Interview with Makoto Shinkai
June 2, 2008
A text only interview for a change – I may get Phil to read it out for the next ES podcast – between Alex Fitch and acclaimed animé director Makoto Shinkai (The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Voices of a Distant Star) is online now at www.electricsheepmagazine.com… Also online and in the print version of the magazine is a chat between Alex and ES editor Virginie Selavy about Paranoia Agent.
Shinkai will be appearing in person at the BFI’s Animé Now weekend to introduce a screening of his new film 5 centimetres per second, on 20th June.
The all new Wallflower Press quartely version of Electric Sheep Magazine is available to buy now from the ICA bookshop and elsewhere and features an exclusive Asian film review in comic strip format by Dan Lester and illustrations by Mark Stafford.
“AF: In both Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, it’s technology that both enables and prohibits normal communication and it seems to be a metaphor for unspoken words in relationships. Do you think technology – from letter writing to video phones – is something that gives people a chance to express their true feelings by liberating them from direct confrontation? Or does it make communication more difficult due to the lack of body language?
MS: I believe that it depends more on the circumstance if this kind of technology expresses your feelings. For Voices of a Distant Star, one of the reasons that I used mobile phone technology is that when I made it, texting on phones and sending e-mail by phone was starting to be popular in Japan. I was in a relationship at the time and used to send texts to my girlfriend. Although my texts arrived quickly, sometimes it took a long time for the replies to get back to me. In these instances, I wondered why it took such a long time to hear back and though we both lived relatively close by in Tokyo, I felt that her feelings might be far from mine. This experience drove me to include the use of mobile phone technology within the film.”