SAKAMOTO SCORES AGAIN
Celebrated composer Sakamoto Ryuichi (“The Last Emperor,” “Minamata”) has been tapped to provide the score of “Monster,” the previously announced upcoming film by Japan’s Kore-eda Hirokazu (“Shoplifters”). The film has been in post-production since November last year, but only now is the cast being unveiled. It includes Ando Sakura (“Shoplifters”,) Nagayama Eita (“Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”) and Tanaka Yuko (“Backwater”). Two children actors Kurokawa Soya and Hiiragi Hinataare were also revealed. The film, handled jointly by Toho and Gaga, is set for a June 2, 2023 release, making it a favorite for selection at the Cannes festival in May.
Asian TV operator Rewind Networks is to launch its third linear television channel Hits Now from Feb. 6. It will debut with carriage in Singapore on telecommunications company Singtel’s Singtel TV, Singtel TV GO and CAST, with live transmission of the 65th Grammy Awards ceremony. Its schedule thereafter will consist of popular and highly-rated shows from the U.S. in the reality, talent show, dramas, comedy, game show and entertainment news genres. Licensed content includes “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent” and “Project Runway; series including “Fire Country” and “So Help Me Todd”; game shows “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” and “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”; comedies “The Goldbergs” and “Ghosts”; “Entertainment Tonight” and “Fear Thy Neighbor.” Rewind currently operates the Hits and Hits Movies channels, available in 14 countries.
Lukas Dhont’s “Close” added to its awards haul with the announcement that it had earned two more prizes at China’s Silk Road International Film Festival. The festival in Xi’an concluded on Tuesday with prizes for best film and best film going to the Belgium-France-Netherlands co-production. The best screenplay award went to Zhang Lu for “Yanagawa.”
“The Glory,” the latest Korean original series from Netflix ranked third on the streamer’s global chart for non-English-language series. In the week from Dec 26, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023, the revenge drama notched 25.1 million viewing hours. The show launched midway through that week, on Dec. 30, and according to a separate analysis by Flix Patrol, the show was the fifth most watched show on Netflix on that day. The series, about a woman who seeks elaborate and delayed revenge on her bullying former classmates, runs to a total of 16 episodes. Eight are now available, the other eight will upload in March.
Meanwhile, Indian series “Farzi” created by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. (“The Family Man”) and produced by their banner D2R Films, will premiere on Amazon‘s Prime Video service from Feb. 10.
The star-studded show marks the digital debut of Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor and Tamil cinema actor Vijay Sethupathi and also stars Raashii Khanna, Kay Kay Menon, Amol Palekar, Regina Cassandra, and newcomer Bhuvan Arora in pivotal roles. Spanning eight episodes, “Farzi” is a crime thriller that follows a clever underdog street artist’s pursuit to con the system that favours the rich. What ensues is a thrilling cat-and-mouse race between him and the law. Along with the creators, “Farzi” is written by Sita R. Menon and Suman Kumar.
The 2023 Glasgow Film Festival will open on March 1 with the U.K. premiere of Adura Onashile’s Glasgow-shot debut feature “Girl,” following its world premiere at Sundance in Jan. 2023.
Previously announced festival highlights also include a 10th anniversary screening of Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin,” with a live performance of Mica Levi’s BAFTA nominated score by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Berman with soundscape by Sound Intermedia. Looking for America: The Films of Lee Grant, a celebration of the documentary work of the actor/director will include screenings five of her documentaries: “Battered,” “Down and Out in America,” “What Sex Am I?,” “When Women Kill” and “The Willmar 8.”
The festival’s country of focus this year will be Spain.