Friday, December 3, 2010

Will upcoming "Smuggler" be Katsuhito Ishii's return to form?

by Chris MaGee

Okay, here's a piece of news that we are a bit late to the party on. During my stay in Tokyo recently I saw this pop up on a number of my favorite blogs and it didn't take long for excitement on message boards to start ramping up. What film news could get people so wound up? Katsuhito Ishii, the director who brought us such zany, surreal comedies as "The Taste of Tea" and "Funky Forest: The First Contact", has announced his next film.

Ishii will be adapting Shohei Manabe’s manga "Smuggler" that follows the downwardly spiralling advetures of Ryosuke, an out of work actor who takes a day job in a pachinko parlour and subsequently develops a nasty gambling habit. To pay of his gambling debts Ryosuke is tagged by gangsters to work as their "smuggler", but Ryosuke isn't any kind of drug mule or gun runner. What Ryosuke is tasked to smuggle are dead bodies, and for each that he smuggles he gets a tidy sum of ¥50,000.

Starring the in lead role of Ryosuke will be Satoshi Tsumabuki, while the rest of the cast of "Smuggler" will be rounded out by Masatoshi Nagase, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Masanobu Ando, Fumiyo Kohinata, and Tatsuya Gashuin. It'll be interesting to see if the inclusion of hot talent like Tsumabuki, fresh off his success in Sang-Il Lee'as "Akunin", and Hikari Mitsushima, of "Love Exposure" and "Sawako Decides", will reignite Katsuhito Ishii's career. Of late the 43-year-old director has been floundering a bit making less than successful fare such as "My Darling of the Mountains" and "Sorasoi", as well as dabbling in new age relaxation type videos. Let's keep our fingers crossed. "Smuggler" is due out in Japanese theatres in the fall of 2011.

Thanks to Nippon Cinema for the above news.

No comments: