The film, directed by Steve Pottinger, is the two year effort of local writers and actors and features locations in Nagoya not often seen by the casual tourist.
According to Pottinger, The Composer is not only a story of loss and redemption, but also a tribute to the out of the way secret places which make Nagoya such an exciting and ever surprising place to live. “The Composer doesn’t contain many scenes in Sakae or Nagoya Station,” states Pottinger, “but you may recognize a small park or bridge you’ve often passed and then think, hey, I’ve been there. These are the places we thought would make our film interesting and reveal a different side of Nagoya that most people barely notice.”
The Composer, with Steve himself starring in the role of Mark Leighton alongside Miho Suzuki as Akari, is the story of a young musician who encounters a series of tragedies which send him into a self destructive spiral and forces him to re-evaluate the assumptions and relationships that give his life meaning. “This is a spiritual film,” claims the director, “but we try not to be heavy handed.”
Like all of us, Mark Leighton has his flaws, but he’s still worth loving. He still matters to others. This is a lesson my mother taught me and I think it’s a message worth repeating.”
If The Composer is a tribute to Nagoya, it is also a tribute to classical music. The film contains several original pieces by Pottinger, who studied as a music scholar and has been involved with the Nagoya music scene for the past several years. Pottinger believes that music is a vital component of film. “Sometimes it is even more important than the visual image we see on the screen. The music is as much a character in our film as is Mark or Akari,” he stresses.
Pottinger’s mother, Kazuko Pottinger Brown, was a major influence in his decision to tell the story of Mark and Akari on film. “My mother suffered from cancer before her death two years ago,” says Pottinger, “and like the character in my film, I had to deal with the suffering that disease and death bring.
I did this through memory; by recalling the many instances of love my mother showed me throughout my life, even when I was selfish and unaware of it. This film is for her, so in her name we are offering a percentage of the take from the film toward cancer research.
“I’ve been very fortunate in the people who have chosen to work with me in making this film,” says Pottinger. “Miho Suzuki gave a very brave portrayal of Akari and I can’t thank her enough. Gary Beaubouef worked with me on developing the script and offers a fine performance in the film. Tim Lennane, James Cloke, Yusuke Suzuki, Jeffrey Clapp, Kayoko Kimura, and so many others have given the film life and energy and we couldn’t have told Mark’s story without them. As a director of independent films, I couldn’t have asked for a more trusting crew.”
Tickets to The Composer are ¥1,000 and can be acquired from Chikusa Playhouse or crew members. Inquiries about the film or future projects from KPB Studio can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.