See You Tomorrow, Everyone is Nakamura Yoshihiro’s latest film. Focusing on a sense of Japanese nostalgia with the setting of the danchi (public housing schemes), he crafts an enchanting and evocative film. Naturally, being able to attend a director’s panel with the director to learn more about the process behind the film was something I was keen to hear. The directorial panel was held the morning after the film had held it’s International Festival Premiere at Udine Far East Film Festival.
Nakamura pressed on the issue of adapting a novel for the screen, and how difficult it can be to achieve this well. He assured the audience that a good scriptwriter is definitely the main benefit to producing a good adaptation, but that it can still be challenging, especially if the original text has a fan base. It was interesting to hear a director speak of the challenges of this, especially when often those who translate novels to the screen are heavily judged on the execution and closeness to the book.
Central to the success of the film is the performance by lead actor Hamada Gaku. See You Tomorrow, Everyone is Nakamura’s fifth collaboration with the young actor, and naturally the audience were interested in knowing why Nakamura was so partial to using Hamada Gaku in his films. Nakamura’s reasoning behind wanting Hamada Gaku in the film as simple – he knew the actor would be able to ‘grow up’ on screen with the character with a sense of ease. Obviously that they have worked together so many times already obviously demonstrates that they have a good working relationship as well – and this is translated to the screen in Hamada Gaku’s excellent performance, clearly helped by great direction from Nakamura.
Quotes from the panel
‘Yes, in my case the story is taken from a novel. When I transpose a written novel onto the screen I often chose a book that has really impressed me. So I take most particularly the scenes of the book that have influence me most, and I try to put them on the screen which is as close as possible to the original.’
‘I don’t think that without Hamada the film was possible. Actually the producers suggested many other actors, but I insisted on having this actor Hamada Gaku. The story tells of one same character for a span of 20 years, so I really needed an actor that could play the role of a young boy right up to the years of maturity.’
‘When I illustrate a new idea to producers they are very enthusiastic, but when they go back to their office I never hear anything. That means that most producers and investors are not as sensitive to certain issues and stories. I never have direct contact with investors, but I know that what moves money is something popular.’