There is a strong Freudian influence throughout all my work.
I am a believer in socialism. I can say that I am a socialist.
My mind was always on the commoners, not on the lords, politicians, or anyone of name and fame.
I have an editor, but generally in Japan today, directors spend a great deal of time editing the so-called quality films.
We select certain old stories which have sufficient modern application; I should say, stories which have universal and modern implications. I choose one or two out of hundreds. Many are useless for my filmmaking. I am sure that this process of selection must be the same for filmmakers throughout the world.
When I want to dissect a modern problem, I actually find many similar problems in ancient days. In fact, without the many outer layers of so-called modern civilization, the themes I find in old stories are more clear-cut. They are so visible and extreme. I am not saying that all historical eras are similar to today. But by using a comprehensible social structure such as we had in the past, it is much easier for me to convey or re-create modern situations.
I consider melodrama to be a story or situation created artificially, with the sole purpose of attracting an audience’s attention. This is contrived very conveniently. If you want to depict a truthful drama, it is permissible to use any means available. Here I mean any possible dramatic situation, including the extreme examples you mentioned. However, this is the area in which true artists are separated from professional craftsmen. If the director, the “creator,” intends to produce a truly artistic work, he must carefully choose the most suitable dramatic situation from the many possibilities. This selection is in the director’s hands entirely, and the choice determines how fine an artist he is