Tell us something about the title of your movie. Did you have the name in your mind from the moment you had perceived the story for the first time?
The name “Heritage of Soul” was chosen with the meaning of infinite warp. All six films were shot in Onomichi. This film is the final episode. I have given it the subtitle “Heritage of Soul” as a way of saying that it is the culmination of all the work I have poured my soul into.
Tell us something about the setting. What must we know about the land of Onomichi?
At first, I had no knowledge of Onomichi, but I was inspired and have always wanted to visit the place.
When I first visited Onomichi, I noticed that the flow of time was different from other places. I also felt that a twist of time and space was occurring. My creative imagination was fired up, and I was absorbed in rolling my video camera. If I had not gone to Onomichi, I do not think the experimental film I would have been able to create.
The domain of experimental movies has been occupied by names like Jim Jarmusch, Chris Marker, and David Lynch. Were you inspired by the plots devised by these stalwarts?
I am familiar with the names Jim Jarmusch, Chris Marker, and David Lynch, but had not had the opportunity to see their films. I also did not know that my film’s genre was an experimental film, and only learned about it after it was nominated for the festival. I am not influenced by anyone, I create everything from my own imagination.
How do you see the profound domain of cinema? How much more do you believe cinema has to offer mankind, to make existence more gleeful and full of meaning?
The expression of film is free and unlimited. The way people live their lives is also free and limitless. There are films of various expressions, there are various lives, and sometimes films can link to and influence our lives. I want to make films that stimulate people’s imagination and have a positive impact on their lives.
What would the few movies you believe are hidden gems? Movies that must have a greater amount of viewership.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a film that I would like a lot of audiences to see. This is because I myself do not have much general sensitivity. It is the same with music, not only films, and the works I like are generally not highly acclaimed, and even if I recommend them, people do not understand them.
Can you tell us something about the significant use of colours in your movie? How potently do you think it drives the narrative forward?
The scenes of color represent the movement and experience of the mind and, at the same time, the passage of time. We have devised a way to stimulate people’s five senses and beyond. Although the film is short, we wanted to make the story deeper by incorporating the impact of an unseen experience.
What role do you think symbols play in a movie like W∞ – Heritage of Soul -? What do you have to say about the various tropes of metaphors and metonymy in the movie?
In “W∞ – Heritage of Soul,” I came up with the expressive technique of symbolizing people and incorporating situations and stories into them. I think this is an expression that is possible only in an experimental film, and I wanted to complete the film as a work of art that is received with sensitivity, rather than primarily based on the story. Generally speaking, I think that films with many metaphors and similes become difficult to understand.
About the time place distortion, the scenes convey a number of messages, and so do the visuals. The indications are clear. However, we would like to know, how and where do you locate the notions of time and space? What effect do you think distortions between this two triggers?
Although not directly expressed in the film, I consider time to be the same “physics” as place. I believe that time is a chronological progression from the past to the present to the future, under the same conditions for all, but that is just an assumption. As long as time is the same physics as an object, it can be done at will with “strong thoughts”. For example, it means that we can go back in time and redo our lives, although various conditions must be met. That will be the theme of the W∞ series, the “twist of space-time”.
There is a portrayal of a myriad of emotions throughout the scenes in the movie. How much of a challenge is it for the audience to locate something like empathy or agony in through the visuals? Do you think the intent is to create a visceral impact?
Since “W∞ – Heritage of Soul” is also a work that portrays my inner life in an esoteric way, I do not expect the audience to understand or sympathize with it from the beginning, but rather I would be happy if they feel a rather intuitive impact.
What do you think about the place experimental movies find in the larger domain of the bioscope? How many more horizons do you think there are for mankind to discover ? Why must movies like La Jetee, Blue, An Andalusian dog, Eraserhead and W∞ – Heritage of Soul – exist and pleasantly surprise lovers of cinema?
I don’t believe that communicating with words is all there is to it. I believe that experimental film is a method of expression that can appeal to the audience not theoretically, but sensitively, including not only words, but also concepts, ideas, metaphors, and allusions. It is not for everyone, and I think it requires a certain level of sensitivity from the audience.