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Director Daishi Matsunaga too fussy over “PIETA IN THE TOILET”, ‘has done many do-overs’


©2015 TIFF

PIETA IN THE TOILET, an original work inspired by the sickbed diary kept by Osamu Tezuka until just before his death, was screened on October 29 as part of the Japan Now section of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. Director Daishi Matsunaga attended a Q & A session at Shinjuku Piccadilly, Tokyo.
The artistic work “Pieta”, which depicts Mother Maria embracing Christ after he has died and been taken down from the cross, acts as the key for both facets of the movie, the story and the performance. Director Matsunaga confessed that “many artists have made Pieta but the one that has influenced me the most is Michelangelo’s Pieta.” He explained the reason as “the expressions are different to the ones made by the other artists. The expressions are very rich and doesn’t make it look so sad” he explained. He also revealed that “I wondered what it was to be embracing your dead child with a calm face. I wanted to find the answer to this in the film.”
Michelangelo’s Pieta also had a big influence on the performances. Even though Michelangelo had completed a perfect Pieta in his 20’s, he has created another 3 Pietas after that. Giving this as an example, Matsunaga spoke of how “the last Pieta which Michelangelo made was really distorted. It looked uncompleted as a form” and he also added that “this is why I wanted to make the final drawing by the main character rough and incomplete.”
However, this was extremely difficult to achieve in the film. Matsunaga recollected that “I didn’t want the person drawing it to make it look so predictable. I told the artist to draw without giving people a clue but to make it a picture that was as if drawn impulsively. For this, they’ve showed me many rough sketches and I was pretty selfish about it.” His fussiness didn’t just end there. In order to draw the perfect picture, he has made toilet after toilet on the canvas (laughs). I changed its sizes; in the beginning, middle and the end, making so many different ones.” he revealed and to which the audience responded with an “oooh!” of surprises, and the broke into laughter.
This was the first time Yojiro Noda from the rock band “RADWIMPS” and solo act “illion” had acted in a film as a main character. He portrays the life of a young man who has been given 3 months to live. Through a relationship with a young girl whom he meets by chance, discovers the joy and splendor of living.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)