Interview with “Poison Berry in My Brain” director, Yuichi Satoh
Lunch with Mr. Satoh. Thank you Sophia for snapping the shot!
Poison Berry in My Brain has premiered in several film festivals across the globe but this will be the first time it’s shown here in the U.S. I had the pleasure today of meeting with Sophia Wong Boccio, founder and executive director of SOPHIA’S CHOICE, and Poison Berry in My Brain director, Yuichi Satoh for a quick chat about the upcoming premiere.
J: How was it like for you shooting this movie? I actually tried reading a bit of this manga series, how was it like for you adapting this story to the big screen?
S: The story line is not too different. With the series, readers have a bit more freedom to chose where to stop when they’re reading. Of course in the film, it’s pre-determined what you’re to look at, and for how long. But for example…if you’re reading the original work, even if you happen to like, let’s say, Ichiko’s shocked or sad facial expression, that doesn’t mean you’ll look only at that scene right? In the film, I also tried thinking about how to make the scenes as natural as possible. I would say in that sense…maybe the manga and the film are not so different.
J: What was the most difficult for you?
S: When writing the script we had many discussions about which scenes we wanted to portray. Due to the time constraints, we simply can’t show every detail, but we did try to have the story line stick pretty close to the original. It was pretty difficult, trying to pick. But I would say the most difficult aspect of filming was…finding a good balance between the scenes showing what was happening to Ichiko in the real world (the love story), and the parts with the “Brain Council.” There were many interesting scenes for these two story lines but at the end, the editing for this was quite difficult.
J: Who is your favorite character from the “Brain Council”?
J: For example Positive, Negative, etc..
S: I like Negative. laughs Negative…In the film this character is a very powerful negative so it’s very funny. I find the negative comments very funny.
J: I actually really like Negative too. The sarcastic comments are very funny! Now I guess my last question to you is…How do you think this film will be received in the U.S.?
S: I have no idea. laughs
Mr. Satoh looked a bit nervous when I asked him this question, but I think he has no need to worry. According to Sophia, the reason she chose to screen Poison Berry was twofold. First, the plot is something the American audience is pretty familiar with; a romantic comedy, and not to mention, it even has some striking similarities with Pixar’s recent movie, Inside Out. But more than that, Sophia assures that this is a movie that will make you think. “The second half of the movie takes a turn,” she told me, but mysteriously left it off at that. “I really think that the message of this movie is something the American audience will enjoy. Of course, it’s very funny too, almost like a cartoon. But it also makes you think and that’s what I found particularly special.”
Film Screening Details
A newly set up not-for-profit cultural organization called SOPHIA’s CHOICE which aims to cultivate the general public’s interest in Asian culture via Asian film screenings with English subtitles in Chicago, is screening the USA premiere of POISON BERRY IN MY BRAIN.
Date & Time: December 4, 2015, 6.30 pm to 10.45 pm
Schedule: 6.30pm -Red Carpet | 7pm- Film starts | 9.15pm -Q/A | 9.45pm – After party
Venue: Wilmette Theatre
How to win tickets: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading: POISON-JCC. Winners will be notified via email with ticket pick-up instructions.
Based on a manga series by the same title written and illustrated by Setona Mizushiro, Poison Berry is about a woman with 5 personalities in her head, each debating as to whether she should date a charming younger guy she is interested in or a dependable marriage-material older guy.
Poison Berry’s director Yuichi Sato will also be present to take questions from the audience after the film!