quinta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2009

To the friends and collaborators on "Sing a Song of Sex"

(Nihon Shunka ko, 1967)
By Nagisa Oshima

This time we are going to begin shooting without making what is in the normal filmmaking process called a script.
When we start shooting we will have at hand only a brief description that simply sketches the basic images of the characters and their actions. This should be called a script of images, because it consists of the conclusions reached about the images in the work by the director, the dramatist, the art director, and the producer. We believe that this will meet our needs as we begin shooting.
Accordingly, the concrete creation of each scene will be done during the process of preparation for shooting or during shooting itself, not only by the director and the dramatist, but by the entire crew and the actors as well. In other words, we will be creating what is usually called the script while shooting or, conversely, we will be shooting while creating the script. However, it would be more accurate to say that we will be attempting to combine into one unified creative process the two processes of filmmaking that are usually divided up and called scriptwriting and shooting.
Needless to say, we plan to apply this formula because we want the filmmaking process to be more creative. There are two reasons for our belief that we can be more creative by applying this formula in this particular instance. One is that the time allotted for the total production is short. When time permits, we first concentrate on creating the images in the script. When it is complete, our creative tension is temporarily eased and we are able to go into shooting with a different kind of creative tension. This time, however, there isn't time for our tension to dissipate during the process. If we allow our tension to dissipate, time will run out before we are able to get into the next type of creative tension. Thus, this time we are going to try to complete the work in one burst while experiencing both types of tension.
The other reason is that we will have to include countless unknown elements in this work and in the creative process. We begin shooting in less than two weeks, but we still don't know what any of the actors will look like. It is likely that a lot of new performers and amateurs will be involved. It is sheer nonsense to think that it will be possible to say, "Okay, here are your lines," and have that be the end of it. For us to include them in the creative process, it is absolutely essential for us to force the people themsleves to be creative. This is similar to the way that, when everything is done on location, the places themselves sometimes take on an active role and carve out a kind of identity within the work.
For these reasons, we are confident that by applying this formula, we will be able to bring off a freer, film production; at an even deeper level, however, there is the fact that we have great confidence in our abilities. We are confident that we are Japan's best film crew at this point in time. It is because we are Japan's best film crew that we are able to embark on an adventure that has never before been attempted in Japanese film. If we fail, it will be only because we lacked talent. We will simply need to develop our talent further and move ahead. There is no reason for us to fear a conscious lack of effort. However, if we lose our determination, that will be the end. We have only just gotten started; however, it is already certain that the future of Japanese film depends solely on our adventure in freedom. We must fortify our lines of battle more and more. To those who have lost the willpower to enter into our adventure in freedom, I say: leave our lines of battle immeaditely. Only those who are able to plunge themselves resolutely into the unknown are our kindred spirits.
Okay, kindred spirits -we are taking off.

(January 1, 1967)

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