by Chris MaGee
Every year I come up against a real conundrum. There's always a film that starts sweeping awards ceremonies or becomes hugely popular with Japanese and international audiences and I'm left to track down promotion stills for blog posts. This happened when Yojiro Takita's "Departures" was being honoured with reward after reward in Japan and eventually won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, and it also happened when Miwa Nishikawa's "Dear Doctor" was garnering accolades last year. The only problem is that I just don't like to post the same promo images again and again, so I dig to find images we haven't posted before. When a film starts piling trophies on its mantle though it gets tougher and tougher to find fresh visual content.
Anyway, why am I going off on this tangent? Because it looks like this year I'll be having a hard time tracking down fresh promo stills of Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins". The remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 chanbara epic starring Koji Yakusho and Yusuke Iseya already snagged Miike a Best Director nod from the Nikkan Sports Film Awards and now "13 Assassins" has gone and swept the top prizes at the 32nd annual Yokohama Film Festival Awards. "13 Assassins" was honoured with awards for Best Picture, Best Director for Miike and Best Screenplay for Daisuke Tengan. To add to that the Yokohama Film Festival Awards named "13 Assassins" as the Best Film of 2010.
You can check out all the winners and the Yokohama Film Festival's Top Ten of 2010 list below (courtesy of Tokyograph). In amongst all the "13 Assassins" love I did want to point out how happy I was to see Hikari Mitsushima get a Best Actress Award for her role in Momoko Ando's "Kakera: A Piece of Our Life" and a Best Newcomer Award for Hiroko Sato for her role in Takashi Ishii's "Night in Nude: Salvation" which also came in at number eight on the Yokohama Film Festival Awards' Top Ten list. Congrats to all!
Best Picture: "13 Assassins"
Best Director: Takashi Miike ("13 Assassins," "Zebraman 2")
Best New Director: Yuya Ishii ("Sawako Decides", "To Walk With You"), Masaaki Taniguchi ("The Girl Who Leapt through Time")
Best Screenplay: Daisuke Tengan ("13 Assassins")
Best Cinematography: Jun Fukumoto ("A Good Husband", "Parade")
Best Actor: Etsushi Toyokawa ("A Good Husband", "Sword of Desperation")
Best Actress: Hikari Mitsushima ("Sawako Decides", "Kakera")
Best Supporting Actor: Renji Ishibashi ("A Good Husband", "Parade," "Strangers in the City" "Outrage," "No Longer Human")
Best Supporting Actress: Yui Natsukawa ("A Lone Scalpel")
Best Newcomer: Osamu Mukai ("BECK," "Hanamizuki: May your love bloom a hundred years"), Hiroko Sato ("Night in Nude: Salvation")
Special Prize: Hiroki Matsukata
The Best Ten list:
1. "13 Assassins"
4. "Sawako Decides"
5. "A Good Husband"
6. "Sword of Desperation"
7. "A Lone Scalpel"
8. "Night in Nude: Salvation"
9. "Permanent Nobara"
10. "The Girl Who Leapt through Time"
Japan's Animation DVD Ranking, February 13-19
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