by Chris MaGee
Way back last June we reported on the rumour that "Dainipponjin" director Hitoshi Matsumoto's sophomore directorial effort was going to be “tearjerker about an unsuccessful entertainer (played by Matsumoto himself) who suddenly becomes burdened with a stranger's child.” It was a pretty vague description and as it turns out an inaccurate one... or maybe not. Matsumoto, one half of the hugely influential manzai comedy duo Downtown, greeted reporters yesterday at the Okinawa International Film Festival to officially announce that his second film "Shinboru (Symbol)" will be released by Shochiku this fall. Production on the film began at the end of September and lasted about four months with Matsumoto once again casting himself in the main role. Now as to what this main role is is still a bit of a mystery. Matsumoto was himself vague in describing the plot of the film, saying only that it involved a man who gets involved in various circumstances and adventures as he attempts to escape from "inside". Inside prison? Inside himself? That's not clear, but what is clear from the still originally posted at Oricon Style (above) "Shinboru" involves guys in Mexican wrestling masks and chain-smoking nuns.
Matsumoto hopes to have a cut of the film ready to premiere at this year's Cannes International Film Festival as "Dainipponjin" did back in 2007. Hopefully by then he'll be much more forthcoming with details about what is surely going to be one of the most hotly anticipated Japanese films of 2009.
Thanks to Variety Japan for the details on this.
UPDATE: Here's a video of the press conference that took place in Okinawa yesterday courtesy of YouTube.