Monday, 18 June 2012

Himizu- Gets a Cinema release.

(CERT 18)

A film by Sono Sion (Love Exposure, Cold Fish, Guilty of Romance)

Winner of the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 68th Venice Film Festival

Official Selection: 68th Venice Film Festival, 36th Toronto International Film Festival, 16th Busan International Film Festival, 44th SITGES International Film Festival, 14th Deauville Asian Film Festival

Starring rising young stars: Shota Sometani & Fumi Nikaido alongside veterans such as
Ken Mitsuishi (The Thin Red Line, The Pillow Book, Audition, The Eel)
Tetsu Watanabe (Fireworks, Sonatine, Madadayo, Memories of Matsuko)
DenDen (Cut, Cure, Cold Fish, Eureka)

Japan / 2011 / 129 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour / HD

Opening at the ICA, Prince Charles Cinema & selected regional sites

One of the most talked about Japanese films of 2012, ‘Himizu’ is Sion Sono’s biggest box-office success to date.

After Shota Sometani & Fumi Nikaido won the Marcello Mastroianni Award (they became the first Japanese actors to win the prestigious award) at the 68th Venice Film Festival, Himizu opened in Japanese cinemas on January 14th pulling in an astonishing 27,000 admissions over 79 screens in the first 2 days, with a per-screen average beating the big budget war film ‘My Way’ which opened the same weekend.

On March 11th, 2011, the largest earthquake in recorded history struck the coast off Japan, sending a massive tsunami causing a wave of destruction that decimated large parts of Japan’s Eastern seaboard and causing the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Power Station to explode.

This tragedy affected everyone in Japan, especially director Sion Sono who had just finished adapting the hugely popular Manga ‘Himizu’ into a screenplay. Director Sono immediately put the project on hold to help with the volunteer effort in Fukushima and during his work decided to change the setting of ‘Himizu’ story to Fukushima and film it there in order to show the world what happened.

Sion Sono’s next work ‘The Land of Hope’ will once again focus on the aftermath of March 11th, but will this time look at the nuclear situation which has become much lot worse than most people are aware of.

Sumida (Shometani) and his schoolmate Keiko (Nikaido) are 15 year old school kids living a dystopian existence where each of their parents hope and encourage them to die. Set in tsunami-hit areas of Japan, which are used as a backdrop, the story follows roughly that of the manga of the same name.
“Don’t give up.” The constant refrain repeated in radio and television programmes to a nation hit by the merciless catastrophe sounds even more ominous when written in a note left by Yuichi Sumida’s mother after running off with her lover. At fifteen, Sumida (Shôta Sometani) is left alone to manage the family’s languishing boat-rental business and fend off his drunk and penniless father’s bouts of violence. Sumida sees his simple dream for an ordinary future rapidly evapo­rating before his eyes. Sharing similarly humble but fading dreams is his classmate Keiko Chazawa (Fumi Nikaidou), who also happens to have a major crush on him, even though Sumida seems deeply annoyed by her presence.
Sumida fights frequently with his father, is abandoned by his mother and tends to reject friendly advances of others. Real violence enters Sumida’s life when his drunken father goes too far in taunting him. Shocked by the crime he has committed, and the fact he’ll never be able to lead the “ordinary” life he planned on, Sumida paints his face and stalks the city streets with a kitchen knife, crazily determined to make amends to society by killing wrong-doers.

Production companies: Gaga, Kodansha
Cast: Shota Sometani, Fumi Nikaidou, Tetsu Watanabe, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Megumi Kagurazaka, Ken Mitsuishi, Denden, Yosuke Kubozuka
Director: Sono Sion
Screenwriter: Sono Sion, based on the comic book by Minoru Furuya
Executive producers: Tom Yoda, Satomi Odake
Producers: Haruo Umekawa, Masashi Yamazaki
Coproducer: Mizue Kunizane
Director of photography: Sohei Tanikawa
Production designer: Takashi Matsuzuka
Music: Tomohide Harada
Editor: Junicho Ito

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