Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Kichiku" director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri gets ready to disturb us again with "My Man"

by Chris MaGee

Many of us first encountered director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (above left) with his 1997 feature debut "Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts". That film was the searing portrait of the dissolution of a far left Japanese terrorist cell in the 1970's, and it featured some of the most stomach-churning violence seen onscreen in the past 20 years. Since "Kichiku" Kumakiri has moved on from extreme violence and branched out into films involving a variety of subjects -- near future sci-fi with "Freesia: Icy Tears", baseball with "Green Mind Metal Bats" and domestic drama with "Non-ko". Now it looks that Kumakiri will be returning to disturbing subject matter with his next project.

Kumakiri (along with producers Yoshihiro Nagata and Toshikazu Nishigaya) just picked up one of seven awards at the 2012 Asian Project Market at the 16th Busan International Film Festival for his latest project titled "My Man" (above right). Based on the 2008 Naoki Prize-winning novel "Watashi no Otoko (My Man)" written by Kazuki Sakuraba the film will tell the story of an incestuous relationship between a daughter and her adopted father. Sakuraba's novel is told in a series of flashbacks as the daughter, who was adopted when she was nine-years-old just after she survived the 1993 Hokkaido Earthquake, prepares for her wedding. Not extreme violence as in the case of "Kichiku", but very tough and controversial material nonetheless. With this win at the APM we'll hopefully see this new film by Kumakiri within the next year or so. More details as they develop.

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