Kore-eda On His Netflix Series And Revamping Japan’s Film Industry  – Deadline

Updates: Cannes Palme d’Or winning director Hirokazu Kore-edais the first series for netflix, Makanai: Cooking for the Maco HouseBased on the best-selling manga about two young girls who move to Kyoto to begin their training as ‘maiko’ or apprentice geisha.

One of them turns out to be the star Maiko, but the other is not so talented in the geisha arts, which consist mostly of traditional song and dance, and ends up cooking for the house where the girls are being trained, an activity in which she excels. Neither the manga created by Eiko Koyama, or the series are set in the Edo period, the golden age of geisha culture, but in contemporary Japan, where the profession still exists and is respected, but is considered a dying art. Also considered as

Streaming set to begin tomorrow (January 12), the series is produced by Kore-eda and Genki Kawamura, the lead creators of such hits. Statement, Mirai And Your name, Kore-eda also served as showrunner, director and writer on the nine-episode series, and brought on board three up-and-coming filmmakers – Megumi Suneo, Hiroshi Okuyama and Takuma Sato – to co-write and direct individual episodes. Brought on

Nana Mori and Natsuki Deguchi play the two young girls, and the cast includes Azu Makita (true mothers), veteran actress Keiko Matsuzaka and Ai Hashimoto (Statement, Ryuto Kondo, who worked with Kore-eda on the 2018 Palme d’Or-winner ShopkeeperHe is a cinematographer.

Kore-eda says he was attracted to the original manga because it is a “story centered around food”, but as he knew nothing about the miko culture and the Kyoto households in which he would do his intense training. Yes, he was interested in research. In some ways, the series has a similar theme. Shopkeeper In this they are both stories about a group of people who live together as a kind of family unit, but are not related by blood.

Kore-eda says, “It was also an interesting setting, taking place in another world, one that has been torn apart by the modern age.” “I thought it was a perfect setting for a story set in Kyoto that focused on food and a group of people living together under one roof.”

Appropriately, for a story about apprenticeship, Kore-eda used the project as an opportunity to mentor three young filmmakers. After making the world, co-scripted with another protégé, Mami Sunada, trained through his Bun-buku production company, and directing the first two episodes himself, he directed the other seven episodes to young filmmakers under his supervision. left to direct. Kore-eda says, “Young directors simply cannot afford to do feature films – it is important that they are given opportunities to direct.”

Hirokazu Kore-eda

The three filmmakers he worked with aren’t exactly newcomers, but are still in the early days of their careers. Tsuno directed one segment ten years japan anthology; Okuyama wins the New Directors Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival for his 2018 debut jesus, While Sato has played some films on the festival circuit such as sticks and stones (2019) and Any crybees around? (2020).

Kore-eda has spoken about complacency in the often inward-looking Japanese film industry, which seems to be holding back new talent, while the South Korean industry thrives not only at home, but internationally. “There are many young and talented directors emerging in Japan, but I think we don’t have the necessary funding or producers with the international perspective to go to the next level,” he explains.

since ShopkeeperKore-eda has made a film in France, TruthAn independent project sold by Wild Bunch, and one in Korea – Broker, alongside CJ ENM, which won Song Kang-ho the Best Actor award at last year’s Cannes. He says this has given him useful insight into the outward-looking film industries that receive substantial government support.

Last year, he called on Japan to set up bodies like France’s CNC or the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), which are involved in funding as well as support programs for emerging talent. in conversation with deadlinehe observes that Korea has both the elements that are missing in Japan – funding and internationally minded producers – in spades: “But while I got a lot of insights, transplanting them to Japan won’t work. We’ll have to figure out how to do it ourselves, but for now, we just have to keep learning.”

Kore-eda has also been outspoken about the need to improve working conditions in the Japanese film industry, which is famous for long working hours, low pay, and sexual and electrical harassment, and last year openly accused actors of who came forward with accounts of the assault they had carried out. Male director in Japan. But he also acknowledges that change in both support structures and work standards will take a long time to achieve. “The first step is to build a consensus within the film industry itself before involving the government,” he says. “It will be a long process, but I hope we can go step by step.”

Makanai: Cooking for the Maco House

To viewers outside of Japan, his appetite for reform may seem at odds with the setting of his Netflix series, as it takes a mostly uncaring look at a profession that hasn’t really been reformed for centuries, and is sexual. Has been killed by claims of relations. Harassment against young maiko in recent years.

When asked about those issues, Kore-eda says that he previously only had indirect knowledge of the historical working conditions for Jiko and Maiko in ‘Kagai’. [geisha districts] Through the films of Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse. “With such preconceived notions in mind, I visited Kyoto for the first time and learned through interviews with those involved that there are people who are working to improve Kagai’s culture and work environment , as to be passed on to the next generation, like Kabuki.

“This series was created in collaboration with such women,” she continues. “I didn’t intend to directly address the issue of oppression like Mizoguchi did. However, by introducing new characters who criticize these women, I was careful not to fantasize things too much.

He also explains that Kagai does not actually have teenagers working as cooks, but that the story is adapted from the manga, which sold over 2.7 million copies and had many younger, female readers. When asked to explain why the manga was so popular, especially among young girls, he says: “There are many reasons, but most young readers liked the friendship between two girls who support each other in everything. support.”

It’s certainly true that solidarity among women is a strong theme throughout the series, and while it’s not exactly a stark tale of female empowerment, it does have a lot to do with identifying your true talents and living life instead of conforming to society’s expectations. I have an invitation message. More than anything, this is a series about food, a topic that Maiko spends much of her time discussing, and the camera casts its longest gaze to carefully lit shots of oyakodon and steamed eggplant .

Kore-eda has already directed Japanese language films. Demonthat reunites him Shopkeeper Actress Sakura is also produced by Endo and Kawamura. Backed by Toho and Gaga Corp, the project is already in post-production and is set for release in June. But he says there is great potential for him to return and star in the series: “It was fun working with the young filmmakers, because they have skills that I don’t have. I feel I will be asked to play more such roles in future.