The Haapsalu horror and fantasy film festival starting today will honour the Japanese ghost movie maker with life work award, even though it is early to call him «grandmaster» – Mr Nakata’s newest film also featuring in Haapsalu.
«I don’t really like horror movies, I just like to make movies,» somewhat surprisingly, Mr Nakata confesses in a flash interview to Postimees.
First of all: congrats, Nakata-san! I hope this doesn’t mean your life work is done – at 51?
(Laughs.) I hope not. Still, I have to admit I have received one such reward already, seven years ago at the Gerardmer fantasy film festival, in France. I felt real early, even then. But it is still nice to be recognised.
You broke through, internationally, with Ring, which became the cornerstone of J-horror – the Japanese horror movie new wave. 15 years have passed. How is your national horror movie doing?
Sadly, no good news. I don’t want to tell that whatever started 15 years back is totally finished, but the fact remains that Hollywood no longer makes repeat versions of our movies. I guess it became too much, the public over there is fed up movies like that. The same goes for Japanese viewers, horror movie is far from its popularity back then.
But for one: the genre will not die. So let’s wait for the new wave.
When will that come?
Why not in ten years? Honestly, I don’t know. These things come in cycles, however. The need to resist fear is always there, it’s deep in human nature, like an instinct. Like sex. Try to picture a cave man. They had to protect themselves and family from enemies, and also have babies – otherwise humanity couldn’t continue, be evolutionally successful. I do not know the truth, but this is my theory.
What happened 15 years ago? Why did Ring became so popular – the most popular Japanese horror movie of all times, they claim?
In a way it was like happy marriage. The right moment. There was this story making rounds of a cursed video cassette, the viewer of which dies in seven days. It was the peak, both in schools and in the streets it was talked about.
In Ring, the contemporary household technology is an effective source of fear – namely by this, ghost make themselves known.
That also happened to be the time when Japanese teenagers got themselves their very own TVs and video recorders – it no longer was just one for the family, all watching TV together. A more private relationship was created. The idea that a TV set may also be a window to hell, suddenly seemed very realistic to them. One more reason to go see it.