by Chris MaGee
Most of you know that I've been eagerly awaiting the all-star historical epic "Mt. Tsurugidake" for over a year. While my wait will have to continue a little while longer Japanese audiences will soon be getting a chance to witness some of Japan's most high profile talent as they recreate the Meiji Era expedition to conquer the 2999 metre peak of Toyama Prefecture's Mount Tsurugidake.
Yesterday the film's director, Daisaku Kimura, and stars (from left to right) Aoi Miyazaki, Ryuhei Matsuda, Tadanobu Asano, and Teruyuki Kagawa, greeted the media at a press cofnerance to announce the completion of the film's production... and what a production! The shoot, which saw the stars billeted in a cabin in the Japanese Alps and a sound engineer injured by falling rocks, took 200 grueling days to complete. If the gallery of stills that's been posted over at Cinema Today is any indication though all the hardship was well worth it. Daisaku Kimura has had a long career as a cinematographer, lensing such films as Yasuo Furuhata's "Poppoya: The Railroad Man" and Kinji Fukasaku's "House on Fire" and you can definitely see his expert visual sense carried over into this, his directorial debut.
"Mt. Tsurugidake" is set for release in Japanese theatres on June 20th.