Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barbet Schroeder brings us her take on Edogawa Rampo

by Chris MaGee

What happens when the director of such films as “Barfly” and “Reversal of Fortune” decides to bring the macabre works of Edogawa Rampo to the big screen? Well, to get a taste head on over to Twitch where Todd Brown has posted a teaser for her latest film “Inju: The Beast in the Shadows”. Based on Rampo’s novel “The Beast in the Shadows” the film tells the story of a French writer named Alex Fayard (Benoît Magimel) who travels to Japan to promote his latest novel and while there falls into a tempestuous affair with Tamao, a geisha (Lika Minamoto). All is not well with Tamao, though, and she reveals to Alex that she is receiving death threats from a former lover and begs for Alex’s help. Of course this being Rampo we don’t get a standard noir thriller, so expect a lot of obsession, mystery and a healthy dose of kink to follow.

“The Beast in the Shadows” has already been previously (and extremely loosely) adapted to the screen in the 1994 Rintaro Mayuzumi/ Kazuyoshi Okuyama film “The Mystery of Rampo”, and of course there have been a million and one other films based on the author’s work. The 2005 omnibus film “Rampo Noir” has to be my favorite, specifically Atsushi Kaneko’s contribution “Mushi (Crawling Bugs)”, but with Ryo Ishibashi and Shun Sugata rounding out the cast it looks like “Inju: The Beast in the Shadows” might be interesting. We’ll have to wait until September 3rd to find out though. That’s when “Inju” will be hitting French theatres.

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