by Chris MaGee
From the mid-90's to the mid-00's one of the most talked about and buzz-worthy directors in Japan was Shinji Aoyama. Aoyama's films combined familiar genres (yakuza films, gore and re-workings of Japanese classics) with a decidedly arthouse sensibility. Many still look to his 4-hour minimalist film "Eureka" as a contemporary Japanese classic. Then in 2007 he delivered his last film "Sad Vacation" which didn't receive the enthusiastic praise that Aoyama's previous work had enjoyed and since then the now 46-year-old filmmaker has been keeping a very low profile. That is until now.
This past week Tokyograph reported that Aoyama will be returning to the director's chair for an upcoming film titled "Tokyo Kouen". The film, based on a novel by author Yukiya Shoji, follows an amateur photographer named Koji (Haruma Miura) who is hired to follow the girlfriend of a colleague. The request seems simple, if a little paranoid, but soon Koji sees how this job begins to affect his relationships with the women in his own life.
34-year-old actress Haruka Igawa has been cast as the woman who Koji is tasked with following while actresses Nana Eikura and Manami Konishi round out the cast of "Tokyo Kouen". Japanese audiences can expect to see "Tokyo Kouen" in theatres next year.