Tokyo: Shochiku Unveils Powerhouse Slate

New titles by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Keishi Otomo and Yoji Yamada head a powerful sales and distribution slate unveiled by Japanese studio Shochiku at the Tokyo film market (TIFFCOM).

Kurosawa, the auteur whose “Journey To The Shore” was in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year, is currently in production on “Creepy,” a chiller starring Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yuko Takeuchi and Teruyuki Kagawa. The story follows a retired criminal psychologist who is called on by a neighbour to understand why the man in her house is not her father.

Otomo, who recently directed the “Rurouni Kenshin” live action movies, directs “Himitsu The Top Secret,” a sci-fi thriller based on a comic book series of the same title by Reiko Shimizu. Action begins when police use a new MRI scanner to unlock memories stored in the brains of dead bodies, and discover a multiple murder. The film stars Toma Ikuta, Nao Omori and Masaki Okada and is set for delivery in summer 2016.

Yoji Yamada, the 84 year old veteran, is preparing two films for release in the next half year. His “Kazoku Wa Tsuraiyo” plays in this week’s Tokyo International Film festival and is a comedy about divorce, featuring cast from Yamada’s previous “Tokyo Family” – Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Satoshi Tsumabaki and Yu Aoi. It is set for commercial release in March 2016.

Before that, Shochiku will give a December release to Yamada’s “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son.” Previously titled “Living With My Mother,” the fictional story involves a mother who is visited by the son she thought had been killed by the atomic bomb blast that ended WWII.

The quartet join “The Inerasable,” the mystery horror film by Yoshihiro Nakamura that plays in competition this week in Tokyo. Based on a Fuyumi Ono novel about the tenants of an apartment building who were mysteriously driven to violence. The film is set as one of Shochiku’s biggest releases through the winter.

Working in a different genre, Nakamura also has Tono Risoku De Gozaru in production and on course for a Spring 2016 release. The picture is a period samurai drama based on a story by Michifumi Isoda, author of “Abacus and Sword.”

Further off, is a summer 2016 release for Sholbutsu Zukan, a lush romance directed by Koichiro Miki and based on a well-known love story by Hiro Arikawa. It stars J-pop star Takanori Iwata and Mitsuki Takahara (“Blue Spring Ride”); and an fall 2016 release for comedy “Samurai Hustle II.”

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