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SCREENING

Wild Tour
Written and directed by Sho Miyake 2019.3.30-

Written by |2019.4.4

© Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

Walking around on the streamlined, undulating roof designed by Arata Isozaki for the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), a group of young people are chatting idly about the future. This somewhat surrealistic scene, shot against the grand background of Yamaguchi’s natural beauty, is one of the most memorable parts of director Sho Miyake’s latest work, “Wild Tour”. When creating the film, Miyake says he felt that “perhaps the future of society can be seen here in Yamaguchi” – in an unforced balance between nature and technology. A result of the fourth edition of YCAM Film Factory, an ongoing filmmaking residency project that has previously hosted Go Shibata, Shota Sometani and the Kuzoku collective, “Wild Tour” had its Tokyo premiere at the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2019 and has just been released in cinemas. At the festival, its popular 15-day run was accompanied by a screening of “Diary without Words 2018”, a film shot on an iPhone, as well as a video installation titled “World Tour”.

© Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

 

The plot in “Wild Tour” centers on an actually existing YCAM workshop that involves creating an encyclopedia of plants by analyzing the DNA of samples collected by the participants. Workshop facilitator and university freshman Ume (Honoka Ito), ninth-graders Take (Osuke Kuribayashi) and Shun (Ryutaro Yasumitsu), another boys’ team wearing blue jackets, and a group of powerful high school girls each set out to gather plant samples. Miyake captures every twinkling moment of these kids’ stories, from what happens to a rare stone found by the two boys in blue on a snowy beach to Take and Shun’s talk of how “you die if you have 80 hiccups in a row”, interspersed with feelings of young love, heartbreak, encounters, and goodbyes. Having set out to capture the “wild” parts of people and society, “those you can’t describe merely as ‘real’ or ‘natural’”, Miyake chose to fill his cast with local school kids who had never acted before. His methods were original: “I would do stuff like pick out words I had heard them use while eating ramen together, create a scenario including those words, and then pass that scenario to the kids over the weekend.”

© Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

 

The next generation will consist of so-called digital natives, who have had access to smartphones and the internet since they were born. What impact will that have on movies? Miyake is dabbling in filmmaking that goes beyond existing patterns, such as by shooting his daily life with an iPhone for “Diary without Words”. Focusing on the possibilities that technological progress opens up, he sought to make “new discoveries” by collaborating with YCAM. When the credits roll for “Wild Tour”, the names of the cast members are listed alongside the names of the plants they discovered, invoking a fun sense of “discovering new species” in the viewer. Equally attractive are the film’s key visual, shot by Takashi Homma, and the soundtrack by Hi’Spec – now an essential part of any Miyake film.

© Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

 

INFORMATION

Wild Tour

2018 / 67min / ©Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2019
https://www.yebizo.com/en/

WRITER PROFILE

Masayo Fukushima 福嶋真砂代
福嶋真砂代 Masayo Fukushima

Contributed movie reviews and interviews to the old Realtokyo site since 2005, and wrote columns such as “The neighborhood OL sits down on the edge” for the Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun from 1998 to 2008. In 2009, she MCed a talk called “The micro, macro and future of movies” with directors Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Nobuhiro Suwa and Satoshi Miki. Became a writer after working at an airline company, an IT research facility and in the space industry. Currently part of the “Meguriai JAXA” team.

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