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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004

15 items from 2014


Epic War Movie ‘Japan’s Longest Day’ To Be Remade

9 December 2014 12:20 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Tokyo – Shochiku has announced the cast for its remake of the 1967 Kihachi Okamoto epic “Japan’s Longest Day.”

The film, which details the events leading up to Japan’s unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, stars Koji Yakusho as army minister Anami, a role originally played by Toshiro Mifune.

The director is Masato Harada, whose 2011 “Chronicle of My Mother,” which starred Yakusho as a best-selling writer with mother issues, won a slew of domestic and international prizes, including the jury prize at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Okamoto’s movie was based on a 1965 best-selling novel by Kazutoshi Hando about diehard militarists plotting a coup to stop the Emperor’s surrender announcement on August 15. Anami is caught between his loyalty to the Emperor, who wants to stop the killing, and his reluctance to admit defeat, even at the cost of more Japanese lives.

Harada’s »

- Mark Schilling

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Koji Yakusho Wins Toshiro Mifune Award at Kyoto Fest Closing

19 October 2014 9:10 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kyoto — Koji Yakusho was awarded the Toshiro Mifune Award at the closing ceremony of the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival, which unspooled Oct. 16-19 at locations around Japan’s ancient capital. Named in honor of the first Japanese actor to win worldwide recognition, the prize is awarded to Japanese actors considered to have international potential. Yakusho’s overseas credits include Rob Marshall’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel” (2006) and Francois Girard’s “Silk” (2007). Earlier, veteran cinematographer and director Daisaku Kimura received the Shozo Makino Award for filmmakers who have made outstanding contributions to Japanese cinema. Under the leadership of executive director Kazuyoshi Okuyama, a veteran producer who worked on Takeshi Kitano’s early films, and with the sponsorship of the giant Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency, the fest has focused on spotting and nurturing new talent in a range of fields with its Creators Factory initiative, »

- Mark Schilling

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The World Of Kanako Review [Lff 2014]

13 October 2014 4:02 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

The World of Kanako is a relentlessly violent, elliptical and at times cartoonish detective story which revolves around one of the most deplorable protagonists in recent memory in the form of Akikazu Fujishima, a schizophrenic, alcoholic ex-policeman without a redeemable bone in his entire body. He is a vengeful force of indiscriminate violence who takes about as much as he dishes out as he barrels like a freight train through the lives of everyone he comes into contact with.

After attacking his wife Kiriko and her lover on Christmas Eve, Fujishima is diagnosed a schizophrenic, loses his job and becomes a security guard who unwisely mixes his meds with a lot of alcohol. He climbs out of the gutter eight months later to investigate the disappearance of his teenage daughter Kanako. The chance to become a detective once more gives Fujishima a new lease on life, but his rampant alcoholism »

- Liam Dunn

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Visit The World Of Kanako at the London Film Festival

12 October 2014 11:36 AM, PDT | 24framespersecond.net | See recent 24FramesPerSecond news »

How do you follow up Kamikaze Girls, Memories of Matsuko and Confessions, three of the biggest Japanese films to make it to the UK? If you're Tetsuya Nakashima then why not go in a completely different direction with a pulpy, hard boiled, over-the-top and ultra-violent thriller starring Koji Yakusho, one of the greatest actors of his generation! Bad cops in cinema. There are your garden variety, on-the-take or displaying a short fuse and violent tendencies. Then there are the crazed nut-jobs whose badge is the only thing keeping them from outlaw status. If you’re partial to the latter, you’re in for a treat. As recently fired detective Akikazu, Kôji Yakusho gives great psychopath on the rampage: drinking, snorting and pillaging with abandon as he tries to uncover the truth about what happened to his angelic teenage daughter Kanako. Meanwhile, through the flashbacks of a besotted fellow high-schooler, we »

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Ultra-Violence of ‘World of Kanako’ Stirs Japanese Box Office, Online Uproar

4 July 2014 8:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Tokyo – “Confessions” director Tetsuya Nakashima’s latest hyper-violent drama “The World of Kanako (Kawaki)” has stirred up a storm of controversy since its June 27 release in Japan. 

Slapped with an R-15 rating, meaning than no one 14 and under can see it, the pic stars Koji Yakusho (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “13 Assassins”) as a former detective with a hair-trigger temper searching for his missing teenage daughter, whose “model student” image turns out to be a sham.

The hero’s outrageous behavior, from violent rape to attempted vehicular homicide, has prompted  a flood of critical comments on message boards and social networks, especially when theaters offered a special student discount to encourage more teens the daughter’s age to see the film. “This is a film that shouldn’t be shown to students,” one commentator opined. 

