by Chris MaGee
It was back in December when we reported on how Yoji Yamada was going to be paying homage to Yasujiro Ozu's best known film "Tokyo Story". The veteran film-maker whose titles include "The Yellow Handkerchief", "The Hidden Blade" and dozens of "Tora-san" films was reportedly going to be crafting a film around the central premise of Ozu's 1953 masterpiece - an elderly couple visit their daughter-in-law who has been widowed after her husband (and the couple's son) dies while fighting overseas.
At that time there was no word on casting for Yamada's loose remake, as well as no title, but now we have both thanks to the folks at Tokyograph. The title of Yamada's film will be one word off from the original - "Tokyo Kazoku (Tokyo Family)". Bunta Sugawara (Battles Without Honour and Humanity) and Etsuko Ichihara (Black Rain) will be starring in the film as the elderly couple, Hirayama Shukichi and Tomiko. Most of the other cast is accounted for as well - Masahiko Nishimura and Yui Natsukawa will play the couples son, a doctor, and his wife, Shozo Hayashiya and Shigeru Muroi will play the couples daughter and her husband, and Satoshi Tsumabuki and Yu Aoi will star as the son and his girlfriend. Aren't we missing someone here? The sympathetic daughter-in-law and wife of the deceased son/ husband originally portrayed by Setsuko Hara? Shochiku must be keeping that casting ace hidden... or we just aren't doing our math correctly.
Regardless "Tokyo Kazoku" is slated to start in April and then scheduled for a winter 2011 release in Japanese theatres.