by Chris MaGee
Here's a film project that is garnering as much buzz as the 80-year-old book its being based on. "Kanikōsen", the 1929 Marxist novel by author Takiji Kobayashi became a huge bestseller in Japan after its rerelease last year. The novel's story of the crew of a crab fishing boat who mutiny against their cruel captain only to form a union struck a major chord with young Japanese contract, casual and "freeters" (freelance workers) who often work long hours for little pay and no benefits. Over 600,000 copies of "Kanikōsen" have been sold so far and with that kind of success you know that a film version wouldn't be far behind. As we reported back in November the film adaptation is coming courtesy of Hiroyuki Tanada, a.k.a. Sabu, the man who brought us such films as "Dangan Runner", "Monday" and "The Blessing Bell', and from the very beginning he's made it clear that he wants to update the source material so that his film appeals directly to the book's new fans. That means casting such hot young stars as Ryuhei Matsuda and Hidetoshi Nishijima in lead roles and to use "modern pop influence in its costumes and design".
Now it looks like Sabu is extending that creative goal to the music for the film. It's been known for a while now that one of Sabu's favorite bands, NICO Touches the Walls, would provide the theme song for "Kanikōsen" (you can read up on the details care of Jason Gray), but now there's word from CinemaCafe.net that Sabu and the producers of the film are looking for young unsigned bands to contribute songs to a companion CD that will be released nationwide in Japan to accompany the release of the film later this year.
Sabu has listed a 29 song titles to inspire young acts, regardless of expereince or musical genre, to sit down and write songs that fit into the film's revolutionary feel. Some of these titles include "Beat Boat", "Cossack Dance", "Try Again", "Work If It Kills Me" and "Self-Determination". Bands have only until Thursday, April 30th to submit their demo recordings and lyrics for consideration of inclusion on this ambitious-sounding disc. If you're in Japan you can check out full details and guidelines here. Good luck, Everyone!