Write-ups on “Deep in the Valley” at Berlin International Film Festival


The Berinale 2009 has ignited today!
Christoph Terhechte, programme director of Forum section, talks about “Deep in the Valley” in his interview.

Another theme this year seems to be the relationship between the generations and the question of preserving tradition.

“Deep in the Valley by Funahashi Atsushi is a good example of that. The generational conflict in this film plays out in Yanaka, a neighbourhood in northeastern Tokyo where the old spirit of the city can still be felt. The filmmaker uses memories of a five-story wooden pagoda that burnt to the ground there in 1957 as a kind of hook for a cinematic engagement with the locals’ sense of tradition. What’s interesting about this film is that it is a documentary that also includes scripted elements. One of the plot lines is set in the present and tells the story of a film club looking for 8mm footage of the fire. A second plot line is based on a Japanese novel and tells the story of the pagoda’s construction. A young architect had to break with his teacher in order to build what was at the time a new kind of pagoda, which then went on to become a masterpiece of Japanese architecture. So of all people it is this young man who committed the impossible act of knocking his master off the throne that the older generation admires today as one of the great founders of tradition. This relativizes the conflict between the generations very nicely, I think.”

Here’s the full interview.
Also, here’s another write-up on the festival’s webstie.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

16 familiar faces at the Forum 2009

At the Forum 2009, filmgoers won’t just have the chance to discover a wealth of new names and cinematic signatures. A whole range of filmmakers who have already shown one or more films at previous editions of the Forum will also be making a welcome return.

Japanese director Soda Kazuhiro is, for example, just one of the 16 directors back with us this year; his debut Campaign was shown at the Forum in 2007. His new film Mental (Seishin) is an equally original and uncompromising filmic observation. His compatriot Funahashi Atsushi should also still be fresh in audience’s memories: his road movie Big River was shown at the Forum in 2006; his new film Deep in the Valley is a melancholy story set in Tokyo with a strong documentary leaning.

Here’s the full article.
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。


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