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Kankuro Kudo and Yoshihide Otomo: An Extraordinary Life with an End in “A Town Without Seasons”

2023.8.24

#MOVIE

How to stay away from “Dodes’ka-den”? The Kudo and Otomo’s challange

-Did Kudo provide you ideas for the music in advance?

Otomo:The first thing he strongly told me was not to make music like Mr. Kurosawa.

Kudo: No matter what I did, the movie’s theme song would always play in my head. Not only the music but also the storytelling and the artwork, I had to stay from the original film first. We first talked about how to distance ourselves from “Dodes’ka-den.”

Otomo: Kudo also told me he wanted the music to have an indigenous, messy feeling rather than a warm, relaxed atmosphere. But at the same time, he said we were not making similar music to “Amachan” and “Idaten.”

Kudo: The discussion we had was also interesting. We first performed the music for the scene where Roku-chan runs at Otomo’s concert at Shinjuku’s Pit Inn.

Otomo: I wrote the song for Roku-chan’s running scene first. The live concert was just around the corner, so I asked my big band to play the song without telling them what it was about. Then, I rearranged the recording to match it to the scene video Kudo had sent me. From there, we further edited the recordings.

Kudo: At that point, it was exactly as I had imagined. Even during location scouting and meetings, I carefully shared the image of the music with Yokohama and Naoki, but when I heard the first song that Otomo sent, I said, “I’ll leave it to you. I was happy to have the music delivered in the best possible form at the time when the filming had begun in earnest.

-So the process of creating the video and music was like a session.

Kudo: That’s right. But how is it possible for a song performed live to fit so well with the video? It was impressive.

Otomo: We played the song live for about 10 minutes, and we included various patterns in the song, from a slow to a fast tempo, so that it would fit any scene. I take out the part of the tempo that fits the video.

Kudo: I see!

Otomo:I felt like Roku-chan conducting at the live performance.

Kudo:As a side note, we did a lot of location hunting at various railroad crossings for the Rok-chan scene. In the end, we chose the one where a train enthusiastic boy who happened to be there.

He was checking the timetable on his smartphone and kept saying, “The next train will come from here,” or “The next train will come from here.” I didn’t use it in the video, but there is also an elevated track above the railroad crossing, where another train is also running. It’s a great place for train lovers. If train lovers actually love the place, I thought there would be no other better place.

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