Japan Japan - A Motion Picutre by Lior Shamriz, with Imri Kahn, Tal Meiri, Irit Gidron, Naama Yuria, Amnon Friedman
A motion picture by Lior Shamriz
65 minutes, Israel / USA / Germany 2007
Starring Imri Kahn
with Tal Meiri, Naama Yuria, Irit Gidron, Amnon Friedman, Benny Ziffer
The movie tells the story of Imri (portrayed by Imri Kahn), who at 19 goes to live in Tel- Aviv, but dreams of moving to Japan. Through his relationships and encounters and in diverse cinematic tools, we are introduced to the young man's life. An exploration of living in the exotic city of Tel Aviv is presented through a hero who is himself in the midst of exploring his own choice of an exotic place. A unique correlation is formed between the hero's misconception of Japan and ours of him.
The movie was constructed by both improvised and pre-scripted scenes, as required by the nature of each scene.
Directed by Lior Shamriz
Participating: Imri Kahn, Tal Meiri, Naama Yuria, Irit Gidron, Amnon Friedman, Benny Ziffer
Sound design:Jochen Jezussek
I intentionally went to shoot this movie without a completed script, but not because of an urge to toy with a camera in front of improvising actors. I wanted to see what happens when a fictional story is structured as a documentary one would be.
The story to be told was of a young man who comes to live in Tel Aviv but dreams of moving to Japan. As a filmmaker in Israel I knew that my films would often be perceived as a window to an exotic place in the midst of a political conflict. In my film I wanted to question the place of exotism and orientalism in cinema and in my life.
I planned the shooting as if I was planning the scenes I would have liked to have in a documenary about the daily life of such a young man, leaving the structure of the film for the editing process. After constructing on paper the surroundings of the hero, I went to shoot his encounters and relationships on different points of time over an imaginary year. Every such scene was fictionalized as an independent episode, with its own suitable film technique, should it be scripted, improvised or a real event visited by the hero/actor. For some scenes I just took some stills, other I shot like a home-made musical.
This multiplicity of cinematic languages was used in an attempt to evoke a truer representation of life, to use the motion-picture not as a documentation of continous 3D space but as a screen.