Glimpses of Japanese celluloid
As many as 14 movies will be screened at the eight-day Indo-Japanese film festival that begins tomorrow. A curtain raiser.
"Cure"... a murder mystery.
THE CONSULATE-GENERAL of Japan in Chennai in association with the National Film Development Corporation Limited (NFDC), the International Cine Appreciation Form, the Madras Film Society and Japan Foundation, Tokyo, has organised a Japanese and NFDC film festival at the South Indian Film chamber of Commerce auditorium from August 30 to September 6. The festival will be inaugurated by Ryuzo Kikuchi, Consul General of Japan, P. Parameswaran, director (Finance), NFDC, will be the Chief guest and V. Kanakaraj, Director, Information and Public Relations, Government of Tamil Nadu will be the guest of honour. The eight-day festival will screen 11 Japanese films and three Indian (Hindi) films.
In "Border Line," Lee Sang ll makes his debut as director. Kuraski Daigo, a taxi driver, knocks down a boy. The boy asks Daigo to drive him to his place Haikkado, which is in the north of Japan. On way they meet a few persons and a bond develops. Thirty-year old Lee Sang 11 is a student of the Japan Academy of Moving images. His graduation project "Blue Chong" was a hit at the Tokyo film theatre. "Dora Heita" is a film by Kon Ichikawa who has directed nearly 73 films bginning with "The Flower Blooms" in 1948. "Dora Heita" deals with story of a magistrate who manages to outsmart three persons out to kill him.
The festival features Ketan Metha's "Mirch Masala" that won the national award in 1987 for best film, supporting actor and best editor. A landmark film for the late Smita Patil.
"Cure" is a murder mystery. Detective Takabe finds a similarity among the pattern in a series of gruesome killings. He arrests the killer who confesses to his crimes but says he was only a tool. Then who is behind the killings and what is the motive?
"Hush"... a story of three individuals sensitively told.
"Charisma" is all about a tree and the people's belief. Some want the tree to be cut, some want it to be given as a present and some say it is a tree with a curse. A young detective tries to save it. Does he succeed in his efforts? "Pulse" (Kairo) has the horror concept. A young girl goes on board a ship to see a friend but does not find him there. She learns that he hanged himself. She and some of his friends find a diskette, which contains a message `Do you want to meet a ghost?' The film highlights the pain of loneliness. Kurosawa Kiyoshi has directed all the three films ``Cure," ``Charisma" and ``Pulse." His career began even in college when he started shooting 8mm films. He got the Sundance institute scholarship for his original film script, "Charisma".
Hashiguchi Ryosuke who has directed "Hush" started to direct films from an early age - when studying in secondary school. One of the his 8mm films, "A Secret Evening," won the grand prix prize in the Pia Film festival. "Hush" is a story, sensitively told, about three individuals one of whom is a gay.
"Water Boys" narrates the efforts Sakuma, swimming coach, takes to teach students of the school synchronised swimming. Does the team present the performance on the school festival day? The director is Shinobu Yaguchi.
"Salam Bombay" by Mira Nair is about Krishna a street dweller and not new to the Chennai audience.
"Charisma"... all about a tree and the people's belief.
``All About Our House" directed by Koki Mitani narrates the experience of Naosuke and his wife who want to build a house. They ask the young and aspiring star Yanagisawa to help them. He wants it American style while Naosuke's father-in-law Iwata, a contractor wants it built the Japanese way. How does the protagonist resolve the conflict? The director, a graduate from the theatre division of the Art Department is only twenty-two years old and this is his second film. He started his own theatre troupe, ``Tokyo Sunshine Boys," and has carved a niche in the field.
Kei and Yu are friends. One day they quarrel and the next day Kei proposes to Yu to marry him. Yu is confused. And disappears. Where does she go and whom does she meet? "Duo," directed by Nabuhiro Suwa, tells the story in an interesting way. Suwa started his career as assistant director to some of the popular directors of Japan like Shunichi Nagasaki, Masashi Yamamoto and Sogo Ishii. He has directed some popular TV documentaries also.
Kohei Oguri, is a well-known director whose"Muddy River" won the silver award at the Moscow International film festival and was also nominated for an Academy award. His "The Sting of Death" won the grand prix at the Cannes film festival and it also won the International critics prize. "Sleeping Man" he made after six years of silence deals with death, spirit and friendship. Takuji dies and his mother tries to call the spirit back. His friend Kamimura climbs the mountain and sees water in the well, which had dried long ago.
"Adrenaline Drive" is a film about unfortunate things that happen to young Suzuki. He meets with an accident in which all his fingers are broken. Elsewhere a nurse on nightshift is assaulted. Is there a link? His film "My Secret Cache" was screened at the Berlin International film festival and it also won the special jury award at the Hawaii International film festival.
"Train to Pakistan" is a Khushwant Singh novel directed by Pamela Rooks. It is about a sleepy town on the Punjab border. With the freedom struggle is its peak, a train comes to the town with corpses of Hindus and Sikhs. Violence erupts and a few old individuals make a valiant attempt to bring things under control. Does peace prevail? A highly emotional drama.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR
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