SAN SEBASTIÁN, 20 Sep. (from the Europa Press special envoy, Eduardo Blanco) –
The writer kazuo ishigurowho presents the film at the San Sebastian Film Festival ‘Living room’ in which he has participated as a screenwriter, has ensured that “once you win the Nobel Prize (for literature), you realize that it’s not that special“.
“It’s wonderful to win prizes like the Nobel, but when you win them you realize they’re not that special. Yes, it is great to receive them, I feel honored, but at the same time you realize that they do not really touch on the fundamental issues of existence: is life worth living? Does what you do make sense or is it worth doing?“, the British author asked in an interview with Europa Press.
In this sense, Ishiguro has recalled that ‘Living’, a remake of ‘Ikiru’, by Kurosawa, shows “that solitary feeling of success” that one can feel when he wins the Nobel. “In the end, what you have to ask yourself is what are you doing, if your life has been complete and that answer is not given by the prizes“, he has defended.
With ‘Living’, Ishiguro has completed a vital project that has taken him several years to start. His intention was always to adapt Kurosawa’s work with the setting of a British film from the 1930s and 1940s – “an excellent period of cinema”, he has stated – and with actor Bill Nighy. What was not planned was his participation in the script.
“The producer asked me if I wanted to try it, and I told him that I didn’t feel like a screenwriter and that I was also trying to finish my novel. But it was something that I had wanted to do for so many years and it meant so much to me that I said ‘I’m going to try’, although with conditions: if the script turned out bad, another writer would be found,” he stressed.
Ishiguro has explained that Kurosawa’s film was “very important” in his teenage years because “it had a different message than Hollywood films”. “The important thing was that it said that even with a mediocre or insignificant life, you can contribute to humanity and live life to the fullest of your possibilities.“, he highlighted.
The Nobel Prize winner affirms that this idea coincides with the fact that “probably in life no one is going to recognize your merits or praise you, people are not going to realize what you do, but in spite of everything it is important to do it because your triumph can be to live a discreet life in the best possible way“.
“When I saw the film at that time I couldn’t think that I would be a writer or win a Nobel Prize or anything like that, I thought I was going to have a discreet life and that is why this attitude seemed very important to me. I have lived with this movie all my life and it has been a part of me“, has claimed.
The author regrets, however, the vertiginousness of today’s world, “with its capitalism, social networks and the Internet.” “People are just working long hours and don’t know how their contribution is going to be used by the company they work for, They don’t know what’s going to happen to their contribution to the world and it’s very easy to get lost and isolated in the process, like the officials in the movie.”
For Ishiguro, the film is “a metaphor for life today.” “It seems that there is a communication, you can go upstairs to say that there is a message, but it is lost along the way and the process“, it is finished.
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Kazuo Ishiguro at the San Sebastian Festival: “When you win the Nobel Prize, you realize that it is not so special”