2 items from 2014
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.
- Mark Schilling
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the first of two female directors in the lineup: Naomi Kawase's "Still the Water." The director: Naomi Kawase (Japanese, 44 years old). It's possible for certain filmmakers to become prominent, celebrated figures within the festival circuit without making much of a dent in the real world, even in the art-house sphere. Naomi Kawase is a good example. Favored by selectors and juries alike, even her most generously awarded films have secured minimal international distribution -- making her at once a familiar and unfamiliar presence in the lineup. Born and raised in Japan's rural Nara district, »
- Guy Lodge
2 items from 2014
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