by Chris MaGee
With the centenary of the birth of Japanese bohemian author Osamu Dazai taking place this year filmmakers in Japan have been paying tribute to his work by adapting it to the big screen. In May we told you about one of these adaptations, Genjiro Arato's take one of Dazai's most famous novels "Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human)". The 1948 book follows Ōba Yōzō, a university student who finds it hard to relate to the world around him, but masks this sense of alienation with a jovial demeanor. It's already been announced that Ōba Yōzō would be portrayed by 24-year-old actor Toma Ikuta, but now Arata has announced that he has cast the film's female lead. 22-year-old actress Satomi Ishihara (above right) will be playing one of the women in Ōba Yōzō's life, and ultimately the woman who he marries.
Of all the Dazai adptations going at the moment this one has me the most intrigued, mostly due to the fact of Genjiro Arato's previous credits. Arata is a bit of a maverick prodcer in Japan, being the man who brought us Seijun Suzuki's surreal "Taisho Trilogy" and Tatsushi Ômori's controversial "Whispering of the Gods", both of which Arata had screening in tents to avoid regular distribution channels and the Japanese censors. A truly fascinating character in the world of the Japanese film industry, so it will be very interesting to see what his artistic vision for "No Longer Human" will be.
Thanks to Tokyograph for this piece of news.