I learned that I wasn’t the only one who had suffered a great loss. During the filming of Hana, the exalted Shohei Imamura passed away, as had another individual much closer to Kore-eda. I was somewhat embarrassed by my raw emotional state, but by the end of the interview, which came much too quickly, his humanity, his grace, and his own personal revelation left me with a smile and a little bit of joy.
Our translator was the inimitable and ubiquitous Taro Gato (assistant director of the Asian American International Film Festival, film producer––Steven Okazaki’s White Light/Black Rain, and, naturally, Japanese-English translator, extraordinaire––does that guy ever sleep?).
Thank you for seeing me. I’m really honored to meet you. I love your work.
Hirokazu Kore-eda: What publication are you writing for?
I’m freelance and write for a number of print and online publications, but one that might interest you is the Jung Journal.
[There are a few moments of back-and-forth between Gato and me, and then between Gato and Kore-eda, before they recognize the name.]
Kore-eda: Oh, yes, the psychologist! Wasn’t he a disciple of Freud?
That’s right, but Jung contributed a more spiritual awareness to psychology, just as your films have a spiritual underpinning.
Kore-eda: Very interesting.
That’s probably why Jungians love your work so much.
Kore-eda: [laughs] I’ve heard that!
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