Born in 1982, Chihiro worked an office job for 5 years before she started making films in 2009. Her films soon started getting into film festivals and winning awards both domestically and internationally. Her works include a short film “Confessions of Figaro”, a hit feature “No Touching At All”, and a TV drama by WOWOW “Kamiki Ryunosuke’s Shooting Holidays”. She also worked as a writer for the animation “Kami Usagi LOPE” and a Netflix series “He’s Expecting”. Her recent feature “Mrs. Noisy” premiered at Tokyo International Film Festival’s “Japanese Cinema Splash” and screened at numerous film festivals around the world, including Japan Cuts in New York, US where the film won the Audience Award. The film also won her Best Screenplay at the Japan Movie Critics Award.
Sayonara Muffler (2009) short film
Cast the Die (2009) short film
Snipping Girl (2011) short film
Confessions of Figaro (2012) short film
Yuku hito, kuru hito (ゆく人、くる人) (2012) short film
Koi wa parēdo no yō ni (恋はパレードのように) (2012) short film
Neverland in Gamagori (2012) short film
All Is Vanity (2013) short film
No Touching At All (2014) feature film
Hokago Lost (放課後ロスト) “Little Trip” segment of a 3-part film (2014)
Leap Year Girl (2014) feature film
Happy Landing (2015) feature film
Mrs. Noisy (2020) feature film
Kamiki Ryunosuke’s Shooting Holidays (2022) TV Mini Series
Kami Usagi LOPE (animation)
He’s Expecting (2022) TV Series
Find them on social media
10+5 Questions for Chihiro Amano
1. What is the first film in your memory?
It was “Stand By Me.” I watched it many times with my sister who was a fan of River Phoenix at the time. I remember the scene with the iron bridge and leeches, but the boys’ friendship and its short but bright moments made a strong impression on me more than anything.
But I didn’t really have anyone who encouraged me to watch movies when I was a kid. So I rarely watched any growing up.
2. What are some of your favorite films?
It’s hard to pick just a few, but the ones I rewatch on a regular basis are “Knife in the Water” by Roman Polanski, “Oasis” by Lee Chang-dong, “Sils Maria” by Olivier Assayas, and “Realism’s Inn” by Atsuhiro Yamashita.
3. Which creators have you been inspired by or influenced by?
Whenever I feel stuck in my creative work or in life, I often pick up essays by a contemporary artist named Shinro Ohtake, including “Sudeni Sokoni Aru Mono” and “Neon to Enogubako.” Reading them reminds me of not only my primitive impulse for creation but also the core meaning of life, and it always makes me feel a lump in my throat. There are no other writing works that bring tears to my eyes like these just by reading it.
4. What are the films that shook your world or changed your life?
It was “Passion” by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. I watched it when I was working as a corporate employee during the day and going to a professional school for film production at night. I felt like I was stuck in the head, and it was one of the things that inspired me to go into filmmaking full-time.
5. Are there any Japanese directors of your generation you are inspired by?
He’s more of my predecessor than my generation, but I have to say Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. Ever since “Passion,” all of his films blow me away and make me think about the meaning of creating films.
6. What does filmmaking mean to you?
It’s a mental challenge, support in life, as well as joy.
7. What are you interested in outside of films and filmmaking?
I love visiting different cities in and out of Japan, wander around, and observe people from different cultures going about their business. Unfortunately, I don’t get a chance to do that lately due to the pandemic.
Also, I started taking aikido lessons in 2021 and really enjoy it. Doing exercise enriches your heart and boosts your creativity as well.
8. Where’s your happy place?
When I’m laying down on our bed side by side with my kid and my husband.
9. What are the customs or phenomena that are unique to Japan that you want other people to know?
I often lose stuff in public places. I’ve lost a smartphone, wallet, purse, etc. I even lost something as big as a tripod. I was on my way to return it and left it on the overhead rack of a train. But they’ve never been stolen and always come back to me.
10. Where would you be in 10 years?
I hope I’ll still be making films that I’m happy with in my dream environment.
ABOUT YOUR FILM “MRS. NOISY“
1. What is your favorite moment in the film? (no spoilers)
The moment the protagonist, Maki, explodes with joy after finding out she’ll be writing a serial novel for a magazine.
She starts dancing with her daughter in the middle of a busy street in broad daylight. Having had a similar experience, I find it adorable.
2. Why did you decide to write/make this film?
First of all, I wanted to depict discommunication between people. Everything in this world has more than one side to it and how it looks and “what’s right” vary from person to person depending on their perspective. So even when there is no definite “villain”, the difference leads to confrontations, hatred, and tragedies. This happens everywhere every day. When I was brainstorming ideas for an ironic human drama with that in mind, “neighbor dispute” popped up as a familiar form of discommunication.
3. Were there any films that you watched as a reference or a source of inspiration?
“Rashomon” by Akira Kurosawa, “Sils Maria” by Olivier Assayas, “While We’re Young” by Noah Baumbach, etc. They all depict misunderstandings, confrontations, and fights that arise from differences in perspective in a realistic way.
4. Any fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes or episodes you’d like to share?
Chieko Misaka who plays the landlord of Maki’s apartment is actually the mother of Chise Niitsu who plays Maki’s daughter, Nako.
There was a scene where Chise had to cry. After a rehearsal of the scene, Ms. Misaka started scolding her to the point where Chise was about to cry. Then she said, “Please roll the camera!” and left the set. They were a great team.
Message to our audience about this film
This film is inspired by a true neighbor dispute incident that happened in Nara, Japan in mid 2000s which people called “Noisey Lady Case.” What I found fascinating about this case is that the voice of the media and the Internet deemed the people involved a villain, or a hero, without knowing what actually happened, and their voice got increasingly louder.
In this world, the truth of any dispute changes depending on who looks at it and from what perspective. Nevertheless, there are always outsiders who will claim what’s right or wrong and take sides, aggravating the situation. This happens often in our society, and I think conflicts and wars around the world bear a similar structure. In other words, by portraying neighborhood disputes at the micro level, the film is illustrating the mechanism of people’s conflicts, which is a universal and timeless theme. I’m sure we’ve all had a fight or two with someone in our lives. So I hope you will pick up on the dread and absurdity of disputes which should feel familiar to you.