by Chris MaGee
Here's a story that screws with your expectations a bit. When you think of action you tend to think of what? Martial arts maybe. Explosions. A fair bit of gun play. Okay, fair enough. And if you think of performance what pops into your head? Possibly a live band. Maybe an actor on stage. You pout the two together - action and performance and you would immediately think of a dynamic display of physical prowess. High kicks. Somersaults. Back flips. Now let's just add something to this equation: calligraphy. That's right, genteel, refined, minimal Japanese calligraphy. Doesn't quite compute, right? Well, think again.
A new film starring Riko Narumi (Ikigami, Yamagata Scream) will highlight the world of "performance calligraphy", an event where high school girls execute calligraphy while dancing to music. The film, which as of right now doesn't have a title yet although IMDB is listing it as "Shodo Girls", will be helmed by television director Ryuichi Inomata and will have Narumi heading up a team of female performance calligraphers as they enter the Shodo Girls Koshien competition, an event that has highlighted performance calligraphy since July 2008. Obviously this is a film that will follow in the "Hula Girls", "Swing Girls", underdog makes good formula, but at least we get to see something new as opposed to Hawaiian dance and brass bands.
If you're still a bit confused by "performance calligraphy" (are we talking Jackson Pollock action painting???) then check out this Youtube video below that features dance, calligraphy and even cheerleading routines that was filmed in Beppu, then if you like what you see you can wait for Inomata's and Narumi's film, possibly titled "Shodo Girls" which is due out in May of this year.
Thanks to Tokyograph for this story.