by Chris MaGee
Okay, Jo Odagiri isn't going to Rotterdam looking for cherry trees in blossom. I just couldn't resist putting that headline up. No, the "Tokyo Tower" and "Shinobi" star is taking his debut directorial effort "Sakura na Hitotachi" (Looking for Cherry Blossoms)" to the Netherlands where it will join other Japanese films like Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata", Takeshi Kitano's "Achilles and the Tortoise", Shinya Tsukamoto's "Nightmare Detective 2" at the 30th Annual Rotterdam International Film Festival.
"Looking for Cherry Blossoms" stars Odagiri's close friend comedian Junichi Komoto as one of three men who hit the road in search of.., you guessed it... cherry blossoms, but their lengthy quest onscreen parallels Odagiri's lengthy process making the film off screen. Starting production on the film back in the summer of 2006 Odagiri has had to continually start and stop the shoot as he's been called away to star in films by Satoshi Miki (Adrift in Tokyo), Nelson Yu Lik-wai, (Plastic City) and Kim Ki-duk (Dreams). It's not like he could have passed the work off to his crew because "Cherry Blossoms" became a bit of a one man effort with Odagiri taking on screenwriting, cinematography, editing and scoring duties for the film.
Congratulations Odagiri-san on completing his film and having a chance to share it with an international audience; and thanks Tokyograph for the details on this.