Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata, Shokuzai) is away from Japan, currently (as of Feb-March 2015) shooting his latest project called The Woman in the Silver Plate, which is the story of a photographer, haunted by the death of his wife, obsessed with the daguerreotype process — an old photographic process using silver-plate,it required a really long time of exposure. There must be some ghosts fooling around… ! Starring Olivier Gourmet, Tahar Rahim & Constance Rousseau.
Journalist Julien Gester had the opportunity to write a report of the shooting — somewhere in the South suburb of Paris — for the daily newspaper Libération, it reveals some interesting details about the project!
First of all, the choice of shooting in France was determined by some simple realistic facts, as Kurosawa said in this interview: “That film is based on an original idea, and in Japan, it’s become nearly impossible to raise the financing for a movie which is not adapted from a franchise or a manga and doesn’t have a micro budget, (…) France remains very open to original ideas, and it has a fairly generous financing system.” Estimated budget? Around 3.5 million euros.
Also, the script needed to be adapted to the french reality, Tahar Rahim mentions the Japanese hierarchical relationships (between an assistant and his boss, for example) wasn’t working in a french context.
Here, Kurosawa is working with a french technical team, of course, there’s a translator, and his wife. And when the director speaks french, it’s only to say two words, “Coupez !” (Cut!”) and “Parfait !” (Perfect!), which he seems to be using a lot as he never does more than 3 takes for each scene. More surprising, he doesn’t check the footage, he knows exactly what he wants.
And to let viewers feel there’s something strange, he’d rather place his character on the edge of the frame, so that viewers think something may appear in the background (boxes, a stair…). Creating an atmosphere and using the power of suggestion, quite interesting! Is Kiyoshi Kurosawa back to basics?