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Parallel Lives

MEET THE AUDIENCE / HIGHLIGHT | 25/03/2018

Awarded the Grand Prize at the PIA Film Festival last September, Our House—Kiyohara Yui’s graduation film and feature debut—is a fascinating drama with two independent yet subtly intertwined stories. Together with scriptwriter Kato Noriko, actresses Yasuno Yukiko and Osawa Mariwo, the director answered audience questions after its first HKIFF screening on 23 March at the sky.

I thought your film was whimsical but creepy at the same time, can you explain the process of balancing those two elements?

Kiyohara: I received a lot of comments saying the film was quite scary. I was very surprised, as I had no intention of making a horror film. For me, a horror film deals with elements that are unknown or mysterious and it’s the suspense that makes people feel scared. But in my film, there’s no ghost and we know all along what’s going on.


(Left to Right): Yasuno Yukiko, Osawa Mariwo, Kato Noriko, Kiyohara Yui

 

There is no apparent linkage between the two stories. Are they connected in any way?

Kiyohara: They are two independent stories happening at the same time, in sort of parallel worlds. Both take place within the same house. As you could sense, they are somehow connected, but It’s difficult to explain how.

Kato: When the director and I first developed the storyline, we were clear that the two worlds would intersect but remain separate. When we wrote, we tried to make connections between these worlds through the use of sound. For example, dialogue from the first story could be heard by the characters in the second.

How long did it take to shoot this graduation film and how did you handle shooting the two stories?

Kiyohara: We shot this film in 12 days. We filmed the first story completely, then changed the set and props to shoot the other one. It was like making two separate films. And like the characters from the two worlds, the two casts never met until the film’s preview.



How did you come up with the concept?

Kiyohara: From the very beginning, I wanted to make a film with more than one story. When I started to think about how to make it, I came across Bach’s fugues, where the compositional structure has different melodic lines playing simultaneously and independently but also interacting with one another to form harmony. This was how I wanted to make my film.

The filmmakers of Our House will meet the audience again in  another screening on 25 March at 5:00pm at the sky.


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