by Chris MaGee
It was back in February that we reported on how Bunta Sugawara and Etsuko Ichihara had been cast to star as the leads in Yoji Yamada's remake (or re-working, or re-imagining, or what have you) of Yasujiro Ozu's 1953 classic "Tokyo Story" it seemed that everything was a go at Shochiku for this project with shooting scheduled to begin this month... but now that is no longer the case.
Under circumstances that we can assume will be repeated again and again in the upcoming weeks and months production on Yamada's "Tokyo Kazoku" has been halted due to the aftermath of the March 11th earthquake/ tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. According to this report posted at Tokyograph the logistics of shooting became difficult in post-disaster Tokyo, but the main reason for putting a freeze on "Tokyo Kazoku" may be Yamada's doubts as to whether he could re-tell Ozu's original story of an elderly couple who comes to visit their children in the Japanese capital after so much in Japan has changed in recent weeks. "Perhaps the hearts of the people of Tokyo, or even all of Japan, are changing after March 11,” observed the 79-year-old director.
Expect to wait until late 2012 or early 2013 to see Yamada's "Tokyo Kazoku" as Shochiku is now hoping to reschedule production to begin in the spring of next year.