms a bond with Chisa and voices openly about her desire to have children.

This puts her in conflict with her on/off boyfriend, Nozaki (Junichi Okada) who is literally haunted by his past in the form of an ex-partner who aborted their child because he did not want to be a father. His disinterest in children is shared with Makoto’s sister Kotoko (Takako Matsu), the powerful shaman who believes she is too cold and ill-suited to have children. 

Father figures

Mother figures

Interview for Neol Mag

Neol Magazine has just released an interview with Nana Komatsu and co-star Mugi Kadowaki. Just one week prior to the release of Sayonara Kuchibiru aka Farewell Song on Friday May 31, the two actresses are busy promoting the film.

Among other things, Nana Komatsu developed a bit on her role as Leo/Reo, saying that some elements of the character’s personality overlap with her own. Nana Komatsu who already mentioned in previous interviews she didn’t like her voice said she still didn’t like it, felt a bit uncomfortable singing and perfoming in front of big audiences, adding she didn’t have the skills of a singer artist.

However she told the interviewer she was very pleased and had fun trying to convey the feelings and emotions of the film through the recording of Motohiro Hata‘s penned song.