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Unraveling the Complexity of Human Relationships with Director Rikya Imaizumi



Creating Art that Challenges Taboos and Encourages Diverse Perspectives

– I was encouraged by the actions Hori took before giving up on relationships. It is not easy to build a relationship of security and trust. I think that scene showed one of the things that can be done in such situations.

Imaizumi: In a positive sense, “not expecting too much from the other person” is probably important when trying to build a deep relationship with someone. It is important to want to trust, but if you deny the other person’s ability to do what you want, you will not be able to build a relationship with them. and denying it, you will not be able to build a relationship.

It may be better to be happy that someone understands or appreciates you, even if only a little, based on the premise that you and others are different, and to be exaggeratedly happy that they understand you. But “getting angry” is also difficult without love, and it is generally hard to say.

– I think it can be said that the more angry or jealous you are, the more affection you feel toward others.

Imaizumi: Yes, that’s right. Speaking of jealousy, this may be completely unrelated, but the other day I received an e-mail from a woman I don’t know via Twitter (currently X) DM that was a kind of love advice. She said, “I looked at my boyfriend’s phone because I suspected he was cheating on me,” and after reading the message, she continued, “But when I looked at his phone, I found that he had also DM’d Director Imaizumi and asked him if he could forgive her because she was cheating on him, but he liked her. And he said, ‘I’m going to try to trust her again. I will try my best to make her like me more.’ And then he wrote, ‘I’m going to try to believe in her again. I am glad that I was able to confirm that he likes me. That’s all I have to report, and I swear to Director Imaizumi that I will never cheat on him again,” she concluded.

– You were the one who brought the couple together.

Imaizumi: No, I thought they should have done it on their own without me (laughs). I said, “First of all, don’t look at your girlfriend’s phone! Also, don’t cheat on your girlfriend! I replied, “First of all, don’t look at your girlfriend’s phone. But I was surprised to learn that good things can happen when you look at your girlfriend’s phone, even though I had thought nothing good ever happened when you look at your girlfriend’s phone. It’s too rare, though.

– I was surprised to find out that good things can happen, too. It seems to be a scene from one of Imaizumi’s films.

Imaizumi: Like in “By the Window” (2022), I think he is always questioning and thinking about things considered wrong by common sense from every possible point of view. I would like to continue to depict such things that are considered wrong from the standpoint of social common sense, but that are questioned and considered from all perspectives.

For example, in a love story, it is considered wonderful to be together for the rest of one’s life, but that is not the only way to end a love story. I think it is also important to remember that they were indeed together, even if only for a day or a season. I want to capture those moments in my films.

– Last but not least, what was this film like for you?

Imaizumi: Although I had my conflicts, such as the scene I mentioned earlier where I talk about death, I was very careful in making the film, and I feel that the intensity of the film comes from the tension I put into it. Anyway, it was a film in which I was troubled by every scene.

It just still bothers me (laughs). I am satisfied with the editing, cinematography, and acting, and we did the best we could, but it is difficult to know the right answers, such as, “Should I have included that scene? I can’t wait for the film to be released to the public, and I would like to hear what everyone thinks of it.

Undercurrent” scene ©Tetsuya Toyoda/Kodansha ©2023 “Undercurrent” Production Committee

– Are you open to hearing negative opinions?

Imaizumi: I would like to hear negative opinions. Films can be received freely, and there is no right answer. I would like to hear opinions such as “I don’t like it because it is too heavy” from people who saw it for its humor, or interpretations that I have never imagined myself. When I am exposed to such comments, I am able to think about the film from a different angle. I feel like I can finally relax about this film after receiving various opinions.


Release Date: October 6 (Fri.), 2008 (National Roadshow)
Director: Rikiya Imaizumi, “Ai ga Nanda” “Chihiro-san
Music: Haruomi Hosono, “Shoplifters’ Family
Screenplay: Kaori Sawai “What’s Love” “Chihiro-san
Original story: Tetsuya Toyoda, “Undercurrent” (Kodansha’s “Afternoon KC”)
Production Manager: Joker Films, Asahi Shimbun
Planning/Production: Joker Films
Distributor: KADOKAWA
Cast: Yoko Maki, Arata Iura, Lily Franky, Eita Nagayama, Noriko Eguchi, Kumi Nakamura, Yasuon, Rio Uchida
©Tetsuya Toyoda / Kodansha ©2023 “Undercurrent” Production Committee



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