The night before, during the presentation of the Japan Madness marathon, filmmaker and FX magician Yoshihiro Nishimura decided to take off his clothe, becoming (we think) the first person to wind up practically naked on the stage of the very respectable Melià Auditori. In his master class the next day he didn’t remove a single piece of his colorful clothing, but he did get a girl from the audience to, thanks to his skill as a makeup artist, leave her face considerably deformed (“like her boyfriend had been hitting her”, he pointed out).
So as he applied brush and silicone, Nishimura started to answer the attendees’ questions. Many of them, maybe because the marathon’s impact was still very recent, revolved around wanting to know where the delirious creatures that appear in movies like Helldriver or Mutant Girls Squad came from: “I tend to imagine my universes while I’m in a bar drinking”. That, many must have thought, explains a lot of things. He also spoke about the conditions he is accustomed to shooting his films in: “I’m always forced to finishing shooting in two weeks. If I made it any longer, I’d have problems finding funding, because people aren’t very interested in this type of movies in Japan”. From here arouse one of the talk’s main questions, referring to the difference between the success these films have among the specialized audience that attends festivals and the discreet reception they have in his homeland: “In the eighties there was a murder in Japan, and when the police entered the murder’s home, they found lots genre films. Since then gore in looked down on there and even young audiences have lost interest in it”. “Maybe –he added- if the Japanese see these movies are liked abroad, they’ll start to accept the better. That’s how indecisive we are”.
“Do you all laugh when you see my movies?”, he asked the audience as he dented the volunteer victim’s eye with silicone. After the unanimous “yes” he got in response, Nishimura made the following reflection: “Well the problem is that in Japan it’s hard to assimilate this mixture of humor and violence. What I do is very exaggerated and unreal, but I also hope some kind of message can be extracted from it. Mutant Girls Squad, for example, is about the racism that exists in my country, and Helldriver is about our inability to make decisions, and the consequences it entails. Actually –he concluded as he put the finishing touches on the volunteer’s battered face- it’s the only way we have to hit on those subjects”.