In reaction Nakashima has issued a statement saying “I’m really sorry if (the film) is too grotesque. »

- Mark Schilling

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Third Window picks up Kanako

9 June 2014 6:45 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Tetsuya Nakashima’s mystery is set to open in UK cinemas in early 2015.

London-based Third Window Films has announced it picked up Japanese mystery The World of Kanako for UK and Ireland from Wild Bunch in Cannes.

Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, the film stars Koji Yakusho as an ex-cop searching for his missing daughter whose straight-a student façade hid the secret life she led in a hellish underworld.

Third Window Films previously released the director’s Kamikaze Girls, Memories of Matsuko and Confessions as well as Lalapipo, for which he wrote the screenplay.

“All four were released in cinemas, with Confessions, Kamikaze and Matsuko all having massive video sales plus all sold to FilmFour,” noted Adam Torel, CEO of the company.

“Director Nakashima is a real talent in [the] fact that he tackles a completely different genre each time, taking time and passion to mix both entertainment and depth in each. From buddy girl »

- hjnoh2007@gmail.com (Jean Noh)

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Jim Sturgess Is "Defending The Enemy"

16 May 2014 7:18 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Jim Sturgess and Koji Yakusho are set to star in "Defending The Enemy," James Moll's adaptation of the book "A Trial of Generals."

The story follows a young lawyer assigned to defend the Japanese General Matsaharu Homma after the end of WWII. The General was accused of war crimes for allegedly orchestrating the Bataan Death March.

Filming is set to begin in August.

Source: Screen »

- Garth Franklin

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Sturgess joins Defending The Enemy

15 May 2014 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

James Moll is attached to direct the adaptation of book A Trial of Generals.

Jim Sturgess [pictured] and Koji Yakusho will star in Defending The Enemy, which FilmBridge International is shopping worldwide in Cannes.

James Moll is attached to direct from the book A Trial of Generals about a young lawyer assigned to defend the Japanese General Matsaharu Homma after the end of WWII.

The General was accused of war crimes for allegedly orchestrating the Bataan Death March.

FilmBridge is arranging financing and principal photography is set to begin in August.

Jonathan Sanger, whose credits include The Elephant Man and The Producers, will produce Defending The Enemy. »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Cannes: Jim Sturgess, Koji Yakusho in War Crimes Drama ‘Defending the Enemy’

15 May 2014 9:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jim Sturgess and Koji Yakusho have come on board to star in war crimes drama “Defending the Enemy” with James Moll directing. Shooting is set to start in August.

Jonathan Sanger will produce “Defending the Enemy.” Executive producer Ellen Wander and her company, Film Bridge Intl., are overseeing the financing and selling at Cannes.

Based on the Lawrence Taylor book “A Trial of Generals,” the story follows the war crimes trial of Gen. Masaharu Homma at the end of World War II, when he was accused of organizing the brutal death march in Bataan, Philippines. Gen. Douglas MacArthur assigned neophyte defense attorney John Skeen to represent Homma.

Sturgess’ credits include “Cloud Atlas”; Yakusho’s include “Babel.” Moll won the documentary Oscar for “The Last Days.”

Sanger’s producing credits include “The Producers,” “Frances” and “The Elephant Man.”

»

- Dave McNary

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Cannes: Jim Sturgess and Koji Yakusho to Star in Legal Drama 'Defending the Enemy'

15 May 2014 9:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Jim Sturgess will star opposite Koji Yakusho in Defending the Enemy as a neophyte attorney assigned to defend General Matsaharu Homma, charged with organizing the Bataan Death March, in a war crimes trial. James Moll is attached to direct the project, based on the book A Trial of Generals, scheduled to begin principal photography in August. Jonathan Sanger is producing, and exec producer is Ellen Wander, whose Film Bridge International is overseeing financing and worldwide distribution. Sturgess, repped by CAA and Garricks, appeared in Cloud Atlas and will next be seen in the upcoming Electric Slide and London Fields

read more

»

- Gregg Kilday

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5 Horror Films Criterion Should Release on Blu-ray

13 April 2014 9:04 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Like many film enthusiasts, I love the Criterion Collection. I scoff at some of their selections—I won’t name names—but for the most part, I anticipate new releases with excitement and glee (June’s slate is particularly amazing). Of course, due to lack of finances, I can’t buy as many as I would like – though someday, I will own the entire collection, despite the current economy offering little to no financial opportunity for an individual with my interests and skill set, but I digress.

