A Catalan-Nippon Thriller

Finally a fun translation gig! ^^

Nippon Cinema needed a translation for this Fotogramas article titled “Un Thriller Catalano-Nipón”. You can read the whole Nippon Cinema post on the film “Maps of the Sounds of Tokyo”, or you can read the translation after the break~~

A Nippon-Catalan thriller

We flew to Tokyo to follow the shooting of the new Isabel Coixet film, a colorful passionate thriller full of crazy alien love. The director and the protagonist couple, Rinko Kikuchi and Sergi López, guide us through this story.

The one you see there is a yakuza. They control this area, we were supposed to start shooting an hour ago, reveals Isabel Coixet to FOTOGRAMAS. When the production manager comes over to tell her something, she says:

  • We might not shoot here today, she says seriously.
  • Why?
  • Because of him, pointing at the yakuza.
  • You’re kidding me…
  • No way… do you see the camera anywhere?

Ten minutes later, the supposed yakuza (a man with an iridescent violet shirt, tux, a black tie, tacky sunglasses, raincoat, well-combed hair, an unfriendly face and who seemed to be in charge of everything) takes a picture with an extra. Smiling happily. Soon enough, the shooting of the first scene of the afternoon begins.
The journalist, from being an accomplice during the shooting, has become the joke of the shooting, something he notices while snooping the first images on the small monitor used by the director of photography, Jean-Claude Larrieu from France.

The fragrance of a scene
C’est bon, c’est très bon. C’est ça, [That’s good, that’s really good. That’s it,] whispers Larrieu looking at the combo. Why is it good? Why is this the shot?, asks FOTOGRAMAS. The director of photography takes off the hood from his coat, looks at the small screen again and says: Something happens (long pause). Something flows (second long pause). Maybe it’s the frames (third long pause) or the lighting (fourth super pause and stare at FOTOGRAMAS). Maybe we nailed it with the distance between the camera and the actors. You can tell when a shot stands out (here he raises his thumb, index and middle finger from both hands and rubs them as if he were talking about a great meal. As if the scene had a fragrance. As if he were a chef trying to explain a flavor and couldn’t find the words to describe it). It’s a mystery. Then looks at Rinko Kikuchi and Sergio López, who pay attention to the director. And exclaims calmly: Ahh, and the actors! It’s them above all who make a scene a bonne scene.

Are the good actors’ directors the best directors?, I ask. And he answers: Je ne sais pas, I can only tell you that Isabel knows how to find the rhythm of the protagonists’ souls. Nothing spectacular. Very efficient. Nothing simple. Doesn’t tire her actors with lots of takes. She’s a woman destined to work with great performers because she knows what to ask from them, and they know what to give her. And now, if you’ll excuse me… he puts on his hood and gets up all at the same time. It’s cold, but it’s not rainy, even though the street is wet. They just hosed it down. It was a Japanese man with a hose that observes patiently part of the Spanish crew of this Spanish-Nippon shoot. A weird mix. A weird director.