by Chris MaGee
A few years ago Sion Sono was kind of a marginal figure in the Japanese "Asian Extreme" and J-Horror genre films that were flooding the North American market. His twisted and quirky 2002 film "Suicide Club" gained a decent cult following amongst teens and horror aficionados, but film-makers like Takashi Miike, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hideo Nakata were taking the lion's share of audiences' love. Of course that all changed with "Love Exposure". Now that Miike, Kurosawa and Nakata have moved on to more mainstream fare Sono has stepped in as the new king of "Extreme" genre films in Japan. Of course Sono followed up "Love Exposure" with the grisly serial killer film "Cold Fish", but now the 49-year-old director is prepping his latest visual assault on audiences.
Back in November we reported on how Sono was making a potentially controversial new film titled "Guilty of Romance". At that point details on the film were scarce except that it would involve "hard sex scenes", an there was absolutely no word on casting. That scarcity of information changed over the weekend when Tokyograph reported not only the bare bones plot of "Guilty of Romance", but also a list of cast members.
The script of "Guilty of Romance" is, like "Cold Fish, based on a true-life murder case. This time around the plot will revolve around a homicide that took place in the Maruyama district of Shibuya. The cast will include Miki Mizuno (Hard Revenge Milly) as a police detective investigating the case (above), while Makoto Togashi (Memories of Matsuko) will play a university professor and Megumi Kagurazaka (Pride, Cold Fish) will play a housewife. Rounding out the cast will be Kazuya Kojima,Satoshi Nikaido, Tatsuki Kobayashi, Marie Machida, Ryo Iwamatsu, Hisako Okata, and Kanji Tsuda.
After a bit of digging online we can assume that "Guilty of Romance" is a loose adaptation of the TEPCO OL Murder of 2001 in which a female employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Company who worked as a prostitute by night was allegedly murdered by a Nepalese man in Maruyama-cho. There's no firm statement that this is indeed the inspiration for Sono's script, but it sounds possible. We'll have to wait and see as more details on the film leak out.
Pictures Dept. is planning to release "Guilty of Romance" in theatres by the end of 2011. Thanks to Eiga.com for the above promo still.