by Chris MaGee
I have to be dead honest, while the news of a new "Tetsuo" film from Shinya Tsukamoto would get any Japanese film fan excited I personally am more hyped about the news that "Blue Spring" and "9 Souls" director Toshiaki Toyoda has finally returned from creative exile after a 2005 drug possession charge. Yes, Tsukamoto is a genius, but so is Toyoda, and one who I believe hasn't even near peaked yet, and after his arrest it looked like he might never be allowed to. With the word that he is working on his first film in four years and his very first historical drama to boot, well... For a die hard Toyoda fan like myself it doesn't get much better.
Titled "Blood of Rebirth" Toyoda's new film is based on a a medieval Japanese legend of a masseur named Oguri who frees a princess from the clutches of an evil lord. For his crime the lord poisons and kills Oguri, but the masseur is sent back from the land of the dead as a hungry ghost from Buddhist mythology. Back in the land of the living he is reunited with the freed princes, but he also must face his murderer, the evil lord, again.
Does this sound like your typical Toyoda film? No way. Can he make it work? I' have a very strong hunch that he can and if the above still that was scored by Todd Brown over at Twitch is any indication then my hunch is right. Kore-eda's "Kuuki Ningyou (Air Doll)" AND Toyoda's "Blood of Rebirth" in the same year? The second half of 2009 is looking more and more promising...