Sunday, May 19, 2013

Two Japanese Films at Cannes Film Festival

Shield of Straw 藁の楯 Wara no Tate

Via Asahi Shinbun May 19, 2013

Of the 20 films vying for this year's coveted Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival, two of them are popular Japanese full-length features. One is about a very difficult family situation and the other is an exciting cop thriller by Takashi Miike.

In Shield of Straw / "Wara no Tate" 藁の楯 leading man Tatsuya Fujiwara plays a cold-blooded killer named Kiyomaru Kunihide who murders the granddaughter of a very powerful political figure (Tsutomu Yamazaki). A few weeks after the murder, Kiyomaru realizes that the politician has offered one billion yen (approximately $9.7 million dollars) to anyone who kills him.

Fearing for his life, he turns himself into the Fukuoka Police and then is to be transferred to Tokyo by five elite security police. But along the way they keep running into groups of citizens and other police who want to get the reward and get revenge! Also one of the security police starts to question the morality of protecting such a vile criminal. Below is the Japanese trailer, but you don't need to understand Japanese to enjoy this exciting preview:

A light favorite for this year's top prize, "Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)" stars Masaharu Fukuyama as the hard-working husband Ryota and his faithful wife Midori played by Machiko Ono.

Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)

Their idyllic family life is suddenly turned upside down when the hospital where their son was born admits that Keita was switched at birth and is not their biological son. The couple is then faced with a difficult "nature vs nurture" decision in either swapping the boy they have raised and loved for six years for their real biological son or keep him. Ryota and Midori then meet the couple, played by Yoko Maki and Lily Franky, who have raised their real son and the film unfolds into humor and humanity. A powerful soft family drama competing against many violent films including the above, "Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)" is director Kore-eda Hirokazu's fourth film to compete at Cannes.
"I wanted to create this total upheaval in the morality of the main character," Kore-eda told journalists. "I wanted to create a real shock in his mind."

Here is the official trailer with English subtitles:

The winners of the world's largest film festival will be announced on May 26th.

See also:

Beat Takeshi Kitano's "Outrage Beyond"

Trailer for Jackie Chan's "Chinese Zodiac" Movie

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see the thriller by Takashi Miike. Looks pretty exciting.