Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Tomie" director Ataru Oikawa to open the "Door" on psychological horror

by Chris MaGee

Last week we ran an interview with "Tokyo Sonata" producer Yukie Kito where she discussed her career and her role in the production of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's award-winning shift to straight drama. During my hour long conversation with her, though, there was much more that was discussed including upcoming projects that she is working on. One that Kito is very excited about is a new psychological horror film to be written and directed by "Tomie" helmer Ataru Oikawa (above right) titled "Door".

Some of you hardcore J-horror fans may recognize the title from the late 80's, early 90's horror trilogy that began with 1988's "Door" directed by Takahasi Banmei about a housewife who is terrorized by a jilted door-to-door salesman. Oikawa wrote the original script for that film when he was only a student and it was through a screenwriting contest run by the art film-focused collective Director's Company that none other than Banmei protégé Kiyoshi Kurosawa discovered the script and brought it to the attention of the elder filmmaker. Banemi followed up the first "Door" with a sequel in 1991 and Kurosawa himself stepped behind the camera to direct the third in the series in 1996.

Now on the strength of Oikawa's last film, "Higurashi no naku koro ni (Shrill Cries of Summer)" he and Kito, under the auspices of her company Entertainment Farm, are looking to do a series reboot with this latest "Door". "We decided to go back to Oikawa's starting point," Kito explained, "This is the second stage of his career." Don't expect a film soaked in blood and gore though. "He wants to portray human nature, fear, not in a horror way, but more of a mystery and drama."

Kito has already taken the project to the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum this past January and is now preparing to represent "Door" at market at the 62nd Annual Cannes International Film Festival.

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