TOKYO — Police arrested helmer Fumiki Watanabe in Tokyo on Thursday for putting up nearly 100 posters advertising his new pic, “Tenno densetsu” (The Imperial Tradition), without permission.
When cops caught him in the act around 4 p.m. in the city’s Koto Ward, Watanabe and a female assistant attempted to escape by car, but were caught and arrested.
The pic, which doesn’t have a distrib, criticizes Japan’s Emperor system and claims that the present ruler, Akihito, is not the son of the previous Emperor, Hirohito.
It was to screen at a public hall in Tokyo from Sept. 17 to 19 with another Watanabe pic, “Nomonhan,” but screenings have been cancelled, according a hall rep.
Watanabe’s 1990 feature, “Homemade Movie” (Shimaguni konjo), unspooled at the Cannes fest and won him a New Director’s award from the Directors’ Guild of Japan. His other pics include “Zazambo” (1991), “Bari zogon” (1996), “Harahara tokei” (1999) and “Osutakayama” (2005).
Watanabe has no fixed address, according to the police.