Thursday, June 9, 2011

Theatrical director Horie Kei adapts his stage play "Sentimental Yasuko" to the screen

by Chris MaGee

We've seen plenty (p-len-ty) of adaptations of manga, anime and popular TV series appear on Japanese movie screens. One genre of adaptations is a little more rare, but one we've seen a fair amount of in recent years: a film adaptation from a stage play. Examples might not hit you immediately, but everything from Hideaki Hosno's "Dum Beast" to Koji Fukuda's "Hospitalite" all got their start as stage productions and then made their way to theatres. This past week Tokyograph reported on the latest example of this trend with a new film directed by theatrical director Horie Kei.

Kei, the 32-year-old actor and director of the theatre company Cornflakes, will be bringing one of the company's plays, "Sentimental Yasuko" to the screen. The play (and now film) tells the story of a hostess named Yasuko who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. Yasuko finds herself the victim of an attempted strangulation, but has no memory of her attacker. What's worse is that her cell phone is found at the seen of a bloody murder. Police detectives have no choice but to bring her in to look over a line-up of seven of her past boyfriends. By the end of a marathon interrogation the audience discovers who might be behind the grisly crime.

While Kei will be adapting his own play to the screen a newcomer will step into the shoes of Yasuko, namely 18-year-old model and actress Asuza Okamoto (above). Expecvt to see "Sentimental Yasuko" hit Japanese theatres in the spring of next year.

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