Moonlight Shadow Interviews

One of the highlights of the current promotional campaign for Moonlight Shadow, Edmund Yeo‘s adaptation of Banana Yoshimoto‘s famous novella was the publishing of a couple of interviews of lead actors Nana Komatsu and Hio Miyazawa. The movie which the writer praised as ‘a masterpiece of elegance’ will be premiered tomorrow at the Toho cinema in Hibiya, Tokyo, as a prelude to its national release in Japanese theaters on the same day, Friday 10 !

Links, pics and a selection of translated quotes from the actress who plays Satsuki, the main character and narrative voice in Moonlight Shadow.

Fashion Press interview

‘She played Satsuki’s emotional subtleties with great sensitivity’ (Fashion Press)

When it’s based on a manga, there are pictures, so you might get pulled in, but when it’s based on a novel, you can think of your own way of expressing yourself, with your own free ideas.

“I hadn’t experienced the loss of someone close to me, like a family member, so it was a challenge for me to find a way to break it down and put my soul into Satsuki.

There’s a scene in which I move my body and run, and I had to lose weight to shoot that scene. It was the moment when I could feel Satsuki’s loneliness and loss like ‘I have nothing left‘ (…).

To tell you the truth, before I play any character, I think they’re not like me. But gradually, I feel like I’m similar to them, and I can sympathize. It’s only after you’ve played the role that you really understand the character. As an actor, you have to be close to someone who is different from you. It’s very difficult, but interesting. It’s a strange job (laughs).

I hope that I can influence people through my films. I like films that make you think without an answer, rather than films that are easy to understand, where anyone can see the answer.

The cinematographers, the lighting staff, the recording staff, they all take pride in their work, so I can’t feel half-hearted, and I don’t want to. We work as a team, so it makes me happy when other people see my work and think “let’s do our best”, or when there is a good atmosphere on set.

Fuji TV interview

Even though the events in the film are dark, the pop of the costumes and the backgrounds are the opposite of the emotions, so you can see them, or rather, you can get sucked into the images, which is what the director wanted. By making it light without making it dark, it seems to express that there is hope in that.

I often talked with the director about the characters. We would get together and read the script in advance, and I thought he was a person who wanted to make the film off the set. I think he’s the kind of person who likes to work off set. And we would talk about the direction we wanted to take.

“To eat is to live, and to live is to eat” (Komatsu)

Like in interviews, when I’m in a situation where I don’t know what they’re going to ask me, I tend to answer intuitively. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh no, I did that…’ (laughs). I’m the type of person who says, ‘Let’s just try it once’, and once I’m in a role, I tend to become so focused that I can’t see anything.

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