Now that the Silverdocs 2010 slate has officially been announced, I can start talking about the films I’m most excited to see. First up: The Invention of Dr. NakaMats. Dr. NakaMats is an inventor, famous in Japan, who has invented more patents than any other person in the world. But I can hardly believe this guy. He tests out cameras by smelling them! And sleeps “maximum” four hours per day! Judging from the trailer, filmmaker Kaspar Astrup Schröder seems to allow NakaMats to craft his own image, which the inventor appears to relish like a child using his parent’s camcorder. I preemptively wonder if I’ll crave a more in-depth portrait of NakaMats, past the quirky genius that the inventor seems to self construct. However, what is sure to not disappoint: the beautiful, candy-colorful images of NakaMats and his Tokyo backdrop and the enchanting score by Wes Anderson’s favored composer Mark Mothersborgh. –posted by Natalie Murchison
Check out trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_w9XMTJnpM
And interview with the filmmaker HERE:
My name is Kaspar Astrup Schröder. I’m a film director from Denmark. I work in a variety of mediums and really enjoy the interplay between platforms.
What inspired this film? How did you find your subjects?
I’ve been travelling and working in Japan and came across a blog that headlined something like: “The world recorder of patents gets his ideas underwater.” That really intrigued me and I did some research, found some articles and interviews with Dr. NakaMats and contacted him. Then met him in Paris and we had a great connection. Before shooting my subjects, I need to see how our energy interacts. And it was good, so I went forth with applying for funding.
What were some of the biggest challenges/surprises?
I had a clear thought on how I wanted to make the film. I wanted to be a fly on the wall and observe the life of Dr. NakaMats without challenging him too much. I had prepared about three pages of scenes I wanted to shoot with him. But when I arrived, he gave me his 30-page line-up of scenes. Then he kept talking to the camera and couldn’t ignore my presence. So I had to drop my initial thoughts and go with his flow by letting my camera’s being be present in the film and adapt to the situation. That was a real fun challenge and also a gift for the film, I think.
Who are some of your favorite filmmakers?
I have a background in narrative films, so I’m very much inspired by fiction, even though documentaries sometimes surpass fiction. I enjoy the films by Wong Kar-Wai, Tran Anh Hung, Wes Anderson, and Hirokazu Kore-Eda
What is your all time favorite documentary?
There are so many good ones, but BILLY THE KID is one that comes to mind.
What other projects are in the pipeline?
I’m working on a few documentary features. I just finished a new film about Parkour and Architecture, called MY PLAYGROUND and that is starting distribution and the festival circuit. Check more on my website. Other than that soon I will shoot a new doc feature in Japan. It’s already got a title, which is also the name of the main company that will be featured in the film. It’s called “I WANT TO CHEER UP LTD.,” which is a company that rents out “fake” family members. That’s all I can tell about it at this point.
Why did you become a filmmaker?
I like to tell stories. Especially stories that are true. My memory is in images. I remember an image rather than a sound or text, so I’ve always been drawn to telling stories with images. It’s been a natural process for me to turn out to be a filmmaker. What are some of your creative influences? People that think “out of the box” and don’t follow trends or “the rules of society” inspire me. I’m also inspired by solitude and loneliness. Did you go to film school? No, but I attended a one-year film course at “The European Film College.” What do you shoot on? HD. Sony XDCAM EX-1 with a Letus adapter. What has been the most unexpected thing to happen since taking the film on the festival circuit? It’s really a privilege and honor to see how a film you’ve made can take on a life of it’s own. To send it out there and get the positive feedback that it has gotten is really what makes it all worthwhile. It’s the first time I get to travel with a film, so that’s been unexpected. Why did you want to screen your film at SILVERDOCS? It’s a great festival with a lot of diversity.