Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kiyoshi Kurosawa finally returns, not to the big screen but to the small screen

by Chris MaGee

It was only a few days ago that I was looking at my DVD shelf and my eyes stopped on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata". I remember when that film had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and critics were hailing it as one of Kurosawa's masterpieces. Then... nothing. Kurosawa continued to teach at Tokyo's University of the Arts' Film School, but no new projects from him came to light. Well, that's about to change, although maybe not for us here in North America, at least not yet. Let me explain.

According to Tokyograph Kurosawa has directed a film based on the work of novelist Kanae Minato. Minato's name doesn't ring a bell? It should. Tetsuya Nakashima's "Confessions" was based on Minato's 2008 novel of the same name. Due to the success of that adaptation Kurosawa was brought in by the folks at WOWOW to not only direct but also write the screenplay for a screen adaptation of Mintao's 2009 novel “Shokuzai”.

"Shokuzai" tells a story eerily similar to "Confessions" in which a mother blames four students for not being able to identify the murderer of her daughter 15 years before. The story is also eerie enough to put in the hands of Kurosawa, that man who brought us such landmark J-Horror films as "Cure" and "Pulse". The biggest problem for Kurosawa fans is that WOWOW will be broadcasting "Shokuzai" on Japanese TV in January. There is no word at all if the film will see a DVD release anytime in North America, but given that Kurosawa's 2000 film "Seance" was a made-for-TV project there is hope that we'll eventually get to see "Shokuzai".

Thanks to Cinema Today for the above promo image.

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