'Ultimately, it's about the freedom': Interview with Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS): Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike has tackled many genres like horror, action-comedy, drama, family and children's films, but it is mostly the use of heavy violence in his movies that grabs the spotlight.
The Audition director will turn 60 next year, and he says age will not change his style of filmmaking though he is looking forward to see what the future has in store for him.
His movies such as Dead or Alive and Ichi the Killer are high on violence.
Asked if he would focus more on feel-good movies and do away with violence in his films after turning 60 next year, Takashi told reporters via a translator: "Nothing will change."
The director, who calls himself "very calm, reserved and quiet", paused and added: "It depends on what things come up at that time. I don't have a particular big dream or expectations. I'll see what happens. I look forward to finding out things that will come my way."
His new film First Love, which is a love story set in the backdrop of a gang war, was screened at the International Film Festival of India last month. A lot of film fest attendees found it his most entertaining film. Does he think so too?
"The evaluation of the audience is everything because they are the audience, so yes, I agree it is my most entertaining film," he said.
Takashi has helmed over one hundred theatrical, video and television projects since his debut in 1991. But his filmography is more about direct-to-video movies.
"Ultimately, it's about the freedom. The V-cinema...it wasn't big-budget movies. It was made for video rental and with this lower budget, you get freedom. But when you are working with a company, you are using a lot of their money."
"Obviously, the theatre and movie companies need to make their living as well and there is a lot of hassle... going back and forth. That was why... ultimately, I would say freedom," he said.
He also said that the movie-making process has always been fun. "This V-cinema was kind of unique in Japan at that time. Movies were not made with the intention to show to an international audience."
"This allowed me the freedom to experiment with what was in front of my eyes, for what I wanted to make. Mainly, it was made by me for who I was."
Did censorship play a role in his decision to focus on V-cinema?
"Censorship applies to video as well. While dealing with these kinds of V-cinema, there is less expectation," said the director of TV series, Secret × Heroine Phantomirage!"
Takashi has also tried his hand at acting. Who can forget his role in the 2006 Hollywood slasher film, Hostel? Will he explore acting again?
"There are many professional actors. I can act but I wouldn't put myself in that same league of acting," he said.