Shinji Aoyama

Shinji Aoyama

Eureka; Sad Vacation
Voted in the directors poll

Voted for:

Boudu Saved from Drowning 1932 Jean Renoir
Confidential Report 1955 Orson Welles
Faust 1926 F. W. Murnau
Je vous salue, Marie 1984 Jean-Luc Godard
Johnny Guitar 1954 Nicholas Ray
Killer Elite 1975 Sam Peckinpah
Love Streams 1984 John Cassavetes
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, The 1939 Mizoguchi Kenji
Sun Shines Bright, The 1953 John Ford
Touchez pas au grisbi 1954 Jacques Becker


I always want to remember that movies are made out of the joy of the replica. The fascination of movies is not their realism, but how to enjoy the ‘real’. In that sense, I always have Faust in my mind as I face a movie, make a movie, and talk about a movie.

My favourite Ford movie changes everyday, and I’m choosing The Sun Shines Bright today. I have no particular reason, but if I were to give one, it’s probably because I want to hear Stepin Fetchit’s voice. I could choose Ford’s works for all ten movies on this list, but I must refrain from such a childish act.

When I saw The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums for the first time, I wondered if it was OK for a person over 40 years old to cry that much in front of people! I choose this movie out of many masterpieces of Mizoguchi, to pay for my guilt.

I need Renoir’s ‘sense of humour’ in order to overcome the challenge that I face now. That’s why I choose Boudu today. And every time I see Jacques Becker’s work, I feel as if I know him.

No other movie is destructive as Confidential Report, which gives me different emotions every time I see it. Achieving this kind of indetermination in a film is the highest goal that I always hope for, but can never achieve.

Johnny Guitar is the only movie that I‘d like to remake someday, although I know that it’s impossible. It’s probably closest to the worst nightmare I can have. I know for sure that my desire to remake this movie comes from my warped thought that I want to remake my own nightmare.

No other movie has taught me as much about human dignity as The Killer Elite. No one will believe me, but this is true! I sacrificed Ozu’s work in favour of this movie, and that should say a lot about my feeling for Peckinpah’s film.

I don’t know why, but every time I stand in front of the camera, I think about several scenes from Hail Mary. I don’t know what it is, but I must have some kind of connection – beyond love and hate – with this movie. Such is life.

When I think about Cassavetes, I always feel happy. I feel glad that I like movies. I’m sure I will always feel this way until the day I die, and I intend to feel this way too. At the end of Love Streams, Cassavetes smiles as he sees the dog next to him, which turned into a naked man. I live my life always wishing I can smile like that.