Akihiko Shiota’s screenwriting mentor was Atsushi Yamatoya, a filmmaker with strong ties to Nikkatsu and Roman Porno. In contrast to Hideo Nakata who, due to his work as an assistant director, is a direct inheritor of the Roman Porno filmmaking tradition, Shiota is its historical successor as a screenwriter, and possesses an extensive knowledge of the genre, as shown in his analysis of Tatsumi Kumashiro in his book “Eigajutsu: Sono Eiga wa Naze Kokoro o Tsukamu no ka” (Cinematic Technique: Why Did That Film Capture Your Heart?). His screenplay, with its unique rhythm, was reminiscent of Kumashiro’s touch, but the finished film is a marvelous work unlike anything seen before, and unmistakably fitting as a bridge to span the chasm of 28 years since Roman Porno came to an end in 1988. Please enjoy the nimble interplay between the two leads, Yuki Mamiya and Tasuku Nagaoka.
In the heyday of Nikkatsu Roman Porno films, their makers used limited budgets and shooting schedules to their advantage, and wielded the bodies of actors as their only available weapons. There were those who doubted whether this would be enough to make interesting movies. However, through this usage of the human body as a weapon by many fine filmmakers and actors, they were able to evoke heaven and hell, life and death, love and hate; in other words, their films perfectly encapsulated the entire human experience. Having been given the honor of making a new entry in the Nikkatsu Roman Porno canon, I also attempted to evoke the entire human experience in my film. I believe that fleeting miracles are born from the bodies of actors, and this influenced my direction of every single scene. This enabled me to create what I am convinced is my best work to date.
Born in 1961, Kyoto, Japan. Shiota began making 8mm films with Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Kunitoshi Manda while studying at Rikkyo University. He then studied screenwriting under Atsushi Yamatoya, who wrote many scenarios of Roman Porno films. His first two feature films as a director, Moonlight Whispers and Don't Look Back, both released in 1999, were officially selected at Locarno International Film Festival. In 2001, Harmful Insect (2002), starred Aoi Miyazaki, won the Special Jury Award and Best Actress Award at the Three Continents Festival in Nantes. He also made several blockbusters such as Yomigaeri (2003) and Dororo (2007), which became huge hit domestically. The recent film is I Just Wanna Hug You released in 2014.
Akihiko Shiota Filmography
Moonlight Whispers (1999) - Director, Screenwriter
Don't Look Back (1999) - Director, Screenwriter
Gips (2001) - Director, Screenwriter, Editor
Harmful Insect (2002) - Director
Yomigaeri (2003) - Director
Canary (2005) - Director, Screenwriter
A Heartful of Love (2005) - Director, Screenwriter
Dororo (2007) - Director, Screenwriter
I Just Wanna Hug You (2014) - Director, Screenwriter