Beijing, March 3 (Reporter Gao Kai) still maintains an intoxicating aesthetic and fresh picture, but the story breaks through the previous throbbing of youth and presents a broader perspective, from the colorful female characters to the lively appearance of small chairs and cats, Shinkai Makoto shows his new self in "Journey to the Bell Bud".

Photo courtesy of interviewee

Since the film was released in Japan in November 2022, Makoto Shinkai's new work has achieved good box office and word-of-mouth performance. On the 11th, "Journey to Bell Buds" landed on the big screen here. Xinhai Makoto was interviewed by a reporter from China News Agency a few days ago, and for his new work that was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the 24rd Berlin International Film Festival, the popular animation director started the topic from the "small chair" that accompanied him along the way.

In "Suzuya's Journey", the male protagonist Kusanagi is turned into a chair, accompanying the girl Suzuya through hardship and warmth along the way, and finally closes the door of disaster that threatens mankind with courage, saving the world and saving himself.

In reality, the three-legged yellow chair representing "Kusanagi" also followed Makoto Shinkai all the way to witness the premiere tour of "Suzuya Journey", from Japan to Germany, from Beijing to Shanghai... Why a chair? Makoto Shinkai confessed that it was because he received such a handmade chair as a gift from his father when he was a child.

Photo courtesy of interviewee

"Just like in the movie, my father made it with his own hands and wrote my name and gave it to me, and I was really happy, for children, their own little chair is the same concept as home." Makoto Shinkai said that because of this feeling, at the beginning of the creation of "Journey to the Bell Bud", he also designed such a small chair for his heroine, "I hope that the bell bud will also find his original home with the chair and find the meaning of his existence." ”

In "Journey to Bell Buds", such as "Your Name. The iconic "self-awareness" of Shinkai Makoto in works such as "Children of the Weather" no longer occupies the main position, but is replaced by more thinking about disasters, life, family affection, and life. Shinkai said that before the Great East Japan Earthquake, his work was mainly about daily life, but after the earthquake, I felt a sense of fear that you don't know when this daily life, which seems to go on forever, will collapse, and I realized that this is unpredictable." ”

Although the theme is "earthquake disaster", "Suzuya Journey" has a clear tone, and the protagonist travels from Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu to Miyagi Prefecture, his childhood hometown, meeting strangers and experiencing joyful adventures.

Among the elements that give viewers a bright and light feeling is the image setting of small chairs and cats. For the related design, Shinkai Makoto said: "I hope from the beginning to let more people enjoy this movie, as for the design of kittens and other designs, first of all, the theme of this work itself is a disaster, I don't want everything to be too heavy, at the beginning of the creation, I felt that there must be characters in it to make the work bright, cats, small chairs, can play such a role." ”

Makoto Shinkai said bluntly, in "Your Name. " and "Weather Child" were released, I once quietly went to the cinema alone to observe the audience's reaction, "I was very impressed once, I saw an old grandfather take his grandson to see "Your Name." I found that the child obviously couldn't sit still in the middle. But in "Weather Child", I found that as long as there is a picture of a kitten appearing, children love to watch it. ”

"So I realized that if you want to be enjoyed by both men and women, young and old, this kind of input can be very helpful, of course, based on following the whole theme outline of the work." Makoto Shinkai said.

In addition to the relevant setting that is quite friendly to children, Makoto Shinkai also clearly incorporates more social elements in "Journey to the Bell Bud" than in previous works. Regarding this new atmosphere in his own work, Makoto Shinkai said that it may become a "normal": "Although it is not intentional, I can indeed predict that there may be more social elements in my later works." Many of my previous works originated from my feelings when I was younger, and young people often focused on themselves, or focused on the larger conceptual world, such as the universe, such as where I came from, because at that time the society as a whole was relatively distant for us, but with the growth of entering the society, the world around us will present a more specific sense of existence, and it will also become a more important existence for each of us. ”

Makoto Shinkai Photo courtesy of interviewee

"I'm also 50 years old now, so I can't just make the content I used to have, and those feelings of my youth may not always be in my heart, so I want to say that as I grow up, the social element may naturally appear more in my work." Makoto Shinkai said.

"Journey to the Bell Bud" has achieved good pre-sales results before the opening of the painting, and I want to see the list for a long time, talking about what Asian cultural commonalities can resonate in the movie, Makoto Shinkai said that "The Journey of the Bell Bud" is also a journey to pay tribute to the ruins, the key action of the memorial is to close the door, and every time the door is closed, the protagonist will say the line "Give it back", "This plot setting actually wants to express that since this place has become a ruin, we humans do not live here, We will give it back to the gods who guard the place, to nature. In fact, in our Asian culture, many places, including China, have the concept that each land has its own gods guarding it, and I think that this deepest concept of harmony with nature can resonate and is a common concept for everyone. ”

At the previous 73rd Berlin Film Festival, Shinkai Makoto said of Chinese animated films, "The quality of Chinese animated films is rapidly improving and will surpass us sooner or later." In Beijing, Shinkai once again stressed that he was impressed by China's young power in animation production, and he admitted that the image of the cat in "Lingbud Journey" was greatly inspired by "Luo Xiao Black War". Chinese animators have even achieved a further sublimation of the expressive methods that Japan is very good at. Shinkai Makoto believes that in the creation of animated films, young forces are a very necessary existence, and China has advantages in this regard.

For the future creative road, Shinkai Makoto said that each work will "blank" himself for a period of time after the end, which is an adjustment period he set for himself, "In fact, I have been making disaster movies for the past ten years, so I hope that the next work can make the audience have an unimaginable and unexpected feeling, rather than just another movie with a very strong sense of 'Shinkai Sincerity'." Makoto Shinkai said. (End)