by Chris MaGee
It's just been announced that one of Japan's most respected filmmakers will be teaming up with one of its biggest pop stars. Yoji Yamada (above left) will be co-directing a film which will star EXILE member USA (above right). The film, titled "Kyoto Uzumasa Koimonogatari" will have USA playing a struggling comedian who works in a tofu shop in Kyoto's Uzumasa district by day. His co-star will be 23-year-old actress Hana Ebise who will play a young woman who he falls for.
When I say that Yamada, the director of many of the "Tora-san" films as well as "The Twilight Samurai" and "The Hidden Blade", is co-directing this project I really mean he's co-directing. "Kyoto Uzumasa Koimonogatari" is being produced in conjunction with Shochiku and Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University, where Yamada currently holds a guest teaching position, and 22 films students have worked alongside him in order to bring this love story to the screen. That's a lot of co-directors, but very lucky ones if they have a chance to learn alongside Yoji Yamada.
"Kyoto Uzumasa Koimonogatari" is slated for a spring 2010 theatrical release. Thanks to Tokyograph for this story, and thanks to Sports Hochi for the above image