Why would a french director based in Paris do a Japanese ghost movie in Japan ?

The first Japanese film I saw as a teenager was a black and white ghost story, Ugestsu Monogatari by Kenji Mizoguchi. Since that day I had a passion for Japanese ghost stories. Much later I spent a lot of time in Japan, started to speak Japanese and married my Japanese wife. I learned a lot about the japanese society and their vision of the hereafter. From a western perpective it is a very poetic and powerful vision, absolutely fascinating. This made me want to write that film… Then it took me a few more years to be able to shoot it in Japan.

Is your film a genre movie ?

It is a dark and creepy romance: horror is always psychological and emotional. It is a genre movie without being a gore movie, except at some point… I wanted the audience to keep some kind of empathy with Miyuki. She is a ghost, she is dangerous like a ghost is. But first she is a girl in love and she is in pain.

Why did’nt you do this film in France ?

The french don’t believe in ghosts. They are not affraid of them. They are too logical. Shooting this film in Japan where the film crew, the actors and their agents, and even the financiers truly believe in ghosts was a wonderful experience. It is almost impossible to shoot a movie like this in Europe : it would have to be grotesque and comical. The audience would not take it seriously. They would want to laugh instead of being sincerely horrified. And there would be no space for poetry.

In which language did you write the script

I wrote it in french, then wrote the dialogues in Japanese with the help of a Japanese writer. Finally we polished them with the actors. They helped me a lot and we had a great time doing that together.

Do you always compose the music of your own films ?

Yes. I started in the film business as a composer and worked with many french directors as Eric Rohmer among others.
For this film I did a collaboration with a talented french DJ, Clement and his band Aswefall. Clement is also the artistic director of Colette Music from the wellknown Colette-Paris company. We started with a simple piano theme that I composed while writing the script. Having a musical theme before shooting is important for me.