×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Director Jun Ichikawa dies at 59

Last film, 'buy a suit,' to premiere at Tokyo Fest

Helmer Jun Ichikawa, 59, died after collapsing at a meal around midnight Friday. He was rushed to a nearby Tokyo hospital but passed away in the early hours of Friday morning. The cause of death has not yet been announced.

On the evening of his death, Ichikawa was editing his last pic, “buy a suit,” which is skedded to preem on Oct. 18 in the Japanese Eyes section of the upcoming Tokyo Film Festival.

Born in Tokyo in 1948, Ichikawa joined a company producing TV commercials in 1975 and established himself as a leader in the field for his award-winning, sales-boosting ads.

In 1987 he released his first theatrical pic, “Bu su,” a teen drama starring Yasuko Tomita. In the 1990s he helmed a series of low-key but sharply perceptive and beautifully shot dramas that were compared to the work of Yasujiro Ozu, an Ichikawa favorite. He also expressed admiration for the work of his countrymen Takeshi Kitano and Shinji Somai, as well as Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.

In 1991 his teen drama “Tsugumi” won him the director prize at the Mainichi Film Awards, a major domestic awards competish. He won again in 1994 with “Dying at a Hospital,” a drama about terminal cancer patients.

His 1995 Ozu homage “Tokyo Kyodai” (Tokyo Siblings) screened in the Panorama section of the Berlin fest, where it was awarded a special mention by the Fipresci jury. In 1997 “Tokyo Lullaby,” a middle-aged relationship drama, earned Ichikawa director honors at the Montreal World Film Festival.

His biggest prizewinner, however, was “Tony Takitani,” a 2004 drama based on a Haruki Murakami short story about an introverted illustrator (Issei Ogata) with a fashion-crazed wife (Rie Miyazawa) that won the special jury prize, youth jury prize and Fipresci prize at the Locarno fest, as well as many honors elsewhere, including a nom for best foreign film at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards. It was also released in the U.S. by Strand Releasing and in 10 other countries and territories around the world in addition to Japan.

Ichikawa’s most recently released pic was the 2007 teen drama “How to Become Myself.”

More Scene

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content