「Deep In The Valley」(仮題, Temporary Title)

I’ve been working on this project on HD since last year. First, ENBU Seminar, an acting school in Tokyo where I taught students for a semester, requested me to direct a short drama piece using the acting students. The concept itself wasn’t bad, but I thought I can stretch it a bit more. I wrote a script with Ayako Negishi, a scriptwriter and filmed in November and December, 2007. Naturally it exceeded the length for a short and we shot over 100 hours!
The reason was that I found many intriguing amateur people on the set and diverted the camera much more on them rather than student actors. One day at Jozaiji temple, Yanaka, we were shooting an Edo-period scene when I saw an old woman walking alone in the graveyard bumping into the gravestones here and there. I wondered what was going on and start talking with her. She told me that she was blind and had been grave-keeping for over 40 years. She said, “oh well, we have the 13-year commemoration ceremony of Kawahara family today, so I should clean their grave,” then she knows exactly where the grave is among hundreds of gravestones there! I was stunned and started filming her cleaning gravestones right away. — in this way the shoot diverted to more intuitively exciting direction as we keep filming, and at the end we have so much footage!
Now I’m struggling to find the coherent and profound theme within the footage. (Actually the film was recorded directly on harddisks, so it should be called “gigabyt-age”?) The script was almost non-existent. Creating immersive visual poetry out of this much materials is a big challenge!
It’ll be done by the end of October.

Atsushi Funahashi 東京、谷中に住む映画作家。「道頓堀よ、泣かせてくれ! Documentary of NMB48(公開中)」「桜並木の満開の下に」「フタバから遠く離れて」「谷中暮色」「ビッグ・リバー 」(2006、主演オダギリジョー)「echoes」(2001)を監督。2007年9月に10年住んだニューヨークから、日本へ帰国。本人も解らずのまま、谷根千と呼ばれる下町に惚れ込み、住むようになった。


  1. Kevin

    that’s a pretty cool story, Atsushi. It reminds me of the grave cleaning scenes in Kore-Eda’s new film which I just saw this morning in Toronto.
    Good luck with all that footage, I’m really looking forward to seeing the result!

  2. Eric van den Brulle

    Atsush – sounds intriguing – hope to see it.

  3. Atsushi

    Thanks, kevin for your comment.
    Actually, that was the only scene I liked in Koreeda film.
    Talk soon!



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