Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tetsuya Nakashima goes from whimsical to murderous with "Kokuhaku (Confession)"

by Chris MaGee

Tetsuya Nakashima has certainly mined the vein of tragic female heroines in his last two films, 2006's "Memories of Matsuko" and last year's "Paco and the Magical Picture Book", but he's always injected a healthy dose of whimsy and humour into the misery. If the report posted over at Nippon Cinema is any indication then it looks like the 50-year-old director may be jettisoning some of the comedic baggage for his next feature film.

According to the post Nakashima is currently shooting a screen adaptation of Kanae Minato’s best-selling mystery novel "Kokuhaku (Confession)" with 32-year-old actress Takako Matsu (The Hidden Blade, Villon's Wife) in the lead role. Matsu will star as Moriguchi-sensei, a high school teacher whose daughter is killed by students at her school. In a gender twist on such films as Takashi Miike's "Scars of the Sun" and Shoichi Mashiko's "The Hovering Blade" a woman, Matsu's character, ends up turning vigilante and seeking revenge for her daughter's murder.

Nakashima's musical numbers and cartoon-ish CGI flourishes don't seem to be anywhere in site on "Kokuhaku (Confession)". Instead they've been replaced with themes of severe bullying, HIV/ AIDS, and hikikomori, hardly the kind of hard-hitting fare that comes to mind when thinking of the man who brought us "Kamikaze Girls". It's a pretty intriguing shift of artistic gears.
"Kokuhaku (Confession)" is currently filming and is slated for a June 2010 Japanese theatrical release.

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