Friday, September 19, 2008

Jun Ichikawa, director of "Tony Takitani", 1948-2008

by Chris MaGee

Jun Ichikawa, best known in North America for his 2004 Haruki Murakami screen adaptaion starring Issei Ogata and Rie Miyazawa, has died. He was 59 years old.

After collapsing at a dinner in Tokyo on Friday evening he was rushed by ambulance to hospital where he passed away. No word yet on cause of death.

Ichikawa began his career as a filmmaker in the 70s, directing award-winning commercials, but it wasn't until 1987 and the release of "BU*SU" starring Yasuko Tomita that he moved into feature filmmaking.

Besides the success of "Tony Takitani", which was honoured with the Special Jury Prize, Youth Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, Ichikawa also received acclaim in Japan for his films "Tsugumi" (1991) and "Dying at a Hospital" (1994).

At the time of his death Ichikawa was editing the short film "buy a suit" which had been programmed as part of the upcoming Tokyo International Film Festival.

Thanks to Variety Asia Online for the details.

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