by Chris MaGee
Regular readers of the Pow-Wow blog will know that I've been anticipating the upcoming remake of Yoshitaro Nomura's 1961 noir mystery "Zero Focus" with a mix of excitement and dread. (Read my original reports here and here.) Director Isshin Inudo has continually made statements that this remake, green lit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Akutagawa Prize-winning author Seicho Matsumoto, will remain as faithful as possible to both the his 1959 novel as well as Nomura's original screen adaptation. In my opinion Nomura's film is a near perfect mystery, so I somewhat question the wisdom of trying to replicate that same magic, but these new stills from the film that have been popping up online recently (above and in the YouTube video below) at least give me hope that Inudo is being true to his word that he's not tinkering with the basic premise.
Ryoko Hirosue, seen most recently in Yojiro Takita's Oscar-winning "Departures (Okuribito)" steps into the shoes of Yoshiko Kuga as the film's heroine Teiko Uhara, a newlywed bride who goes on a quest to discover what happened to her husband who during a business trip goes missing in the snowy North country of Japan. With perfectly coiffed hair, handkerchief and 1950s style wool overcoat Hirosue certainly looks the part. Now we just have to wait for a trailer to pop up so we can see how Hidetoshi Nishijima, Takeshi Kaga, Miki Nakatani, and Tae Kimura factor into this remake. Hopefully that should come soon as Toho plans to release "Zero Focus" version 2.0 this fall.
Thanks to Sankei/ MSN Japan for the above still.