I do, however, have a minor beef with Criterion.  While admiring most of their titles, I’d love to see more emphasis on genre stuff—especially horror.  And don’t get me wrong, Criterion boasts some excellent titles—Carnival of Lost Souls, Sisters, The Vanishing, Godzilla, The Devil’s Backbone, Repulsion, plus the highly anticipated release of Scanners being not far off—but they need more. »

- Griffin Bell

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Int’l Star You Should Know: Fumi Nikaido

11 April 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Early Start

Born in 1994 in Naha, Okinawa, Fumi Nikaido got off to an early start in show business, appearing in her first TV drama, “Juken no kamisama,” in 2007, and her first theatrically released feature film, actor-director Koji Yakusho’s family comedy “Toad’s Oil,” in 2009. 

Bad-girl/Good-girl

A fan of the Sex Pistols, Nikaido likes to binge on classic films and manga — among her favorites is “Bukkomi no taku,”  a rough-edged 1990s comic about  bikers and delinquents. She also speaks fluent English and has won admission to Tokyo’s prestigious Keio U. 

Honor-bound

In 2011, her performance as the abused girlfriend of actor Shota Sometani’s moody, violent hero in Sion Sono’s “Himizu” won her (and Sometani) the new young actor and actress awards at the Venice Film Festival. 

Breathing Lessons

Nikaido has acquired a reputation for speaking her mind in public, minus the usual politesse. At a PR event for the 2013 thriller “Brain Man, »

- Mark Schilling

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Int’l Star You Should Know: Fumi Nikaido

11 April 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Early Start

Born in 1994 in Naha, Okinawa, Fumi Nikaido got off to an early start in show business, appearing in her first TV drama, “Juken no kamisama,” in 2007, and her first theatrically released feature film, actor-director Koji Yakusho’s family comedy “Toad’s Oil,” in 2009. 

Bad-girl/Good-girl

A fan of the Sex Pistols, Nikaido likes to binge on classic films and manga — among her favorites is “Bukkomi no taku,”  a rough-edged 1990s comic about  bikers and delinquents. She also speaks fluent English and has won admission to Tokyo’s prestigious Keio U. 

Honor-bound

In 2011, her performance as the abused girlfriend of actor Shota Sometani’s moody, violent hero in Sion Sono’s “Himizu” won her (and Sometani) the new young actor and actress awards at the Venice Film Festival. 

Breathing Lessons

Nikaido has acquired a reputation for speaking her mind in public, minus the usual politesse. At a PR event for the 2013 thriller “Brain Man, »

- Mark Schilling

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Thn’s Godzilla Countdown #16: Godzilla 1985 (1984)

7 February 2014 4:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

On 16th May 2014, Toho’s greatest monster will return to the big screen in an American reboot. With just 14 weeks to go, we here at Thn are counting down the Godzilla back catalogue.

Director: Koji Hashimoto,

Starring: Ken Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Yosuke Natsuki, Keiju Kobayashi, Shin Takuma, Eitaro Ozawa, Taketoshi Naito, Mizuho Suzuki

Plot: A man discovers a lone survivor aboard a ship inhabited by strange creatures. However, that’s just the beginning of his problems, as the survivor says he saw something else at sea. Something big. Something dangerous.

Nine years after Godzilla last appeared on screens, Godzilla 1985 roared to life. It was time once again to remember what the big G was all about in the first place. It was time for a darker, more destructive, and more dangerous Godzilla to once again threaten Tokyo. Gone were the aliens, robots, dance moves and kung-fu fighting, and in their »

- Luke Ryan Baldock

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Gaga launches Nakashima's Kanako

5 February 2014 11:16 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Latest film from Tetsuya Nakashima is currently in post-production.

Japan’s Gaga Corporation is launching sales on the upcoming Tetsuya Nakashima film The World of Kanako [pictured] starring Koji Yakusho at the European Film Market.

The hit director of Confessions, Memories of Matsuko and Kamikaze Girls is currently in post-production for the film produced by Gaga and Licri.

Gaga is handling sales for Asian territories while Wild Bunch handles the rest. Gaga plans to release the film this summer in Japan.

Based on a mystery novel by Akio Fukamachi, The World of Kanako follows the search for a missing girl through the eyes of her crazed father who begins to realize through the traces she left how little he knew her and his family.

Debuting actress Nana Komatsu plays the missing daughter while Yakusho (13 Assassins) plays the brutal former police detective father. Satoshi Tsumabuki, Joe Odagiri and Miki Nakatani play supporting roles.

Gaga is also »

- hjnoh2007@gmail.com (Jean Noh)

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004

15 items from 2014


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