by Chris MaGee
There are two actors in Japan who have recently been dabbling in foreign productions, or at least Japanese films with heavy foreign influences. 46-year-old Hiroshi Abe not only starred in Tahi action filmmaker Prachya Pinkaew's 2008 film "Chocolate, but he recently starred in director Akira Ogata's remake of Louis Malle's 1958 thriller "Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Eleveator to the Gallows)". Meanwhile 39-year-old Hidetoshi Nishijima has been shooting a film with Iranian director Amir Naderi titled "Cut" in which he plays a film professor who takes a job as a human punching bag for the yakuza. He also starred in the recent film directed by John H. Lee, "Sayonara Itsuka", in which he had to speak Thai. Japanese actors starring in foreign productions is nothing new, but these two stars are taking this trend to the next level by co-starring in an upcoming Canadian-French co-production.
Titled "Memories Corner" the film tells the story of a French journalist who travels to Kobe to cover the public memorial service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Belgian actress Déborah François stars as the journalist while Abe plays her love interest and Nishijima plays her interpreter. "Memories Corner" is the directorial debut of 28-year-old Audrey Fouché, a graduate of Paris' La Fémis film school. The film is set for a theatrical release in France in the spring of 2011 and hopefully a Japanese (or international) release will follow shortly thereafter.
Thanks to Nippon Cinema for this piece of news.