An Interview with Director of Mrs. Noisy, Amano Chihiro, and Actor Nagao Takuma


In Japan, houses are built close to each other and the walls are thin. Neighbourhood quarrels are common and often they flare up because of the noise. This is also the situation in Mrs. Noisy (Misesu Noizi, 2019). In the film, everything starts with a single futon. The loud sound of Miwako’s (Ootaka Yoko) tamping the mattress is simply too much for Maki (Shinohara Yukiko), an author struggling for inspiration.

When she was working on the screenplay, the director of Mrs. Noisy, Amano Chihiro (b. 1982), was inspired in particular by the French film Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) by the director Olivier Assayas.

Clouds of Sils Maria depicts the story of an actress past her professional prime. It deals with her relationship with getting older and her changing role in the world. Amano was particularly interested in the way the story was told from the separate points of view of three women at different stages in their lives.

Different viewpoints are also at the heart of Amano’s own film. Actually she wanted to make a film about miscommunication. Amano feels that behind everyday disagreements between neighbours, there is a selfishness and self-centredness that is typical to the modern age and which is also reflected in wider society and even in relations between states.

– In the end, I decided to focus on small neighbourhood quarrels because they are easy for people to relate to, says Amano.

Nagao Takuma (b. 1981), who plays Maki’s husband Yuichi in the film, is nodding enthusiastically next to Amano.

– In my building too, some neighbours have a lot to say about other people’s pets or who dries their laundry where and when.

For the success of the film, it was important to find the right neighbourhood for the shoot. In the end, the perfect apartment block with the just the right kind of balcony was found in Kanagawa, near Tokyo. Some scenes were shot in the actual homes of the film’s actors’ friends. The shooting of the film was completed in mere 14 days.

The lead actors in Mrs. Noisy prepared for their roles by gathering at Shinohara’s home to study Amano’s script together. During rehearsals, they also improvised background stories for the characters they play in the film. Although these are not seen in the final film, according to Nagao they were key for the actors work.

– Some directors give actors very precise instructions and want to be in charge of every little detail, but Amano’s method is more conversational, says Nagao.

– She was ok with us modifying our lines in order to make them flow better.

In Japan, Mrs. Noisy will be released widely in Spring 2020. Getting into wide release was made easier by the film’s earlier success at the Tokyo International Film Festival where it premiered last year.

– In Japan, about 600 films are made each year. Many films that have a large budget are based on manga or on novels, and original screenplay films tend to receive less attention, says Amano.

From the Helsinki Cine Aasia 2020 programme, our guests were able to pick clear favourites. Amano was greatly impressed by the festival opener, the Chinese-Tibetan film Balloon whereas Nagao recommends the film Every Day a Good Day by his friend, Omori Tatsushi.

Mrs. Noisy will be screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia again on Sunday 15th March at 2pm at Korjaamo Kulmasali. A special screening of the film is also organised, free of charge, on Monday 16th March at 6pm at Vuotalo. Both Amano Chihiro and Nagao Takuma will be present in both screenings of their film.

Balloon and Every Day a Good Day are both also screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia again on Sunday 15th March.