Of all the amazing film talent I had never met before this years Berlinale 2008 (Anders Thomas Jensen, Simon Yam, Tadanobu Asano, etc.,), I can easily saying meeting Wakamatsu Koji was the rarest treat. A living legend in the flesh that you just aren’t going to find at many festivals or really anywhere. Everyone else I met for the first time I’m bound to meet again. Doubtful I’ll ever cross paths with Wakamatsu Koji and I really was quite humbled, honored and blown away at the opportunity. One of those experiences I’ll always remember.
Making the experience take on a journey feel to it was the fact I had to travel way out to the Zoo stop in Berlin to see an incredibly rare screening of his 1965 film Secrets Behind the Wall. It was several stops away from the main festival activities and I had absolutely no idea where I was going or how I was going to find the theater. Luckily after 20 minutes of being lost I came across the movie theater.
With the film, Wakamatsu Koji proves you can make and craft an amazing movie with the barest of sets/locations and actors/actresses. I’ve rarely seen a director make this great of film with such little to work with, which is an amazing treat in and of itself and a film that any future filmmaker out there or established could watch for ideas and sparks. Powerful direction and some really incredible dialogue and one of the best anti-war films I’ve ever seen. There is a sheer beauty, rebellion and bravo to this film that is sorely lacking in indie cinema today.
After the film Wakamatsu Koji took part in a roughly 35 minute Q&A. I have videotaped this entire Q&A and will post it at a later date!
Wakamatsu Koji although soft spoken, is quite full of energy and a lightning fast and highly colorful wit. He seems to really enjoy what he is doing and perhaps might be incredibly humble over such an amazing amount of great lasting work in cinema.