Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kichitaro Negishi takes home Best Director at the Montreal World Film Festival

by Chris MaGee

It was just short of a month ago that it was announced that Kichitaro Negishi's film adaptation of the Osamu Dazai novel "Villon's Wife" was going to be screening at the Montreal World Film Festival. Now with the 33rd offering of the fest wrapping up in Quebec yesterday now news comes that Negishi has walked away with one of it's biggest honours.

This year's jury, which included Japanese actor/ director Eiji Okuda, awarded the 59-year-old Negishi with Best Director honours for his handling of "Villon's Wife", the story of a downtrodden wife (Takako Matsu) and her alcoholic author husband (Tadanobu Asano), a story long felt to be one of Osamu Dazai's most autobiographical.

While Montreal didn't see a Japanese film take the top prize for Best Film like in 2006 with Eiji Okuda's "Nagai Sampo (A Long Walk)", and last year with Yojiro Takita's "Departures" (that honour went to Tony Gatlif's "Korkoro"), this win for Negishi, the man who also brought us "What the Snow Brings" and "Dog in a Sidecar", should see the profile of "Villon's Wife" get raised significantly here in North America.

Congratulations to Negishi-san and his cast and crew, and thanks to The Montreal Gazette for the details on this story.

1 comment:

logboy said...

montreal is in canada, though, right? so... profile raised in north american or "north of america"?

anyway, my point is a familiar one, that film's profiles would more sincerely rise if coverage didn't so often feel opportunistic (based on timing of the revelation of some sort of easy-to-grasp slice of information) and more often conveyed from the perspective of the confidence of writers to spot and stick to films they're certain of their own personal interest in; whether earnest dramas or more lighthearted entertainment.

that way, any readers of any particular site would feel more inclined to make judgements in that manner also - they do, but the blogosphere suggests an attempt (or requirement) to not rely upon that to a very large extent - and therefore we'd be more certain that the films getting regularly covered were worth the effort to cover rather than just easy to get a sense of.

after all, the interest (from a personal perspective) is about what's not easy to find, but most / more appropriate to me as an individual than the stuff which is made all too obvious in other media forms that i didn't / don't have to try to find.

this isnt' a specific observation about JFPW, but a general one about how there's perhaps a more thorough range of what's being released in japan getting at least a little slice of english context, and that the "cream of the crop" (based upon the graspable elements of interest in any given project - those involved in it, for example) doesn't seem to be the only thing that's floating on the top of what sites are writing about.