by Rina Nakazawa 

Love Hotel is the place to escape to from real life, have intimacy and liberate individual desires. In Japan, 2.8 million Japanese people visit Love Hotels each day.


zeeBigBang spoke with Hikaru Toda co-director of the documentary film, Love Hotel. The documentary includes many intimate scenes and deep emotional conversations between characters who appear very natural and relaxed. “We just asked them to do what they normally do and ignore us as much as they can. We never knew when a scene would end,” said Toda.

zeeBigBangは今回、ドキュメンタリー映画、Love Hotelの共同監督である戸田ひかるさんに話を聞いた。この作品は登場人物たちによる数多くの性的シーンや普段心に秘められている感情的な会話を含んでいるが、彼らはとても自然体でリラックスしているように思えた。「私たちはただ彼らに普段していることをして下さい、そしてできる限り私たちのことは無視して下さいと頼んだんです。私たちもいつそのシーンが終わるのか分からなかったです。」と戸田さんは語った。

“We wanted to get a glimpse of intimate Japan. The Love Hotel is a very unique Japanese phenomenon with a very long history and no-one really made a film about it. Few places in the world have the same institutions. I was interested in why such a place is needed, why it is so popular and why it exists in so many numbers. I think through understanding why people go there and what they are doing there, we are able to understand our society.”



A couple being intimate in the Angelo Love Hotel


Hikaru Toda and Phil Cox explore Japanese society through this intimate perspective. The film focuses on the Angelo Love Hotel in Osaka and captures a wide variety of people who frequent Love Hotels from married couples, gay lawyers who are a couple, a dominatrix and pensioners. The film also examines the lives of people running and working in the Angelo Love Hotel. The documentary delves into how Love Hotels are being forced to change because of tighter regulations.


Toda said it was their job to help participants be as natural as possible in front of the camera. “We talked to them a lot beforehand to get to know them by having coffee with them and just talking about life. This was the key. You want them to trust you. You give them as much as they give you as well. You have to open yourself as well.”


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Simonee Chichester is an award-winning filmmaker who was recently named the 2012 WIFT-T Kodak mentorship winner.

zeeBigBang spoke with her about the screenplay that won her this mentorship award, and the lessons she’s learned from past mentors throughout her career. 

Her winning entry for the Kodak New Vision Mentorship award was an original screenplay for Merv, a coming-of-age story about a man starting over at the age of 59.

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