by Chris MaGee
Our first story from our friends at Twitch (via Ryuganji) today. Toshiaki Toyoda is one of my personal favorite filmmakers of all time, so I am always on the look out for news on the director of "9 Souls" and "Hanging Garden". Toyoda's recent activity has been a little contradictory of late though. For the longest time there was low level but consistent buzz that after his 2008 comeback film "Blood of Rebirth", which surprised many with its abstract pacing and minimal narrative, that Toyoda was working on a yakuza film partially set in Okinawa. Then, this past fall Toyoda released "Monsters Club", an art house film based on the writings of Ted Kaczynski, The Unabomber. So what happened to the yakuza film?
It now looks like Toyoda is finally putting the finishing touches on his long discussed yakuza drama, a film that reunites him with a favorite actor from his early films and an actor known to fans of such films as "Battle Royale" and "Death Note". Toyoda's "I'm Flash" (yes, that's the title) is being prepped for a September release in Japan, and a couple of stills featuring its two lead actors, Ryuhei Matsuda and Tatsuya Fujiwara, have been posted online. As many fans of Toyoda know Matsuda starred in two of Toyoda's defining films, 2001's "Blue Spring" and 2003's "9 Souls", so it's great to see him back in the fold for this project. In the film Fujiwara plays a popular religious cult leader who heads to an Okinawan island with his gangster bodyguard (Matsuda) to recuperate from a car accident. It's on the island that the bodyguard begins to suspect that his boss has been involved in something sinister. Interesting stuff, although maybe not the straight ahead gangster flick everyone might have been expecting. Still, it's Toyoda, so it'll definitely be worth a look. We'll be checking for more details on this as they surface.