Following the worldwide success of YOUR NAME in 2016, legendary Japanese filmmaker MAKOTO SHINKAI brings the world his newest masterpiece WEATHERING WITH YOU. We received the highest of honours to spend time talking to the man himself about his new film, the inspirations behind the story and the importance of human relationships.
Below is an extract of the interview - the full interview will be available to read in STARBURST Issue #469
STARBURST: Congratulations on the film. It’s an absolute masterpiece. How has the reaction from the fans been for you?
MAKOTO SHINKAI: Simply amazing. It’s the number one Japanese film at the box office in 2019. I didn’t expect that and I’m really happy that it has reached that height. We’ve had a lot of young support too which is great to see.
As with Your Name (and your other films), you also wrote the screenplay as well as directing. Where did your inspiration for the story come from?
There are a few inspirations – the biggest is the fact that climate change is becoming a reality and every year in Japan we are getting these really heavy rains that are causing flooding and they are becoming more frequent along with other natural disasters so I thought it was a good time to make a film on the theme of weather.
Music in film is such a huge aspect and one of our favourite parts of the film is the music. Just like with Your Name you’ve worked with RADWIMPS again on Weathering with You. How important was the music to you and what was it like working with RADWIMPS again?
I think music can move and audience more than the visuals. I wanted to work with artists who understand that role that music can play and RADWIMPS get that and understand what they can do – understand the power that music has, and I think that brings something truly special to the film.
Hodaka and Hina are both wonderful and interesting characters – both from completely different backgrounds. Who was your favourite to write and develop and did you draw any inspiration from yourself or people that you know for those characters?
Well, Hodaka as the narrator is maybe closer to me – he’s the one moving the story along but Hina, she’s the unknown. She is something that Hodaka is trying to figure out but can’t because she is the sunshine girl and she has these powers that normal people don’t have, and it was fun to write that sense of the unknown. I wanted her to be a character that the audience couldn’t predict. One minute she’d be crying, the next she’d be laughing, and it was fun to write that character. She wasn’t really inspired by anyone that I know, it was more like I was imagining someone that I’d like to meet.
The animation in your films is easily some of the best in anime today – arguably THE best. Every single one of your worlds feel full and alive and feels like a character itself – is that something you always try to achieve whenever you make a new film?
With Weathering with You, I feel like Tokyo itself is a character – Hodaka goes Tokyo, meets Hina and gets to know her and at the same time he’s getting to know Tokyo, so it is as important as the characters and I wanted to draw it in as much detail as possible.
WEATHERING WITH YOU is released in UK cinemas on Friday 17th January 2020.
Our full review of the film can be found here and to find the nearest cinema to you that is showing the film and to book tickets, please visit https://weatheringwithyoufilm.co.uk/