BUSAN, South Korea – Iranian director Amir Naderi expects many things from his film crew and performers. And he demanded no less from Japanese actor Nishijima Hideoshi.
The story revolves around Shuji, a poor, independent movie director. His Yakuza brother was murdered because he couldn’t pay back what he borrowed for a movie production. That has the Yakuza demanding that Shuji repay that money. With no way to do so, Shuji starts to earn money by becoming a human sandbag. On the day the money is due, Shuji is being punched out for the remaining amount owed, getting through the pain by recalling the 100 greatest movies in history. The 100 movies are introduced through captions, and they are from Naderi’s own list. He tells us that movies have a significant impact on human lives, acting as a magic drug that heals our sick souls. And his opinion is appealing by virtue of the fact that this movie is based on his own life story, a story in which he has given up everything to make movies.
Naderi, who has a 40-year career in film mostly spent in the U.S. and Japan. Though working in Japan is not the easiest he said, it is always rewarding work when it is completed.
“Working in Japan is not easy at all. It’s a very strong culture. The Japanese system is order and details. But his (Nishijima’s) trust in me made them trust me too,” he said.
“I wasn’t allowed to talk for a month and a half,” he said. “I couldn’t say greetings in the morning to anyone. I could only speak to Naderi. I almost forgot how to speak to people. But he is unique, and I felt this film project was not like working with a foreign director. It was a good experience for me.”
Nishijima was also impressed by the director’s attention to detail shooting scenes, and attention to details.
“He helped me a lot. We need to overcome our own limitations. He pushed us very strong, but I’m a big fan of his films.”
Japanese actor Nishijima Hidetoshi speaks at a press conference for the new film "Cut", directed by Amir Naderi, at the 16th Busan International Film Festival.
Photos courtesy of Ben Weller